In ancient Egypt the bee was an insignia of kingship associated particularly with Lower Egypt, where there may even have been a Bee King in pre-dynastic times.
Honey bees, signifying immortality and resurrection, were royal emblems of the Merovingians, revived by Napoleon.
A community of honey bees has often been employed by political theorists as a model of human society. This metaphor occurs in Aristotle and Plato; in Virgil and Seneca; in Erasmus and Shakespeare and in Bernard Mandeville's Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices made Public Benefits, which influenced the economists Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes among others. Tolstoy similarly compares human society to a community of bees in War and Peace. Jean-Baptiste Simon titled his work of apiculture Le gouvernement admirable, ou, la république des abeilles (Paris, 1740).
Now, that man is more of a political animal than bees or any other gregarious animals is evident.
Socrates: How fortunate I am, Meno! When I ask you for one virtue, you present me with a swarm of them, which are in your keeping.
We should follow, men say, the example of the bees, who flit about and cull the flowers that are suitable for producing honey, and then arrange and assort in their cells all that they have brought in
Obedience; for so work the honeybees, Creatures that by a rule in nature teach The act of order to a peopled kingdom. They have a king and officers of sorts,
MOSCOW meanwhile was empty. There was still people in the city; a fiftieth part of all the former inhabitants still remained in it, but it was empty. It was deserted as a dying, queenless hive is deserted.