Bees in Jewellery and a surprise in the post

There is nothing more glorious than the arrival of post, when you spot amidst the mundane utility bills and circulars, your name, handwritten. My friend Nancy, is glorious for providing these moments of happiness in my life, for as much as I love opening letters, she seems to love posting.

This year has seen the arrival of many items from her, thank you cards (always, she has impeccable manners), honey, books and as the year comes to a close, I

have become the recipient of some beautiful bee and honeycomb earrings from the V&A museum. Stylist and elegant. What a treat, I can’t tell you. I better get a wriggle on a find a stamp, my turn to scrawl and smudge my way through a note of thanks, though words never capture the unspoken beauty of friendship. Thoughtful acts, when you are out if sight, remembering others.

So it got me thinking about honey bees and jewellery. One of the most beautiful pieces of jewellery I have come across (my new honeycomb and bee earrings aside) is a honeybee pendant from  the Minoan Palace of Malia on the island of Crete. The necklace is thought to date to c.1800 BC.


The pendant itself is made from gold and comprises two bees clasping a honeycomb. The design is striking and shows an advanced standard of workmanship, delicate details in gold.

The bee played a central role in Minoan and Mycenaean daily life, so the subject matter of the necklace starts to make sense,  reflecting that the bee played an important role within this ancient civilisation.