As humans, we tend to believe we are far superior to all other creatures, that we have nothing in common with anything thought of as ‘below us’. We are very wrong in thinking that. In the novel the Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, it is proven that though we do have differences, we are not so different from such a ‘simple’ creature as the bee. In the novel, Kidd compares a bee community, meaning their hives, to a human community, which could mean something as big as a town or city, or something as small as a family.
She makes the reader realize that we are similar to bees in the way we treat life and crave love from others. She also, however, shows us how we differentiate in little ways like being able to replace a leader and the ability to hate. By comparing the two different communities, Kidd helps us understand the workings of life itself. Though humans see the differences between themselves and a little bee on a grand scale, there are still plenty of smaller scale differences that you have to think about. Unlike a human government, “A hive without a queen was a death sentence for the bees.
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They would stop work and go around completely demoralized. ”(286). In a human government, we elect a leader and someone to take their place should something happen to them. In a bee community, if a queen dies or leaves the hive, all the bees stop working and their society falls apart. There is also the emotion issue “I hate you! ”(39). Humans possess the ability to feel and think for themselves, and one of our strongest emotions is hate. Bees do not hate other bees to our knowledge, and they are drones who work as a unit, not free-thinking individuals.
Although humans and bees are obviously very different, we are very much alike as well. Many people would not believe that they are similar to a honey bee, but, in fact, they are. “The world was really one big bee yard, and the same rules worked fine in both places: Don’t be afraid as no life-loving bees wants to sting you” (92). The human world is similar to a bee yard because both are made up of small, structured communities that are run by a leader. And, much like the bees, if a human is happy and loves life, they are less likely to strike out at anyone.
Even if bees do not possess hate, they can possess love “Above all, send the bees love. Every little thing wants to be loved. ”(92). This quote is very true, no matter what or who you are, love is essential to your life. Whether you are communicating or just working along, making honey, love is extremely important. Humans and bees look and seem very different, but deep down we actually are very similar. Sue Monk Kidd compared human and bee societies because by highlighting the similarities and differences between the two, she helps us realize things about our everyday lives that we may not pay any attention to.
Besides the obvious differences like species and size, we differ from bees because we can replace a fallen leader in a heartbeat and still have our society run smoothly. We also possess the ability to hate one another, where as bees do not. We do have similarities though, like whether you are a human or a bee who loves life, you are less likely to act negatively towards others because of that love of life. Bees and humans (along with everything else in the world) both greatly desire love as well. Next time, before you kill that ‘insignificant’ little bee, remember that he is not so different from you and spare him his life.