Bees in Music – Side A: “Bee” Songs

It all started with Beethoven.

I could only jot down handful of ideas when I began my Beethoven-inspired mission of researching bees in music for this article. So I dug around a bit and came across a cluster of music distributors, songs and musical groups that have embraced bees in their name or as a song theme or title.

I had no idea this would turn into a two-part opus.

I’ve culled the best and worst of the bunch, and put together an ecclectic selection of videos and links to follow if you dare.

But I guarantee it’ll be a fun, strange, enlightening and entertaining trip down memory lane with a detour into the far side.

Bee Songs

Some of the songs I had forgotten about, others I’d never heard of before and some stuff is truly “out there” in one way or another.

I think it’s only appropriate to kick this off with experimental music made using real honeybees that I found on Gizmodo.

music made with bees-gizmodo-screenshot

This obviously was more successful than the art project involving 10,000 bees in a sitar …and Honeybees – The Musical.

OK. We’ve all heard Flight of the Bumblebee, right? Well, it’s fascinating to see it performed by a symphony orchestra.

And this will bring back memories for all you boogie woogie fans – Bumble Boogie by B. Bumble and the Stingers!

I came up with two different songs titled “Honey Bee” in my travels.

A delta blues classic by Muddy Waters recorded in 1951 and a 2011 hit by country music artist Blake Shelton.

The Blake Shelton video is beautifully filmed, featuring hundreds of jars labeled “Tupelo Honey“. Speaking of which, here’s that Van Morrison classic – with an awesome sax solo by Pee Wee Ellis.


Slim Harpo’s “I’m a King Bee” was popular with high-profile rock bands from the 60’s and 70’s – recorded by The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, and The Grateful Dead.

Without a doubt, the most memorable performance of this song was January 17, 1976, on Saturday Night Live by comedian John Belushi.

Look for Bees in Music – Side B: “Bee” Bands. Coming Soon.

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