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Go Tell The Bees

Go Tell the Bees in Scottish Folklore

Bees appear in mythology and folklore around the world. In ancient Egypt, worshippers revered honeybees that sprung from the tears of Ra and served as messengers from the gods. The classic Greeks told stories of a nymph, a daughter of Zeus named Melissa, who taught mankind how to cultivate bees and harvest their honey. In the Kalahari Desert, the San people celebrate the legend of a bee that carried a mantis across a river. Although the bee perished, the seed she planted in the mantis grew to become the first human.

In Celtic myth, honeybees served as messengers between our world and the next. As the flit from flower to flower, they collect news to share with the spirits. In return, the bees bring us wisdom from beyond what we can foretell. Over time, tradition gave rise to the practice of including the honeybees (or at least the beekeeper) in any important happenings of the day — births, deaths, weddings, and so on. This ensured the bees only shared the most current and correct news with the spirit world. In the case of a death, the mourning family would show reverence to their departed by telling the bees first, only then sharing the news with their community.

Today, this custom lives on across both Scotland and the Appalachian regions of the U.S. A murmured “Go tell the bees” can be heard among older relatives when death pays a visit. Much like dragonflies and butterflies, honeybees continue to represent the memory of loved ones now passed and the thought of a life beyond this one.

If you love bees as much as we do, you can always check out our customer favorites — our Celtic Bee Pendant and Celtic Bee Earrings. They complement any Spring look.

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