The bee is an insect that was admired in antiquity by numerous philosophers and saints. Bees were cited for various reasons and virtues as examples for good people to emulate. I’ve enjoying photographing bees, those great pollinators of flowers.
Bees are essential in agriculture and important for food production. In one way or another, bees are involved in most of the meals we eat. They are an insect for which we should give thanks to God, and for which we should pray.
“Like a bee that secretly fashions its comb in the hive, so also grace secretly forms in hearts its own love. It changes to sweetness what is bitter, what is rough into that which is smooth.” (Pseudo-Macarius, FIFTY SPIRITUAL HOMILIES & THE GREAT LETTER, p 132)
“Like a bee one should extract from each of the virtues what is most profitable. In this way, by taking a small amount from all of them, one builds up from the practice of the virtues a great honeycomb overflowing with the soul-delighting honey of wisdom.” (St Gregory of Sinai, THE PHILOKALIA, Kindle Location 41544-41546)