The bee motif is a classic symbol and was used by many countries to symbolize royalty and imperialism. Bees represent power and industry.
When Napoleon conquered Italy and Egypt, he was responsible for many of the motifs that prevailed during the Empire period. Such motifs like bees, laurel leaves, diamonds, propecia does work arrows, sheaths and eagles proliferated fabrics and furniture during his reign. In France bee motifs were used by Napoleon 1st on carpets and on his coronation robes. He loved the bee as he believed it brought him power. You can even see the bee motif on the velvet chair in this portrait.
Even today the bee motif is used in many interiors and can be found in fabrics, wallpaper and drapery hardware. Horchow has gorgeous bee drapery pulls, offering bee details to finish a rooms decor.
The bee has been associated with many divinities because of its industrious habits and social organization. In ancient Egypt they believed that bees were the tears of the Sun-god Ra and many were depicted on tombs as symbols of after life and resurrection. In Christian faith, bees were often emblems of diligence, courage, sociability, cleanliness, creativity, chastity, unselfishness and spirituality. There is a christian allegory that the Queen Bee has been known to represent the Virgin Mary and the hive symbolizes the church. Bees are also an important symbol to Mormonism as the bee hive represents the symbol of industry. As many bees working together can accomplish a large task compared to one bee who achieves very little on its own. Of course, bees weren’t just used in religion but also proliferated in jewelry design for centuries. Still popular today for necklaces and broaches as we see here for Cartier and Tiffany to name a few.
Bees also symbolize eloquence, speech and intelligence. Honey, traditionally is the symbol of richness and sweetness and is referred to in all the great prophets. It has been said that in Greek mythology, the gods of Olympus drank honey which was the symbol of knowledge, learning and wisdom.
Even today, many companies and people use the bee motif to symbolize there business and beliefs. Mary Kay, Inc. often used the bee as a symbol of prosperity and industriousness. She used a bee pin to represent one of the higher positions in the company. Today the bee continues to be a popular motif used in jewelry, soaps, wellies, glassware, linens, fabrics and china as well as many other products.
Ballard Designs is one company that love the French style and often incorporate the traditional pattern into their home accessories.
The Bee print on wallpaper is an easy pattern to live with. This vaulted ceiling is wallpapered in a gold metallic bee print, perfect for lowering the ceiling. The pattern visually helps pull the room together uniting the vaulted ceiling space with the floor space.
Images: Interior by www.jaimabrown.com; bee pendant bywww.tiffany.com; home accessories by www.ballarddesigns.com; bee bracelet by www.letitbeejewelry.com;be fabric square by www.archiexpo.com; Painting of Napoleon 1st in his study by www.wikipedia.org;rubber boots by www.shoes.com; soaps by www.burtsbees.com;bee fabric window treatment by www.horchow.com; bee glass by La Rochere www.csnstores.com; towels by William Sonoma www.www.williams-sonoma.com