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Bee Tattoo Meanings, Designs, and Ideas

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

What does a bee tattoo mean?

What does a bee tattoo mean?

Bee Tattoo Meaning

While they seem rare or unheard of, bee tattoos have become more popular over the last few years. Bees play a vital role in all of our lives. As tattoos, they can be designed alone but are often portrayed with flowers, in a cartoon form, or more realistically.

In this article, we will discuss this unique design. Learn about their meanings and symbolism, and get some ideas for your next tattoo.


Bee tattoos are not super common. In fact, many tattoo artists probably don't carry stencils for such a design. However, they can represent a variety of positive meanings that may just apply to your life.

To understand the symbolism behind the bee or honey bee, we have to take a closer look into their world.

  • One of the strongest attributes they possess is loyalty. The bee is very loyal to the hive and to the queen. It shows honor, duty, and consistency in performing their tasks. They travel around to pollinate the flowers, then go back to the hive. Once done, they will go back out to do it again. They are a symbol of unity and family. Once you understand how loyal they are, you will have a new respect for their species.
  • This insect is a perfect example of a structured life. The hard work that they exhibit can't be unnoticed. They symbolize hard work and sacrifice. If it weren't for this hard work and dedication, many of the flowers and crops of today wouldn't even exist. That is how important they are to us.
  • Protection and defense are a few other symbols that they represent. They are usually not aggressive insects, and in most cases, if you don't bother them, they won't bother you. They are not like wasps or hornets. However, when it comes to them, the hive, or the queen, all bets are off. They will protect themselves, the queen, and the hive at all costs. If it involves them losing their own life, so be it. They are the ultimate symbol of sacrifice and protection in such cases.
  • They also hold significance to a variety of different cultures. In some ancient cultures, the bee was a symbol of the soul, because it could travel far distances and it would always have the ability to find its way home. Beehives were often used in war, back in ancient Rome and Greece. They would be launched at enemies—you can only imagine the damage that a few thousand bees could do.
  • Last but not least, the tattoo can be a symbol of sweetness, for obvious reasons. This can also mean a sweet life.

Meanings and Designs

Since the bee is a positive symbol, most meanings are positive in nature. But remember, your tattoo symbolizes what you want it to. Below are some more common meanings behind a bee:

  • Family
  • Structure
  • Routine
  • Sweetness
  • Honey
  • Soul
  • Intelligence
  • Protection
  • Honor
  • Duty
  • Loyalty
  • Royalty
  • Unity
  • Fertility

The designs can be done in a variety of different ways. They can be designed small or large—both can look stunning when done correctly. It can nearly be tattooed anywhere.

  • It can be portrayed to look realistic or like a cartoon.
  • They can also be done in the form of tribal art.
  • A lot will include a variety of flowers. The bee can be designed with a single flower, or it can be among multiple flowers. It can also be shown flying around the flowers.
  • Queen bee tattoos are another popular variation. This design usually portrays the bee as a cartoon. A crown is added to symbolize that she is the queen. These designs are very popular among women, being that they are the queen anyway!
  • Many are designed with trail ink. I like this idea because it gives your tattoo the appearance of movement. They look great, and a simple trail ink can add so much to your tattoo.
  • When more detail is added, it can look absolutely stunning. A close-up tattoo that includes a detailed look inside the flower with the bee on top can be an eye-catcher.

It is a difficult design to create, but when done correctly, they look amazing. Just make sure that you take the time to view all the different designs on this page. This will hopefully help give you ideas and inspiration for your tattoo.

© 2012 Richard Ricky Hale

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Dianna Mendez on August 10, 2012:

This is really pretty! Truly, I would not have guessed it could be so. Enjoyed the post.

BeyondMax from Sydney, Australia on August 08, 2012:

Whoa. Just crazy stuff LOL Some are just real works of art!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on August 06, 2012:

I like the one that looks like a necklace. All of them are cute...

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 06, 2012:

Love those crazy bees.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on August 06, 2012:

Bee movie!! i love the tattoo at the back of the ear. beautiful photos. Where did you get those photos?

Rosemary Sadler from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand on August 05, 2012:

Awesome hub, well worth reading, I didn't know they were used in wars, that would have been a stinger. The tattoos are awesome, love them all.

Love the way you have written this Ricky, very enjoyable

kjforce from Florida on August 05, 2012:

thelyricwriter..the info 0n these were awesome.....can't resist the humor though...

" To Bee or not to Bee " had to know that would the way were you aware the bee has been used medically and the " jelly " from the Queen is very benefical ? loved the hub, as usual you did it proud....

acaetnna from Guildford on August 05, 2012:

Gosh just how amazing are these! I would never have a tatto myself but I can appreciate the beautiful artwork. Great hub as always.

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