Queen Bee pecking orders

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beauxyeux

Senior Member
italian italy
Hi,
I'm translating an article which is about a 7-year-old girl. She thinks nobody likes her.

The author explains that girls, starting from this age, are already "networking and establishing Queen Bee pecking orders".

I wanted to know if this concept of "Queen Bee pecking orders" is part of your culture.

In Italian we don't have any examples of this kind and I just wanted to have clear ideas about it.

Thanks a lot
 
  • GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    This is a very badly mixed metaphor.

    There is only one queen bee at a time in a beehive.

    Pecking orders are not things used by bees, but by birds (and especially by chickens), and the term refers to which chickens in the flock are sufficiently dominant to peck at other chickens without being pecked at in return.

    Putting both ideas into the same metaphor (a queen bee pecking, chicken-style, at another bee?) is absurd.
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    This is a mixed metaphor for sure! The "queen bee" is the top bee in a beehive who is the mother of all the bees. According to WIkipedia, The term "queen bee" can be more generally applied to any dominant reproductive female in a colony of a eusocial bee species other than honey bees.. SO, in bee terms, the queen bee is the top female.

    The "pecking order" comes from birds. Again from WIkipedia, Pecking order or just peck order is a hierarchical system of social organization in animals. It was first described from the behaviour of poultry by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in 1921 under the German terms Hackordnung or Hackliste and introduced into English in 1925.[1] The original usage of "peck order" referred to expression of dominance of birds.

    So these are both metaphors from the natural world used to refer to social dominance.
     

    beauxyeux

    Senior Member
    italian italy
    Ok, now I've got it! We use something similar referring to hens and cocks.

    I found a book which title is "Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence " by R. Wiseman.

    Probably the author of the article took inspiration on that.

    Thanks
     

    Rational_gaze

    Senior Member
    British English
    I think you'd have to split the two ideas up, something like "...networking, establishing pecking orders, and fighting to be queen bee."
     

    kalamazoo

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I don't think you really need both the Queen Bee and pecking order ideas, because they are basically the same. I would just pick one or the other.
     

    beauxyeux

    Senior Member
    italian italy
    Ok I'll think about it in the context of the article and above all considering its tone.
    Thanks to all of you
     

    Rational_gaze

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't think you really need both the Queen Bee and pecking order ideas, because they are basically the same.
    I don't think they are the same. The 'pecking order' refers to establishing some kind of hierarchical system, but if the author wishes to emphasise the need to be 'top', then the 'queen bee' part adds something. You can't have a 'queen chicken'.

    If you just have the 'queen bee' part, then basically everyone is trying to be queen bee, and there is no hierarchy beneath that.
     
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