Bee Jewellery Collection
With this wonderful Summer weather and many people staying at home enjoying the local parks, beaches or their own back garden – this is a perfect place to watch the flowers and insects come to life.
Bees are loved by everyone (perhaps not if one stings you!) apart from being a key link in the circle of life, they add to the colour & beauty of our countryside and we love to see them hovering over brightly coloured and sweet-smelling lavender or herbs.
Symbolism of the bee
However, the bee represents so much more – so what is the meaning and symbolism behind the bee? It is of no surprise that the worker bee, is a symbol of community working together in harmony. In the UK the bee has long been associated with Manchester and of the city's industrious past & its importance is shown with the bee design woven into the city’s coat of arms dating back to 1842. More recently, the streets were filled with bee imagery as the whole city came together after the shocking terror attack in 2017. It became a symbol of togetherness and hope for the future in unity against hate and terrorism. City tattoo parlours offered free tattoos of the bee in return for a donation to charities supporting the victims and the bee was also a source of inspiration for graffiti artists in the weeks following the attack and featured prominently on banners at vigils.
The honeycomb the bees produce, is in itself a work of art, made with precise hexagonal walls which can only be created by a team working hard in the spirit of cooperation. Not only that, the busy working bees are also incredibly brave & loyal protecting their Queen & home even at the risk of their own lives. I guess it’s no surprise that many iconic institutions & brands use the bee to reflect their core values, these include universities, football clubs & even a beer brand. (clue is it’s known as the cream of Manchester!)
Bees in culture
Bees have been also always been recognised in culture - from pub signs and town names, from Shakespeare to JK Rowling, from beehive hair-dos to phrases like “having a bee in your bonnet” – the bee has always been a star. Pliny referred to honey as “the sweat of the heavens and the saliva of the stars”, while Chaucer was one of the first to use the phrase “busy as bees”.
The bumblebee has always been a source of special delight because of its plump features and furry bottom. Mr Bumble in Oliver Twist and Dumbledore (a Cornish word for bumblebee) in Harry Potter suit their names well.
Why the bee is so important?
The bee not only demonstrates incredible values, they are essential to a healthy environment and healthy economy. It is amazing to think that bees and other pollinators pollinate so many different foods and almost all of our fruit and vegetables. They are crucial to our economy – without them it would cost UK farmers £1.8 billion a year to pollinate our crops. In a world without bees, our food would cost a lot more to produce and our economy would suffer. A world without the bee would be a hungrier one.
As well as they vital role in pollination, the end product of all their hard work is, of course, honey to feed their community (and all of us – who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of honey? – especially Pooh Bear!) Enjoyed across the centuries, from the Druids who fermented honey and water into mead to most of us today who enjoy it simply on a slice of bread. (or on cereal, in a cup of tea, in cakes, on some ribs… the list goes on)
More recently modern science has discovered that honey has antibacterial & antiseptic properties, I’m sure the Romans had an inkling of these special qualities as they used honey in their medicines & dressings. Manuka honey, a product of bees from New Zealand is often described as a superfood, because of its many & varied health properties. Like regular honey it has bacterial resistance & is said to be effective in treating everything from a sore throat to increasing energy and helping manage many health conditions. We can’t say that these qualities will be bestowed upon a wearer of a Cavendish French bee design, however you can be sure that they will own a beautiful handmade piece of jewellery that encapsulates the many varied & esteemed values of the bee!
Bees at risk
There is a lot of concern over the future of the bee – as we have said, they are vitally important to our environment. They are responsible for pollinating 80% of the food we eat and a third of flowering plants. They are also responsible for pollinating important crops such as cotton and food for livestock.
Loss of bees would have a devastating effect on the world’s delicate ecosystem and on the global food supply, but bees are in trouble.
In recent years, there has been a worrying fall in the bee population. It's thought that in the UK and US, bee numbers have fallen by about 50% in the last 25 years. The decline in bee numbers is thought to be linked to a variety of factors including pesticides, climate change and habitat destruction, with 98% of wildflower meadows lost since 1995.
Since 1900, the UK has lost 13 species of bee, and a further 35 are considered under threat of extinction. None are protected by law and across Europe nearly 1 in 10 wild bee species face extinction.
What can we do to protect bees?
There are several steps we can take right away to help protect our valuable and beautiful bee population. They are so simple to do, and we can all make a difference.
1. Do not use pesticides or herbicides on your garden.
2. Avoid food grown with pesticides.
3. Source your honey from a local beekeeper rather than buying it from the supermarket when it has been flown all the way from New Zealand! It is also said that eating local honey can help relieve the symptoms of hay fever.
4. Don’t mow your lawn so often.
5. If you see a bee in distress - you can always leave a bowl of water with a little bit of sugar in it to try and help them recover.
6. Feed the bees – choose lots of plants the bees love for your garden – they have beautiful colours and smells too so you can appreciate them as much as the bees.
You need to choose nectar rich flowers which will provide an energy source for bees and other pollinating insects throughout the year. Try growing traditional cottage garden flowers and native wildflowers. They love lavender and lots of herbs too – such as thyme and marjoram. Surprisingly they also like trees and crab apple is one of their favourites.
What does it mean to wear bee jewellery?
As you can probably tell – we love bees! Who could resist anything that performs The “waggle dance” to teach each other about the direction and location of food sources over 6 kilometres away – clever and cute.
They symbolise community, friendship and selflessness, as well as brightness, joy, beauty and celebration. So, giving a friend or loved one a piece of Bee jewellery has so many special meanings.
The wearing of a bee necklace can symbolise a strong network of unconditional love and support. It is also thought to bring good luck and wealth to the wearer.
Our bee jewellery collection is handmade in 925 sterling silver and set with sparkling AAA* cubic zirconias. We have designs with yellow or clear stones with matching sets of earrings and bee necklaces. We also have a very cute gold vermeil little bee who is a new addition to our bee family (gold vermeil means it is sterling silver and then plated in 18 carat yellow gold)
When you wear a piece of bee jewellery designed by Cavendish French it reflects timeless values, linking the best of traditional values with a modern design.
Any of our beautiful little bee necklaces or earrings would make a great gift. The strength of our communities in 2020, helping each other and supporting the NHS has been key recently and maybe a bee pendant or earrings would make a perfect little gift to say thank you to someone who has helped you.