Symbols, Beehive, Bees, iconography


The bee and beehive have been pervasive symbols in many ancient societies and religions. This iconography continues in the modern world, as Latter-day Saint beehives clearly testify. From Brigham Young University letterhead, to Utah highway signs, to the Salt Lake Temple doors, the state of Deseret continues to flaunt its mascot Yet few realize the profound symbolism, such as royalty and rebirth, associated with the bee. Examining the ancient Egyptian and Israelite usage of bees in a religious context, therefore, is intriguing, and provides insight into why Latter-day Saint pioneers chose to identify with the beehive and its inhabitants. Pharaonic Egypt and Biblical Israel incorporated bee symbolism into their religious lore, and were among the original instigators of this emblem, which was later adopted by early Latter-day Saints.