My beehive! (Bees sold separately).
There is a lot of folklore about bees and beekeeping.
1. Bees choose the beekeeper. I can’t find much about this one so I think it is probably just self serving (i.e. “sorry about keeping these bees city official but they CHOSE me.” Or sorry for spending $300.00 on beekeeping equipment John, they CHOSE me.”) but kind of romantic.
2. You must tell the bees if their beekeeper dies. This seems to come from the way bees communicate in that information is spread around the colony sort of in the same way a disease would spread (passed from individual bee to bee usually via pheromone). Apparently the bees will leave if they are not kept apprised of major life events. In fact, there are lots of myths and sayings about swarms, probably since swarms are so unpredictable and people seek to explain the phenomenon. One such goes “a swarm in May is worth a bale of hay, a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, a swarm in July is not worth a fly.” This expresses that the hive will not have enough time to put up stores for the winter.
3. Greeks believed that if a bee landed on a babies’ lips it would become a great orator. (The baby, not the bee).
4. Busy as a bee. Not the case! While they seem really busy they really only work a few hours a day. I’m hoping that the phrase does not evolve into busy as a beekeeper this spring.
5. A bee landing on your hand is meant to symbolize that money is coming to you.
6. A bee in your house means someone is coming to visit. If the bee is killed, allegedly the visitor will bring bad news.
7. Any exchanging of money relating bees is frowned upon. I think this might also relate to the bee choosing the beekeeper?
Bees are also associated with purity (because the workers are sexually immature) and wisdom.
I am starting my own traditions, and apparently that means it is bad luck not to wear your new beekeepers hat in the house all night.