Jupiter was nourished by bees in infancy. (See Athenian Bee, p. 72, col. 1.) Pindar is said to have been nourished by bees with honey instead of milk.
The coins of Ephesus had a bee on the reverse.
The Greeks consecrated bees to the moon.
With the Romans a flight of bees was considered a bad omen. Appian (Civil War, book ii.) says a swarm of bees lighted on the altar and prognosticated the fatal issue of the battle of Pharsalia.
The priestesses of Ceres were called bees.
In Christian Art St. Ambrose is represented with a beehive, from the tradition that a swarm of bees settled on his mouth in his infancy.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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