Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Busy Bees

Spring is coming! Soon those ole bumbley bees and hard working honey bees will be back out! I do love those HUGE bumble bees! They're so funny! I like their teeny tiny wings and their HOOGE bodies! I don't know if cuteoverload.com has ever featured bees, but bumble bees have some seriously cute tocks!

I am fascinated by the honey bee as the symbol of, well, being busy. Classically the symbol of industry and productivity. I'm also interested in the meaning to the woman of the past! 
I've found a load of great info on this blog, Early American Gardens--a museum in a blog

  Napoleon used the bee as a symbol of his empire after his coronation in 1804. It stood for industry, efficiency and productivity.
The humble little bee became part of Napoleon's Coat of Arms! 

The honey bee was so important in the colonial economy that in 1776, the new state of New Jersey printed its image on its currency. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the beehive became an icon in Freemasonry as a symbol of industry and cooperation.

The beeskep is one of the symbols of the state of Utah; because it was associated with the honey bee, an early symbol of Mormon pioneer industry and resourcefulness. The beehive remains part of today's Mormon culture.
Anyone who studied colonial America will know how difficult life was for the colonists. They had to work unbelievably hard just to stay alive. 
Early life in the American colonies was hard—everyone had to pitch in to produce the necessities of life.  There was little room for slackers; as John Smith decreed in the Virginia colony, “He who does not work, will not eat.” 
I didn't realise that men significantly outnumbered women in the colonies and sometimes women had to work twice as hard as she already did. If her husband became ill or died a woman had to step in to his role as well. She had her work at home but was also needed to do the same work as the men in order for everyone to survive.
 It is clear that separation of labor existed in the New World—women did traditional work generally associated with females {women had to sew, cook, take care of domestic animals, make many of the necessities used in the household such as soap, candles, clothing, and other necessities}. But because labor was so valuable in colonial America, many women were able to demonstrate their worth by pursuing positions such as midwives, merchants, printers, and even doctors.  In addition, because the survival of the family depended upon the contribution of every family member—including children, once they were old enough to work—women often had to step in to their husband’s roles in case of incapacitation from injury or illness.  Women were commonly able to contribute to the labor involved in farming by attending the births of livestock, driving plow horses, and so on.  [Women in Colonial America Copyright © 2007, Henry J. Sage]
Does anyone else feel incredibly lazy right now? Had I been a colonial woman I think I'd be looking for a mascot, something to encourage me on too. It's no wonder that women saw the honey bee as a beau ideal. Always hard at work so that all in the hive could survive. Serving the community not itself. Eventually everyday objects bore the symbol of hard work. Even the English city of Manchester uses the bee as a symbol of their industry....

I'm looking forward to seeing the little bees return this spring. I'll admire them and hope to be inspired. 



  1. Mrs. Pretty,

    I'm going to wear my bumble bee earrings today (in honor of you). Oh, and I am in LOVE with your hedgehog and bunny. You are a lucky girl. Happy Tuesday dearie.

    Fritzi Marie

  2. Aww You're so sweet!!!!! I have one bumble bee earring...i don't know what happened to the other one...weird huh? But anyway - Thanks! You my friend win the loveliness award!

  3. oh my, I DO feel lazy. Mind oyu I am working in uggboots with a cat on my lap. But still. Love all the bee-ee pictures. I'm allergic to bee stings so never liked them much (tend not to like things that xan make you swell up and die) but I must say I have a new-found appreciation now!
    x Peppr

  4. 2 fun posts. I never thought I liked purple (for decorating) but after seeing you post, I agree, plum is pretty amazing. Also- I loooove the old fashioned bee, traditional stuff! I don't like that we have several azalea bushes in my backyard the bees make hives on my screened in porch-porch, the steps leading into it.. but I'll try to be inspired by them instead of curse them next time. ;)

  5. In the new Sherlock Holmes Film - In the Houses of Parliament scene you can see a GIANT Manchester bee mosaic on the floor (it was filmed in Manchester Town Hall, which so often doubles for the Houses of Parliament).

    Ace blog.

  6. i like this a ton. and i like bees. joel is terrified of them and it makes me laugh. don't tell him i told you that. :) love ya and we miss you. and i miss charleston. i wish we could meet there for a stroll.


whatcha thinkin' love?

Top Bing