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Why is Utah Called the Beehive State?

By Thorn Team • Apr 12th 2022

The Beehive State

While it didn't become the official state emblem until 1959, the beehive (and the state insect the honeybee) have become important imagery in Utah state culture, where beehives can be found on everything from highway signs to police cars, historic money to road signs.

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Utah is called the beehive state because the beehive is known as a symbol of hard work and industry. The beehive has been associated with Utah state symbolism for a long time. Beehives can be seen in Utah imagery as early as 1848 when early state leadership hoped to select a symbol that would bring out the best in their people and represent the values they wanted to foster in their community.

Utah: The Beehive State or the Be Kind State?

On April 7 th 2022, the Governor of the Beehive state, Spencer Cox, announced that Utah's state nickname would change officially and temporarily to the Be Kind State for Tuesday April 12 th , 2022. The aim of this is to reflect the values of Utahans and their communities, and to encourage and foster acts of kindness. The hope is that this will help further brand Utah as the friendly and welcoming place that it is!

After April 12 th , Utah goes back to being the Beehive state, and beyond Utah, beehive imagery has long been associated with kingdoms, government and leadership. In ancient times, the "king bee" was noted to be able govern a productive, hardworking and cooperative society beneath "his" leadership. Long ago, it was not known that the bee in charge of a hive is actually a queen (not a king), but the diligence and consistency of bee colonies and their workers have been noted for thousands of years across a number of cultures.

Are There Lots of Beehives in Utah?

While the state name may imply that there are a lot of beehives present in Utah, this is not exactly the case. It is true that Utah has a more diverse number of bee species than any other state. In fact, there are close to the same number of bee species in Southern Utah as there are on the entire eastern coast of the United States! This did not influence our state nickname, however. Instead, the beehive was chosen early in Utah's history as a symbol of hard work and diligence. There is arguably no creature more hardworking and diligent at working toward a common goal than a honeybee hive.

What is the Difference Between a Beehive and a Bee Nest?

Sometimes bee colonies are referred to as beehives and sometimes they're referred to as bee nests, so what exactly is the difference between the two?

Typically, the term bee nest' is used to describe a colony of bees that is outside and lives naturally, unkept by people. These nests can be found in a variety of places:

  • Natural cavities such as hollowed out trees or holes in the ground
  • Man-made cavities such as wall voids or bird houses
  • Hanging nests in trees or under the eaves of homes
  • Inside tubular shoots or stems
  • Underneath roof shingles or between cracks in the siding

A beehive generally implies a colony that is kept by a beekeeper. These hives are kept in standard hive boxes or some type of set up that allows the beekeeper to monitor the colony and help make sure the colony is safe, healthy and stays in tip top, honey producing shape.

If you are noticing bee activity around your home and you aren't sure what type of bee you're dealing with, visit the stinging insects section of our pest library for help with identification.

How Do Beehives Work?

The beehive represented in Utah state imagery and symbolism is the hive of the European honeybee. Many of us are familiar with the importance of honeybees when it comes to pollination, as they play a vital role in the reproduction of many plants. What many people are not aware of is the reason bees are such prolific pollinators. It's all because of the structure within their hive. Bees go through a process called complex metamorphosis, which is the cycle of development from egg to larvae, to pupae, to mature adult bee. A beehive is a tightly organized environment where every bee has a specific job to do and does it well every day, without fail, and their jobs are all about making more bees so there are more workers in order to get ready for winter.

A diagram showing a bee hive with Thorn Pest Solutions.

How do Bees Get Ready for Winter?

For bees, it's all about getting ready for winter, surviving the winter, and then getting ready for winter again. They do it over and over again. No hesitation, no fluctuation. Just consistency. The jobs within the hive include:

  • Queen honeybee - The most important hive member, there would be no hive without her! She is the mother of the entire beehive and can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a day.
  • Worker bees - These incredible little bees do all the main jobs to keep the hive functioning, including caring for the queen, collecting pollen, keeping the hive temperature regulated, feeding the brood (baby bees) and the list goes on!
  • Drone honeybees - Drones are the only male honeybees, and their primary job is reproduction. They do no hive work or foraging, as their main role is to mate with a queen.

Unified behind a common goal, honeybees go about their work, selflessly giving themselves up for the lives of their fellow bees, especially the queen.

Thorn Pest Solutions: The Best Local Pest Control in the Beehive State!

We love our community, and we love doing pest control in our home state of Utah! With diligence, consistency and love for our community, we seek to embody spirit of the hard-working honeybee in everything we do. From meticulous inspections to regular check-ups and maintenance, we go out of our way to make sure we leave our community better than it was when we found it. So, howdy to you, Utah neighbor! Contact us today if you need help with a pest problem. We always look forward to hearing from our fellow community members.

About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today

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About Thorn

Thorn is a Utah local pest management company. We are a QualityPro certified company which is a prestigious accreditation awarded too less than 3% of the pest management companies in the US.

Contact Us Today