The Possible Meanings of Dreams About Bees
What Does It Mean to Dream About Bees?
Dreams about bees can be interpreted in various ways depending on what religion, tradition, culture, astrological system, or psychologist you consult. There's no denying, however, that bees are rich with symbolic meaning across cultures and faiths around the world.
It's up to you to choose which type of interpretation you would like to apply to your dreams. Sometimes religious and cultural explanations may not be enough for your dreams, in which case you could examine them from various perspectives in psychology, psychoanalysis, or neuroscience. This article covers the cultural, religious, astrological, and psychological meanings of dreams about bees.
Bees Have Both Positive and Negative Connotations
Because of their stingers, bees are often viewed as a threat, and a dream about bees may reflect the anxiety or irritation one feels about bee stings. Though bees normally only sting when the hive is threatened, many myths about bees persist; some people believe that bees can sense human fear, and this aura of fear will provoke the bee.
This is not true: Bees sting when they're afraid, or when they feel the hive is threatened. Even so, in such a situation, both the bee and the person about to be stung would likely be frightened. A dream about bees, then, may draw on this association between bees and fear (though most people likely fail to take the bee's fear into account).
Bees have other popular connotations that are much more positive. In many ways, beehives resemble human societies: complex and orderly, with social roles such as queens and worker bees. Bees also fulfill a vital ecological function, pollinating flowers and enabling the reproduction of plants. For these and other reasons, bees are important symbols in many cultures.
Psychological Interpretation of Dreams About Bees
There are many ways to understand dreams, many of which are drawn from psychology. Sigmund Freud, one of the most influential psychoanalysts in history, propounded several of these interpretations. For Freud and other psychoanalysts, dreams are the unconscious mind's way of trying to reach the conscious mind. A dream then, could represent a romantic desire you didn't realize you had, a fear or anxiety you're not yet aware of, or a memory that you've repressed.
To interpret a dream about bees psychologically, you need to think about what bees mean for you and what they have meant in your life. Were you stung by a bee as a child? Is someone in your life a beekeeper or otherwise associated with bees? The bees in your dream might actually represent that person. Figuring out what bees have meant in your own life will help you understand what bees mean in your dreams.
Being Chased or Stung by Bees in Dreams
- If a bee or a swarm of bees is chasing you in a dream, it may mean there is some unsettled business or a memory that haunts you. If you are able to identify what that is and let it go from your mind or deal with it, you may be able to avoid having more dreams about bees.
- If you dream about getting a bee sting, then something may be bothering you, or you may have a persistent annoyance in your life. Concerns about your relationship, career, finance, or some unknown issue might be bugging your subconscious mind. Find out what it is and sort it out.
Beehives in Dreams
- Is Your Beehive Empty or Full? When full and buzzing with activity, beehives bring to mind abundance and prosperity. Bees work hard and are rewarded by flowing stores of honey. An empty beehive, then, represents the opposite: lost opportunity and financial misfortune.
- Is Your Beehive a Reflection of Your Life at Home? A beehive can also represent a home. The fullness or emptiness of the beehive may indicate unconscious feelings about family life, marriage, children, or the house itself. Honey may represent your property or belongings.
- What State Is Your Beehive in? A beehive on fire or burned bees are often interpreted as reflections of your emotional and physical condition. Burned bees may mean you are overcoming fear and want to take control of life and anger, that you're progressing through life with more confidence without any fear of obstacles. But burned beehives can also mean you have lost something precious, like money, a relationship, or some valuable information that you've forgotten or ignored.
Possible Religious Interpretations of Dreams About Bees
Rather than learning about the psychological symbolism of bees, you may want to know what a dream about bees may mean from a religious perspective. If you are interested in what dreaming about bees may mean, learning about the different cultural and religious symbolic meanings of bees can help.
Symbolic Meanings of Bees in Christianity
Bees have many meanings in Christian scripture and folklore:
- Immaculate Conception: When a bee fertilizes a flower by transporting pollen, it appears (mistakenly) that the plants have reproduced without sexual contact, leading some to associate bees with the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. For this reason, Roman Catholic churches place pure beeswax candles on their altars.
- Spreading the Gospel: The spreading of pollen resembles the spread of Christianity, or the sharing of the Good News (a.k.a. the gospel).
- The Greater Good: The idea of Christian charity can be likened to a beehive working together for a common good.
- The Crucifixion: The bee's sting can also be likened to the piercing pain of Christ's crucifixion.
Bees and Honey in the Quran
Bees and honey are mentioned in the Quran, the Islamic scripture:
- Humanity's Helpers: Allah taught the bees to create honey and to populate areas where they could be useful to humans: "And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells on hills, on trees and in people's habitations." [Quran 16:68]
- A Healing Force: The Quran mentions honey's numerous healing properties, which have been corroborated by modern science. For example, "There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people..." [Quran 16:69]
- Discipline: Bees also represent God-given discipline and order, and a holy division of labor amongst a collective.
- Wealth and Good Fortune: In dreams, Islam subscribes various meanings to bees, notably wealth and good fortune brought forth by hard work and perseverance.
- A Harbinger of Bad Luck: On the other hand, bees can also be an allusion to disease or war, due to their tendency to swarm and attack.
Bee Symbolism in Judaism
Bees in Jewish scripture and exegesis:
- A Powerful Collective: Bees are analogized to the Jewish people in scripture; bees work as a collective behind a leader and can be likened to those who follow the teachings of Jewish prophets or sages.
- A Sign of Sweetness to Come: At Rosh Hashanah, Jews traditionally eat apple slices dipped in honey, in hopes for a sweet new year.
- The Greater Good: According to the Midrash, an interpretive text for the Torah, the Jews are to toil not for their own benefit, but for God, like bees who collect pollen for the greater benefit.
Hindu Meanings of Bees
Bees can also be seen in the imagery and holy texts of Hinduism:
- A Holy Power: Hindu deities are often represented using bees. Vishnu, the preserver of the universe, is often depicted as a bee on a lotus flower. Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, is depicted as having a blue bee in the middle of his forehead. Kama, the god of love, possesses a bow-string made of bees.
- A Healing Force: In the Vedas, honey is noted for its medicinal properties.
- A Symbol of Oneness: The Upanishads use bees as an allegory for interconnectedness: bees make honey by sourcing many flowers, and do not know which flowers created a certain batch. As honey is a consistent whole made from many forgotten parts, all beings are one.
What Do You Think the Bees in Your Dreams Represent?
How to Stop Having Bad Dreams About Bees
Unpleasant dreams, such as those about a swarm of bees or a bee sting, happen because something in your unconscious mind wants to be made conscious.
Though it might not seem like it, this can be a good thing. Dreams can make you aware of feelings, memories, or worries you didn't realize you had, and then you can deal with them. However, if you want to avoid nightmares about bees, practice the following in your waking life:
- If you are angry or irritated, think about what may be making you feel that way. If you can process these feelings before going to sleep, then you may have fewer nightmares about things like bee stings.
- Make sure you express your feelings by writing a blog or journal. This will loosen up any emotions you might be suppressing.
- Never suppress your feelings or persistent thoughts, as they come back to haunt you as creatures in your dreams. Since bees often represent work, finance, relationships, or the home, confronting your worries about these while you're awake may stop you from dreaming about them at night.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2011 Diaspora