bee


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put the bee on (someone)

To ask or pressure someone for a loan or donation of money. Primarily heard in US. Jane's good-for-nothing brother always comes around our place every couple of weeks to put the bee on us for a few bucks. The alumni association of my old university puts the bee on me once or twice a year looking for a donation.
See also: bee, on, put

queen bee

A woman who has authority or is in a dominant or favored position over her peers. An allusion to the (typically) lone egg-laying female of a bee colony. Martha fancies herself a queen bee after her promotion, but she's only an assistant supervisor. You'll have to ask the queen bee before you put through any more orders on the company card.
See also: bee, queen

be (as) busy as a bee

To be very busy. I'm currently choreographing three plays, so I'm as busy as a bee. Can we meet next week instead? I'm busy as a bee right now.
See also: bee, busy

a bee in (one's) bonnet

An obsession, often with something that is strange or a source of agitation. Ever since the blizzard last year, dad has had a bee in his bonnet about moving to a warmer climate. It seems that Mike still has a bee in his bonnet over the criticism he got in the staff meeting.
See also: bee, bonnet

the bee's knees

dated slang Something or someone highly enjoyable, desirable, or impressive, especially in a fancy or elaborate way. Tom's new Cadillac is really the bee's knees! Boy, that singer last night was the bee's knees, wasn't she?
See also: knee

be the bee's knees

To be exceptionally great, excellent, or high-quality. Have you ever tried the pistachio gelato at this place? It's absolutely the bee's knees! I'm so crazy about the girl I've started seeing. I think she's the bee's knees, and I don't care who knows it!
See also: knee

have a bee in (one's) bonnet

To talk incessantly about something one thinks is important (often in spite of others' disinterest). Ever since the blizzard last year, Dad has had a bee in his bonnet about moving to a warmer climate It seems that Mike still has a bee in his bonnet over the criticism he got in the staff meeting.
See also: bee, bonnet, have

the birds and the bees

Lessons about sex, such as are typically taught to children or young adults. My mom talked to me about the birds and the bees this morning—it was so mortifying!
See also: and, bee, bird

(as) busy as a bee

Very busy. I'm currently choreographing three plays, so I'm as busy as a bee. Can we meet next week instead? I'm busy as a bee right now.
See also: bee, busy

busy bee

To be very active and hard-working. I'm currently choreographing three plays, so I'm a real busy bee. Can we meet next week instead? I'm a busy bee right now.
See also: bee, busy

bee in one's bonnet

a single idea or a thought that remains in one's mind; an obsession. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give one ~.) I have a bee in my bonnet over that cool new car I saw, and I can't stop thinking about it. I got a bee in my bonnet about swimming. I just wanted to go swimming all the time.
See also: bee, bonnet

the birds and the bees

Euph. sex and reproduction. (See also .) My father tried to teach me about the birds and the bees. He's twenty years old and doesn't understand about the birds and the bees!
See also: and, bee, bird

*busy as a beaver (building a new dam)

 and *busy as a bee; *busy as a one-armed paperhanger; *busy as Grand Central Station; *busy as a cat on a hot tin roof; *busy as a fish peddler in Lent; *busy as a cranberry merchant (at Thanksgiving); *busy as popcorn on a skillet
very busy. (*Also: as ~.) My boss keeps me as busy as a one-armed paperhanger. I don't have time to talk to you. I'm as busy as a beaver. When the tourist season starts, this store is busy as Grand Central Station. Sorry I can't go to lunch with you. I'm as busy as a beaver building a new dam. Prying into other folks' business kept him busy as popcorn on a skillet.
See also: beaver, busy

put a bee in someone's bonnet (about someone or something)

Fig. to give someone an idea about someone or something; to urge someone to do something. Julie put a bee in my bonnet about a way to solve our money problems. Sam put a bee in my bonnet about having a party for Jane. He put a bee in my bonnet about Jane. I'm glad he put a bee in my bonnet.
See also: bee, bonnet, put

bee in one's bonnet

A strange idea or notion; also, an idea that is harped on, an obsession. For example, Bill's got a bee in his bonnet about burglars; he's always imagining strange noises. This term, which replaced the earlier have bees in one's head, transfers the buzzing of a bee inside one's hat to a weird idea in one's head. [Second half of 1600s]
See also: bee, bonnet

birds and the bees, the

A euphemism for sex education, especially when taught informally. For example, It's time Father told the children about the birds and the bees. Cole Porter alluded to this expression in his witty song, "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love," (1928) when he noted that birds, bees, even educated fleas fall in love. This idiom alludes to sexual behavior in animals to avoid explicit explanation of human behavior. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: and, bird

busy as a beaver

Also, busy as a bee. Hardworking, very industrious, as in With all her activities, Sue is always busy as a bee, or Bob's busy as a beaver trying to finish painting before it rains. The comparison to beavers dates from the late 1700s, the variant from the late 1300s. Also see eager beaver; work like a beaver.
See also: beaver, busy

the bee's knees

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If something or someone is the bee's knees, they are extremely good. I loved this jacket when I bought it — I thought it was the bee's knees. Note: Some people believe that this expression refers to the way in which bees transfer pollen (= the powder that flowers make) from their bodies to pollen sacs on their back legs. However, it seems more likely that it dates from the 1920s, when other similar expressions such as `the cat's pyjamas' began to be used.
See also: knee

have a bee in your bonnet

If you have a bee in your bonnet about a subject, you feel very strongly about it and keep talking about it. Daley has a bee in her bonnet about the state of popular music. There was no arguing with the boy when he'd got a bee in his bonnet. Note: This expression suggests that you think the subject that a person keeps talking about is not important. The expression is considered old-fashioned in American English. Note: Two images are suggested by this expression. The first is of thoughts moving around inside someone's head like bees. The second is of someone who has a bee trapped in their hat and is anxious to get it out before they are stung.
See also: bee, bonnet, have

a busy bee

If you describe someone as a busy bee, you mean that they enjoy doing a lot of things and always keep themselves busy. `I enjoyed being a busy bee, getting things done,' she said in her confident way. Note: You can also say that someone is as busy as a bee. He is busy as a bee designing every production in London.
See also: bee, busy

the birds and the bees

If you tell a child about the birds and the bees, you explain to them about sex and sexual reproduction. At the age of 16 I remember having yet another discussion about the birds and the bees with my father. Note: This expression is often used humorously. Note: People sometimes explain sex and sexual reproduction to children by telling them how animals reproduce.
See also: and, bee, bird

the bee's knees

something or someone outstandingly good. informal
The bee's knees was first used to refer to something small and insignificant, but it quickly developed its current, completely opposite meaning.
See also: knee

have a bee in your bonnet

have an obsessive preoccupation with something. informal
This expression, along with have bees in the head or bees in the brain , was first used to refer to someone who was regarded as crazy or eccentric.
See also: bee, bonnet, have

the birds and the bees

basic facts about sex and reproduction as told to a child. informal
See also: and, bee, bird

as busy as a bee

very busy or industrious.
See also: bee, busy

busy bee

an industrious person
See also: bee, busy

the ˌbee’s ˈknees

(informal) a wonderful person or thing: He thinks he’s the bee’s knees (= has a high opinion of himself).
See also: knee

have a ˈbee in your bonnet

(informal) think or talk about something all the time and believe that it is very important: Harry’s always going around opening windows. He’s got a bee in his bonnet about fresh air.
A bonnet is a hat tied with strings under the chin, worn by babies and, especially in the past, by women.
See also: bee, bonnet, have

the birds and the ˈbees

(old-fashioned or humorous) the basic facts about sex and reproduction, the ‘facts of life’, as told to children: Now that Jamie is eleven, isn’t it time you told him about the birds and the bees?
See also: and, bee, bird

(as) busy as a ˈbee

very busy
See also: bee, busy

a ˌbusy ˈbee

(informal) a cheerful and busy person
See also: bee, busy

a bee in (one's) bonnet

1. An impulse to do something; a notion.
2. An obsession.
See also: bee, bonnet

bee's knees

Something that's excellent. This nonsensical phrase that was popular in the 1920s was, like “the cat's whiskers,” the equivalent of today's “really cool” or “it's amazing!” It went the way of such faddish expressions, which is to say, out.
See also: knee
References in classic literature ?
Some bees tried the new plan for a while, and found it cost eight times more wax than the old six sided specification; and, as they never allowed a cluster to hang up and make wax in peace, real wax was scarce.
There is no room to tell how the experienced Melissa found a far-off frame so messed and mishandled by abandoned cell-building experiments that, for very shame, the bees never went there.
Light broke in the top of the hive as the Queen had, prophesied--naked light on the boiling, bewildered bees.
Many sound bees had nursed on that frame, well knowing their work was useless; but the actual sight of even useless work destroyed disheartens a good worker.
The father held up the frame where the bees had experimented in circular cell-work.
There was black comb so old that they had forgotten where it hung; orange, buff, and ochre-varnished store-comb, built as bees were used to build before the days of artificial foundations; and there was a little, white, frail new work.
The fate of thousands of worker bees - which became the city's symbol of defiance in the wake of last year's terror attack - is dependent on the queen bee, but the pair do not yet know if she has survived.
b ewgp hBo I love working alongside my own bees in the garden and was lucky enough to get a photo of this hardworking worker bee recently as she gathered pollen right next to me.
Yet a new survey by outdoor enthusiasts, Camping in the Forest, has revealed 22% of Brits now only ever see bees in the great outdoors once every six months or less, with 9% claiming they rarely spot a bee in the UK.
Thursday: Crafty Bee day - From colouring in your own bee to creating your own bee-kind hat, there will be activities across the country which the whole family can enjoy together.
The development of a genetic test to differentiate Africanised bees from non-Africanised bees could allow imports of honey bee semen from countries that have desirable stock, but also have Africanised bees.
This year husband and wife team Simon and Caroline Cavill from Bee Good are calling on people to protect our precious honeymakers.
The Bee, A Natural History by Noah Wilson-Rich is for anyone interested in bees, the flowers they pollinate, and the products they create.
The UK has only 638 commercial bee farmers, yet the country is in need of at least a third more to keep bee numbers as high as possible and maintain muchneeded honey production levels.
Teaming up with the British Bee Keepers Association, Barratt North East is setting out to change the way it landscapes open space and plants gardens in showhomes at 400 developments nationwide over the next three years - an area the size of 100 football pitches.