Saturday, April 5, 2014


What's the buzz, and other bee idioms

As I promised in the last post, here's a post about different bee idioms. At the bottom you can see handouts you can use in your class!

1. What's the buzz?- What's new? 

Why? When people are in a room talking quietly it can sound like buzzing. "What's the buzz on your new student?"

2. Buzz with (something)-Be excited about (_)

 Why? As with above, the sound of many people sounds like buzzing, so these terms are very similar.  "The teacher's lounge buzzed with strangers only present for the conference at lunch."

3. Make a beeline for / to- To head straight for something

Why? Before we understood the science of the bee's waggle dance people noticed that bees tended to leave their hive and go straight for the source of nectar (usually flowers) , that is, 'make a beeline' for it.  "When I get to school, I make a beeline for my laptop."

4. Like Bees to honey- to be attracted to something

Why? Since bees are normally where honey is, people assumed that they must be attracted to it. Hence, "Women are attracted to him like bees to honey"

5. Buzz off- Go away!

Why? When you want a bee to leave you alone you can have it, "buzz somewhere else." Hence you ask it to buzz off. The same applies to people, cats and dogs :) "I've told you a million times; I won't date you because you're marries. Now buzz off!" NOTE: This is pretty rude.

6. Hive of activity- Very busy!

Why? Have you ever looked inside a hive? It is normally swarming with bees all very purposefully working. Hence, when a place is busy it becomes a hive of activity. "Normally the airport is quite empty, but Friday nights it turns into a hive of activity."

7. None of your beeswax- None of your business.

Why? This is a juvenile play on words because business and beeswax sound similar. I wouldn't suggest using it in an official setting, unless you're making a pun. "Stop asking me for your friend's grade! I told you it's none of your beeswax."
NOTE: Also MYOB: Mind Your Own Beeswax :)

8. Bee in his bonnet- To be very focused on one idea

Why? Imagine that you were wearing a bonnet like the one pictured on the left. Suddenly a bee flies into your bonnet. Would you be thinking of anything other than the bee?  "First time blog readers must think I have a bee in my bonnet about Springtime"

9. The birds and the bees

Why? This is what we say as a euphemism for birth (including sex). It become this as many parents would try to explain birth by using an example that didn't require mentioning intercourse, hence: the birds and the bees. "If I am not ready to explain the birds and the bees to a child, then I am probably not ready to have a child."

10. The bees knees- Awesome / Amazing

Why? This is a fun one! When I was younger I was taught it was 1920's slang for business. As in something was good business so it was the bee's knees. Others have suggested the bee's knee is where pollen is kept hence making that a great spot! In truth we may never know, but it is still fun to say :) "The new coffee place is the bee's knees" Note: Officially (in dictionaries) I see this bee's knees. I've also seen it bees' knees. In most newspapers it is bees knees. I am not sure there is a solid punctuation rule.

So there you are TEN idioms related to bees. There's one I left off just because I felt it was too easy :P If you think you know it you can leave it in the comments!

Following is a worksheet of five pages. Two are designed for children, two for older learners and the final activity page can be used with anyone.



  1. Wonderful post to read, though I am regular reader of your blog, but this post made crazy to comment and to say thanks. I am big fan of your articles. Keep it up.



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