Contemplating the Beehive

The beehive, we are told is an emblem of industry. It should remind us to remain ever active and responsive to the needs of those around us who are in want. This is the explanation given us in the Craftsman, and although it is hard to find fault with this short remark on a very significant symbol, it seems to fall woefully short of imparting the plethora of meaning intrinsic to this symbol.

From a functional point of view, there are many parallels between the Lodge and the hive as well as a hidden symbology not readily apparent to the casual observer. This, in and of itself is a ready parallel, as little within the Craft is what it seems to be at first glance.

Consider the social structure of the hive. It is dominated by a monarchial Head of State and is not unlike the benevolent dictatorship of the Worshipful Master of the Lodge. Drones perpetuate the hive and may be representative of our line officers that perpetuate the operations of the Lodge from term to term. Worker bees are synonymous with our Craftsmen who comprise the industrious laborers of the Lodge. The guard bee(s) will accost anyone inadvertently disturbing the hive much as the Tiler will preserve the Lodge from intruders, and as the guard bee is armed with its stinger, so to the Tiler is armed with his sword. Recall that Tolken named Bilbo Baggin’s short sword “sting” in his timeless treasure, The Hobbit.” Thusly, we can find certain parallels within the social structure of the hive and the Lodge in both of which the structure demands a sense of order and working harmony.

By considering the end product of the hive’s effort we recognize an important contribution to not only our own food chain, but also a contribution to the hive’s economy, that being of course, honey. Honey, also called the nectar of the gods, is an important sugar source, medicinal, and natural antibiotic used as far back as the time of ancient Egypt. When we consider the end product of the Lodge we find an indispensable source of human comfort in the form of brotherly love, relief, and truth, those Masonic substances that without which we would have no basis for our organizational existence. Just as the honeybee, the harder we labor the greater the substance of “honey” do we lay up in the archives of the Lodge.

Just as each bee labors for the good of the hive, so does each Craftsman labor for the good of the Lodge and ultimately for the good of humankind. In this observation we learn the lesson of those working together that can best work and agree, and therefore derive the exponential synergies from the whole as opposed to just an individual laborer.

Readily, we can appreciate why the beehive is a useful symbol in expressing the lessons of our Order, however we can still come to recognize much more as we peer deeper in the hive. Beyond the obvious parallels already stated we see the structure of the hive itself. Row after row of individual hexagonal chambers, each designed to lend structural integrity by adding increased angular surface area, and each containing its own copious storage of honey. In order to appreciate the internal intricacies of the hive, we must peel it back layer by layer just as we must do with Masonry in order to understand the nature of the great gift we have been given.


As we peel back the outer layer of the hive and examine the internal structure we find thousands of hexagons as in the diagram above. The hexagon is especially revealing because from it we can immediately identify the hexagram, which is nothing short of the Seal of Solomon comprised of two overlapping equilateral triangles, one pointing upward and the other pointing downward. The internal composition of the hexagram or Seal of Solomon is of course the same hexagon as comprises the respective cells of the honeycomb. In fact, without the hexagon, the Seal of Solomon would be virtually impossible to construct.

As a symbol the Seal of Solomon has great significance to Masonry being comprised of two overlapping and interlacing equilateral triangles. In interpreting it, we can find the omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience of the Deity. We can interpolate our own divinity interlaced and in union with Deity. Steinmetz has postulated the “Perfect Man” in his attempt to define the interlaced equilateral triangle. Given just a bit of thought we can extrapolate the concept of duality from Scottish Rite Masonry, and the occult concept of “as above, so below.” To those not of our Order, it is known as the
Star of David and is representative of one of the worlds three great religions, all of which had their origin with the Patriarch Abraham.


Furthermore, as we examine the hexagram we can see that it is also formed by adding an equilateral triangle to each of the six sides of the hexagon. Given six sides there are then six equilateral triangles wherein we find the number 3. Three times 6 = 18. Eighteen is a multiple of 9, which is the square of three. The number three has always been representative of three emanations of Deity, specifically the omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence of Deity, and the diagrammatic representation of the number three in the Pythagorean Talisman is representational of the symbolic name of Deity. This can be readily appreciated through the transliteration of the number 15 to
the Hebrew letters JH. In perfect union with Deity as Steinmetz defines it, we find ourselves interwoven into these emanations and therefore have a basis to begin the contemplation of the perfection of natural creation.



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