The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd
Contributed by Vernita Mires
Motifs are devices or structures that are used by artists or authors to help in the development of a theme.
The Bee Hive

Throughout the novel, Kidd builds on the hive and bees as a metaphor of life. Bees represent people working together in a society, which is represented by the hive. The hive is presided over by the queen, or mother-figure. Fortunately, Lily learns the queen bee can be replaced. August shows Lily how the bees become confused when the queen bee dies; however, if she replaces her with a new queen bee soon enough, they will be ok. Like the worker bees, Lily has been confused and saddened by the death of her mother. Through the intervention of the women in this novel--particularly Rosaleen and August--Lily is saved.

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