Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220


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Published online December 7, 2021

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2021) 45:30

Attributes and references to honey bees (Insecta; Hymenoptera; Apidae) and their products in some Asian and Australian societiesâ

V. B. Meyer-Rochow1

Department of Plant Medicals, Andong National University, Andong, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:V. B. Meyer-Rochow

Received: November 1, 2021; Accepted: November 19, 2021

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References to insects in myths, stories, and idioms can be found in almost any culture, but with regard to references involving honey bee species in the Asia-Australian region, little information is available. Such references to bees can be highly informative by revealing attitudes of admiration, fear, ignorance, or even revulsion towards these insects.


The subject is briefly reviewed and examples of references to bees of selected cultural communities are given. Although folkloristic references to honey bees were found to be mostly positive highlighting fearlessness, cleverness, and industriousness of the bees, some also touch upon their ability to cause pain.


Owing to the decreasing contacts and increasing alienization regarding insects generally, a plea is made to collect whatever information is still available about references to bees in songs, myths, stories, proverbs, and idioms and to compare such uses from different regions, e.g., North and South Korea. This would support other fields of research aiming to discover and to describe cultural relationships, migrations, and contacts between different peoples of the Asian/Australian region.

Keywords: Socio-linguistics; Ethno-entomology; Insect appreciation; Cultural role of bees

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220