The Bee Master.
The Bee Master knows that no one species of animal has inspired so many people in so many ways as the humble honeybee. No creature has had more literature devoted to it, from Aristotle and Virgil, down to our present day. For thousand of years, men and women have worked with the bee with varying degrees of success, and during this long period we have come to treat this small creature with considerable respect. So much so, that the bee is often used to represent purity, integrity, industry, and a host of other virtues.
They have been on Earth since the Cenozoic period, which is some fifty-five million years ago. And if we look at images from the civilizations of Old Europe, we discover that next to serpents, bees are the creatures most often depicted. They have certain things in common: both live in small dark places, both carry venom, and both issue forth from the hole at certain season of the year. But whereas serpents might be depicted as symbos of either good or evil, bees were almost always regarded as beneficent. Bees offer us the most beautiful example of community that we shall ever find. They have much to teach us in this regard. When nature has to work to be done she creates a genuis to do it: the humble honeybee, our most ancient ally.
The Bee Master knows that the bee as the most remarkable of creatures, a social alchemist and truly nature's most astonishing being. It has at times and places been the symbol of life-life as immortality. In the Celtic language, the Cornish beu, the Irish beo, and the Welsh byw can all be translated as 'alive' or 'living' (the Greek word bios should also be mentioned). So the bee stands for-and is a manifestation of-the fundamental verb 'to be'. 'I am, thou are, he is' it declares as it goes humming by.
-excerpt taken from The Shamanic Way of the Bee by Simon Buxton