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Other questions have asked about the significance of the bees and only pointed to symbolism but offered nothing as to what the bees symbolize. Or than the director has bees in the future as a nod to life continuing, etc. This question regards the specific interaction of K with the the bees.

When K sticks his hand into the hive he ponders a reaction for a quick moment before suddenly turning left to the hotel where Deckard has been hiding as if to say, "So there you are." It's filmed and acted as though the bees are giving K information on why he is there, Deckard's location.
I refuse to think that it is just happy film coincidence or common sense that whoever is farming these bees must live close by.. Why stick his hand in the hive then? Is he downloading information from the hive? Something happens there and the film makes a point to say so... or at least make me think something happens. It is this small gesture by K that always leaves me guessing about the bee hives scene below:

  • Possible duplicate of Why are there honeybees in Blade Runner 2049? – NKCampbell Sep 14 '18 at 18:41
  • this question is unnecessary as it can be answered by the existing question re: bees that already has 9 upvotes. – NKCampbell Sep 14 '18 at 18:42
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    This question is not answered or mentioned in any of the referenced existing questions. – manik1 Sep 14 '18 at 18:53
  • It is implicit in the question "why are there honeybees?" imo – NKCampbell Sep 14 '18 at 19:03
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    I'm not sure how these could possibly be considered duplicates. The linked question doesn't discuss their purpose nor whether K got information from them anywhere. I have voted to leave these questions open. – Edlothiad Sep 14 '18 at 19:04
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Yes and no. K does not actually literally communicate with the bees, but their mere presence is enough to inform him that Deckard (or at least, someone) must be nearby.

This is just an educated guess, but my assumption is that when he sticks his hand into the hive, it's to see whether the bees will sting him. When they do not, he knows that they are domesticated, and therefore, someone must be looking after them. It makes sense for that person to be nearby - it's not safe to travel too far in such an irradiated wasteland - so he checks the nearest building. He can't be sure that the person is in there, and he certainly can't be sure that it's Deckard, but it can't hurt to check - and sure enough, he does in fact find Deckard there.

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    Do you have any information that bees can be "domesticated" and not sting humans. AFAIA all beekeepers gas their bees before extracting honey. – Edlothiad Sep 14 '18 at 19:05
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    Damn, I can understand how this is plausible. Sounds almost too practical as I tend to think that replicants possess unspoken abilities but, yes, most likely just another scene of mild detective work indicative of K. – manik1 Sep 14 '18 at 19:25
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I think it's safe to say that K definitely picks up some kind of information, when he places his hand into the hive.

First of all I thought he might just be being inquisitive, as he may never have seen bees before & was attracted to the rythm of the hum or something coming from the hive. But when K looks up from the hive, that is definitely a look of yes, these hives must have been placed here by someone.

But you also definitely get a strong feeling that K has interpreted or has picked up some information coming from the bees.

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