The Possible Meanings of Dreams 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 dreaming about bees.
Bees: Reality vs. Symbolic Meanings
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. Bees normally only sting when the hive is threatened, but 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.
Bees have popular connotations other than violence, annoyance, and aggression which are also rooted in reality. 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.
Symbolic Meanings of Bees in Christianity
If you are interested in what dreaming about bees may mean, start by learning about the different cultural and religious symbolic meanings of bees. Bees have many meanings in Christian scripture and folklore:
- 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.
- The spreading of pollen resembles the spread of Christianity, or the sharing of the Good News.
- The idea of Christian charity can be likened to a beehive working together for a common good.
- 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:
- 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]
- 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]
- Bees also represent God-given discipline and order, and a holy division of labor amongst a collective.
- In dreams, Islam subscribes various meanings to bees, notably wealth and good fortune brought forth by hard work and perseverance. 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:
- 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.
- At Rosh Hashanah, Jews traditionally eat apple slices dipped in honey, in hopes for a sweet new year.
- 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:
- 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.
- In the Vedas, honey is noted for its medicinal properties.
- 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.
Psychological Interpretation of Dreams About Bees
Rather than learning about the religious symbolism of bees, you may want to know what a dream about bees may mean psychologically. There are many ways to understand dreams, among them Sigmund Freud's, one of the most influential psychoanalysts in history. For Freud and other psychoanalysts, dreams are the unconscious mind trying to get out. 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 dream, it may mean there is some unsettled business or a memory that haunts you. Make sure you let it go from your mind or deal with it in order to avoid these bees.
- If you dream about getting a bee sting then something may be bothering you, or you have a persistent annoyance in your life. Concerns about your relationship, career, finance, or some unknown issue is bugging your subconscious mind. Find out what it is and sort it out.
Is Your Beehive Empty or Full?
Beehives in Dreams
- Beehives bring to mind abundance and prosperity: bees seem to work hard and are rewarded by flowing stores of honey. An empty beehive, then, represents the opposite: lost opportunity and financial misfortune.
- 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.
- A beehive on fire or burned bees are often interpreted depending on your emotional and physical condition. Burned bees may mean you are overcoming fear and want to take control of life and anger, are you're progressing through life with more confidence without any fear of obstacles. Burned beehives can also mean you have lost something precious, like money, a relationship, or some valuable information that you've forgotten or ignored.
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. This can be a good thing, as 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 less 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.