What does dreaming about bees mean - bee on yellow background

What does dreaming about bees mean? Here’s what you need to know (updated May 2022)

What does dreaming about bees mean? Bee dreams range across the whole spectrum of common dream scenarios, from scary to optimistic.

What does it mean when you dream about bees?

After all, bees are a lot more than just those little insects that buzz around flowers and make honey.

They also have a rich history in folklore and spirituality.

Bees can be an important symbol for your dreams, and bee dream meanings range across the whole spectrum of common dream scenarios.

Below, we take a look at some of those possible meanings.

Introduction: what does dreaming about bees mean?

Bees have been around for at least 100 million years and have evolved into one of the most important pollinators on earth.

They are responsible for pollinating one-third of all the plant-based food we eat.

Bees also play an important role in the ecosystem by providing food for other animals and plants.

And because dreams are a window to our subconscious mind, dreams about bees can offer us insights into our fears, desires, and other aspects of our personality.

Without these dreams, we might not be able to access those aspects through conscious thought alone.

honey bee and bumble bee make honey - 3 jars

What your dreams about bees might also mean: danger ahead

The alarming presence of bees in a dream can suggest an upcoming event or situation that will cause you stress or anxiety.

Kind of like when you’re sitting peacefully in a park, and then a bee decides to focus all its attention on you.

A bee dream can also symbolize your desire for change, or it could signify your need to take action on something important.

What do beehives symbolize?

Bees are social creatures that build honeycombs together in colonies.

This is why they are often seen in dreams as they symbolize teamwork, collaboration, and harmony.

In a dream, a hive can represent one’s ability (or inability) to make decisions for themselves as an individual; in essence, it stands for autonomy (or indeed lack of autonomy).

In other words, do you want to be and remain part of the hive (the family), or do you prefer to go it alone, and walk your own path?

As the need for autonomy gains in importance, one’s need for community can diminish.

A beehive dream can also represent the complicated process of coming to an agreement on a common goal among people with different opinions.

If you dream about a burning beehive or dead bees, it could mean that your work is “going up in flames,” as it were, that or you’re experiencing an unlucky streak.

Because bees are also a symbol of fertility, the presence of an empty beehive in a dream can be interpreted as a sign that you have been worrying about (not) having children, or about your children “leaving the nest.”

where do bees live - in beekeeper hives

What does a swarm of bees symbolize in a dream?

Likewise, a swarm of bees in a dream is often interpreted as a warning of impending danger.

This can be due to the fact that bees are known for their sting.

A swarm of bees in a dream is also thought to represent the hive mentality, which may signify that you are feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities and obligations to a group (for example your company, school, family, etc.).

A swarm of bees is also a sign that there is likely to be prosperity in your near future (those industrious bees again…).

Bees: the most social of insects

Bees are social creatures and often represent the people in one’s life.

When we dream about bees, it symbolizes our fears and desires, such as wanting to be sociable, yet at the same time feeling like we don’t fit in.

As mentioned above, bees can represent unity, cooperation and growth. They are also symbols of hard work and productivity.

Likewise, the symbolism of bees also stands for the industriousness and success that comes from teamwork and cooperation.

In fact, “worker bees,” “queen bee,” and many other such phrases have become common idioms when it comes to the world of work.

Bees can also be seen as “spirit animals”: messengers from the spirit world, bringing messages to those who believe in their significance.

Bees as a magical creature in dream interpretation

Bees are also a symbol of magic and power, for example the power to cure or heal illnesses.

The bee is also associated with sweetness, delight, and love, due of course to bee’s honey.

In ancient cultures, bees were often associated with immortality due to their ability to produce honey from flowers, which was thought to be an elixir of life (and is still known for its many curative properties).

honeycomb beehive structure

What does dreaming about bees mean if you get stung?

The bee sting is sometimes seen as a sign of bad luck, but stings are also seen as a sign of good fortune if the person who was stung recovers quickly.

The bee’s sting can also a sign of illness, or other long-term misfortunes.

Interpretations vary by culture

We can find a lot of information on what dreaming about bees means in different cultures and religions.

For example, in China, dreaming about bees is generally a sign of happiness, good luck and prosperity.

In India, it is more often believed that they represent misfortunes and bad intentions.

In some cultures, bees are a symbol of aggression and bad luck.

But in other cultures, they represent the joyous collective “bee spirit,” synonymous with fruitful teamwork.

What do bees symbolize around the world?

Almost everywhere, bees are a symbol of fertility and creativity; they live in bountiful hives, and they are always making stuff (with honey being the most obvious example).

But dreams about bees can also mean that there are obstacles in the way of achieving your goals.

In mythology, especially from ancient Greece, bees have been depicted as a sign of prosperity and success in life.

spiritual meaning of bees in a dream - bee dreams of a swarm mean use caution - beekeeper in the field

What do bees mean spiritually: menace or wake-up call?

Black bees can occur in a negative dream environment, where instead of the dream being populated by bumble bees buzzing around with nectar and pollen, they form part of a menacing dream, where a single bee becomes more of a wasp.

This is a bad sign, as there is no hive to back you up.

Such dreams are characterized by obstacles.

The overworked drone is a real-life reminder of unresolved issues in our waking life, a warning that we — as social creatures much like bumblebees — need community and purpose to remain motivated and energized.

In this sense, the spiritual meaning of bees is that they send us signals about who we might become if we are not careful.

And this kind of insight typifies what we can learn from bees in our dreams.

Conclusion: so what does does dreaming about bees mean?

As we have seen, the meaning of dreams about bees can represent hard work, diligence, abundance, and productivity.

The bee is often said to represent the need for change or progress in one’s life.

And because bees are a symbol of creativity and industriousness, bees in dreams can thus represent a person’s need to be more productive or creative.

Extra: Do bees dream? In their own way, yes they do

According to a 2015 study in the journal Current Biology, it is indeed very possible that bees dream.

Bees, the researchers write, might well have “dream-like experiences analogous to non-REM dreams” that humans experience.

And if bees do indeed dream, they write, that discovery would provide “novel insights into the evolution of dreams.”

Extra: what do carpenter bees look like?

They look like this:

carpenter bee
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

They are usually all black, though some species have a bit of yellow or blue.

Extra: what do honey bees look like?

Honey bees look like this:

what do honey bees look like - bee on honeycomb
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

The are the “classic” bees that most people think of when they think of bees: yellow with black stripes.

How big are honey bees, you ask? The are roughly 1.2 cm (or half an inch) in length, though of course their size can vary.

Extra: what do bumble bees look like?

Bumble bees look like this:

what do bumble bees look like - fluffy bumblebee on blue flower
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photos: via DepositPhotosPexelsUpsplash, Wikimedia Commons, and Pixabay

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Carlos Trejo

Carlos Trejo is a journalism graduate student and researcher based in Austin, Texas.

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