Why bees?

July 20, 2010 | by BatesMeron

“Why bees?”

We get that question about once a week. And it’s a fair question. We craft identities for a living, and considerable thought goes into our clients’ brands. Yet of all the shapes, symbols and creatures in existence, we chose bees as the BatesMeron icon.

So why bees? A dozen reasons:

Bees create buzz.

Bees are essential to the circle of life. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating approximately 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in America. Albert Einstein once said, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years to live.”

Bees are cooperative, creating complex colonies with clearly defined castes and divisions of labor. Their level of societal sophistication is somewhere just below monkeys but above Greece.

Bees display amazing ingenuity. Think about hives—nature’s condominiums—or interlocking hexagonal honeycombs, which are the inspiration for BatesMeron’s use of hexagons and the number 6 as brand elements.

Bees aren’t all flowers and sunshine. Sometimes, they sting—and that makes them a force to be reckoned with. For that reason, bees cannot be ignored.

Bees are global, found on six continents. (Still looking for a way into Antarctica.)

Bees are smart. The bee’s brain is only about the size of a sesame seed, yet it has the capacity to learn, remember and make complex calculations.

Bees produce honey, which is (when you think about it) one of the most fascinating things on Earth. Honey is the world’s only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water. Honey also never spoils—honey recently discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs was still edible. I could go on about honey all day. But back to bees.

Bees appreciate. For mysterious reasons they are becoming increasingly scarce, which makes them increasingly valuable. (Of course, there’s also a downside to that—see Einstein’s quote above.)

Bees don’t sit still. Their wings stroke about 200 beats per second, thus making their distinctive buzz.

Bees are immediately recognizable by either their colors or their silhouette, which makes them ideal for a logo or other icon.

When Becka Bates started her freelance design business years ago, she chose two bees as her icon, to match the two B’s in her name. Good ideas stick.

Which then begs the question: why brown? (We’ll save that for another time.)

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