Bees have their animal group soul of the beehive or bee-state on the budhi plane, hence they display a higher level of intelligence than anything else on earth including current Man. The community of bees functions as a demonstration of selflessness.
Lecture coverage and references
1903-06-18-GA091 (p120) describes manas rising to budhi as the society creating principle. Both bees and ants create with such wisdom that the human intelligence could not do better.
Just as the dog can not understand where Man gets the consciousness that he misses, so also Man cannot understand what is at work in a bee-state community, because it is a higher budhi-manas principle. This budhi-manas principle that came down on the Earth was actually developed on Venus. With the sons of Venus, the manasaputras, also the group souls of bees and ants came down. That is the reason why these animal states are so exceptional. They are like the end limbs of a higher consciousness, like the fingertops relate to Man's brain. Our pets and home animals are more individual, but their group souls are far behind those of the group souls of bees and ants.
Note: the lecture contains a schema that puts the group souls of the animal-state a level higher than the spirit land (arupa and rupa), labelled 'mentalplan' which ought to refer to budhi and nirvana planes. See Planes or worlds of consciousness.
1905-12-28-GA090B (p250-251) explicitly states that ants and bees are quite different, and they should not be taken for the same (although both live in a community wisdom)
For more in depth reading on the spiritual aspects of bees, see Iwer Thor Lorenzen references below
A short extract from 'The Light Root: Nutrition of the Future, A Spiritual-Scientific Study' (Ralf Roessner with Clemens Hildebrandt)
.. the light root and the bee are not found in the higher spirit world as other plants and animals. They have been created by the masters of the mysteries in ancient mysteries and their essence originates elsewhere. Both originated in the magical union of self-sacrificing animal/plant beings with spiritual Venus beings. These highly developed spirit beings had formerly been the inspirers of the social fabric in human communities, up until the decisive entry of the I. This separation happened at about the middle of the Atlantean epoch. The spiritual beings behind the bee colony and light root had become united by magical cultic means through priests in the Atlantean epoch. ... .. the ether body of the Venus being was brought in connection with a fig wasp (parasite), which was originally solitary, the astral body was connected with a twining, smotherling plant which was 'tamed' to become the light root. This to ensure a continuing union working productively into the future of the spirit self and life spirit of this Venus being ..
References and further reading
- Iwer Thor Lorenzen:
- 'Die geistigen Grundlagen der Bienenzucht' (1938); published in NL as 'Natuur en wezen van de honingbij : bouwstenen voor een geesteswetenschappelijk gefundeerde bijenteelt' (1989) published in EN as 'The Spiritual Foundations of Beekeeping' (2017)
- 'Metamorphosen' (1958), third part: 'Bees and mystery beings'; published in EN as 'Bees and the Ancient Mysteries' (2018)