Utah December 15, 2021
Few People Know The Real Reason Utah Is Called The Beehive State
No matter where you travel in Utah, you’ll find some reference to a beehive. There are dozens of businesses, parks, and attractions that incorporate the word beehive into their name or decor around the state. While many Utahns are aware that our great state is nicknamed the Beehive State, many individuals do not know how this name came to be. Here’s more behind the reason Utah is named the Beehive State:
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It is easy to assume that Utah is called the Beehive State due to its honey production. Utah is a leading producer of honey with thousands of pounds produced in the state every single year. In fact, the Honey Bee is even the state’s official insect.
However, the real reason Utah is called the Beehive State is a little more complicated. The beehive is a symbol used by several religions and has particular roots in the state’s dominant religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
After the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in the late 1840s, Brigham Young, president of the church at the time, wanted to name the new territory "Deseret." This word means honeybee in The Book of Mormon, a scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Bees also symbolize hard work, industry, and community. They must work together to thrive and that’s exactly what the pioneers had to do when entering the Salt Lake Valley in the 1800s.
However, when Utah became an official state in 1896, congress favored the name Utah after the Ute Tribe.
Despite being called Utah, the beehive continued to play an important part of the state and was placed on the state flag. It is the official emblem of the state and in 1959, the beehive became the official symbol of Utah.
In fact, when visiting the Utah State Capitol Building, you’ll see two large beehive sculptures located near the Grand Staircase on the south side of the building.
Now, the next time you see this important symbol, you’ll remember our Utah history and the importance of industry, community, and hard work — the qualities that make our great state flourish.
Pictured above is The Beehive House in Salt Lake City. This is was one of the official residences of Brigham Young.
Do you want to learn more about Utah’s history?
Check out these historic photos that show us what the Beehive State was like in the early 1900s.