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The Symbolism of Bees and their Relevance to Freemasonry


By Soror Tzadkiel

In the way that all members of a beehive collectively work to serve the colony and the Queen, Freemasons conjointly strive to serve all of humanity and God. Every bee works in perfect harmony with all other bees in the hive so that the collective work may be executed with efficiency and precision. It is as though they form an egregore with unified will-to-good. For the reason that each bee submits himself to his life’s purpose, the hive is able to survive and thrive. Because the initiate aspires to live a life dedicated to serving the well being of humanity, the archetypes of the bee and the hive serve as appropriate symbols for the work of Freemasonry.

The aspiration of every Freemason is to transmute their impurities, represented by the rough ashlar, into illuminated qualities, portrayed by the perfect cube. Once the aspirant has knocked off the knobs and excrescences, he or she is able to exist as a perfected cube, and can then properly serve as an integral piece of the Temple architecture. Bees have already attained this aspiration. Each bee spends his life working as as a fundamental facet of the perfectly functioning hive-consciousness.

Honey bees gather nectar and pollen from the sweet flowers. They then carry it back to nurture their young and serve the hive. In the same manner, Freemasons gather the sacred teachings of their lineage in order to manifest an internal awareness of the connection we all have to the life force of the universe. This in turn serves the health and happiness of all sentient beings. The symbol of honey is significant as well. Throughout antiquity, honey has been associated with morality and Holy Scripture. In the Jewish tradition, honey is associated with the sweetness of Torah. The paramount teachings of Freemasonry can be understood through this symbolism as well.

Thus, the beehive is a splendid symbol for understanding the functions of Freemasonry. The beehive has even been depicted in Masonic artwork for the past two-hundred years, at least. In the same way that the bee lives a life of service for the greater good of the hive, so does the Freemason choose to live a life dedicated to serving the welfare of all sentient beings.