Beeing a Tiger

  • People exchange information with each other through verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Honeybees do not possess a sense of hearing or the ability to speak like humans. They communicate via different flight patterns that are referred to as "dancing."
  • Scout bees, take a zigzag course to tell other bees about rich nectar and pollen sources they have discovered.
  • Scouts also may provide information on the location of an animal that has disturbed their peace.
  • There is a story from India in which a tiger, running away from hunters, hid in a cave at the bottom of a mountain where he unintentionally disturbed a beehive. Even tigers are threatened by a swarm of aggressive bees, which despite their small size are a formidable enemy when organized by instinct and pursuing a unified purpose. In an attempt to flee, the tiger rushed out of the cave and into a blackthorn bush. The buzzing bees could not fly close enough to hurt the mighty animal. It was not his size or prowess that saved the tiger, but his quick thinking. Thus, the tiger suffered the thorns but escaped the swarm.

This time the object of the hunt is the hunter himself – a fierce tiger who has apparently crossed some territorial boundaries and is being put back in his place by the swarm.

The painting can also be seen as symbolizing the human drama that unfolds each day. There is a constant struggle of free will and purposefulness against plenty of tiresome cares and distractions. If the bees represent those everyday worries that chase us, at times they may overwhelm us when they collect in great numbers. Individually, they are small and almost insignificant, but when taken all together, they get into our heads, even when we try to outrun them.