The Bard and the Bee

Updated: Jul 15

Looking for inspiration to find a great gift for a Shakespeare lover?


How about merchandise featuring the Bard and the Bee, two of the best things to ever happen to this world, that's sure to melt your Shakespeare-loving thespian fan's heart?


Shakespeare was a literary beekeeper, so how about a bee themed theatre gift fashioned after the Bard's own love for bees?

Shakespeare follows a long, established tradition of using the natural environment as a metaphor for the human condition. In literary terms, William Shakespeare was a real beekeeper, because his works often feature an unparalleled metaphorical environment with bees at their core!


Bees provide a powerful image of society, with their industriousness, fertility, and death, and therefore they serve as a bridge for the bard between the natural and human worlds. Bees serve as role models for political and social structures, and probably more significantly in his time than in our own day, they act as political idols for people themselves. That's why bee themed gifts make for great presents for Shakespeare lovers!

A woman wearing a grey t-shirt with the printed text, 'For so work the honey bees, creatures that by a rule in nature teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom.'
'For so work the honey bees' t-shirt for women. Click to visit the Theatre Bee Store and check out products with this design.

Bee gifts for Bard lovers - Check out these unique theatre gifts featuring the bee and the bard

Shakespeare's most well-known and extensive metaphor to the bee kingdom appears early in Henry V. In this scene, the Archbishop of Canterbury makes an effort to persuade the young king that he is entitled to the French throne and that his nation can finance a military campaign to seize it while also ensuring domestic stability. Canterbury's use of the beehive as a symbol for a properly organised kingdom is crucial to his argument.

For so work the honey-bees, Creatures that by a rule in nature teach The act of order to a peopled kingdom. They have a king and officers of sorts; Where some, like magistrates, correct at home, Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad, Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings, Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds, Which pillage they with merry march bring home To the tent-royal of their emperor; Who, busied in his majesty, surveys The singing masons building roofs of gold, The civil citizens kneading up the honey, The poor mechanic porters crowding in Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate, The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum, Delivering o’er to executors pale The lazy yawning drone.

Bees have a monarch, officers, magistrates, merchants, and warriors in the well-ordered hive that Canterbury portrays; it is structured like Elizabethan society. They plunder, like us, wage war on the "summer's velvet buds," and then return the spoils to their monarch. The treasures are first taken to the monarch, who is in the field with his army, before being distributed to the hive as a whole. According to Canterbury, bees have a complex social network and economy that are ultimately driven by war and conquest, but are able to simultaneously keep peace within their community.


Theatre Bee’s ShakesBEEre range has bee-autiful gifts for theatre lovers

To those who hold Shakespeare dear, to you we bring a rare gem. Introducing Theatre Bee’s ShakesBEEre range! Check out the following products which have the iconic Henry V quote about honeybees from the Bard himself. The Bard thought we should learn from the bees’ unbelievable yet productive structure. So celebrate Shakespeare and bees with cute merchandise for you and your loved ones. Click on the pictures to be taken straight to the Store where you can browse these products and more!




Celebrate The Bard of Avon and the Honeybee Kingdom with these fun gifts perfect for Shakespeare lovers! Thoughtful gift-giving has never been so easy or good looking. Our curated selection of literary merchandise includes some of the most well-known honeybee apparel, accessories, and so many more items.



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