This idiomatic expression implies that, if there is a favorable financial situation ( a situation in which money can be made ) people who would like to use such a situation to their advantage, will cover long distances to make the most of it. Is there a similar expression in English ?

  • 1
    The implication of your saying seems to fall somewhere between that of "If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door" and that of "People rob banks because that's where the money is."
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 1, 2018 at 20:10
  • The idiom in the original post doesn`t carry a negative connotation.
    – Beqa
    Apr 1, 2018 at 20:13
  • Right—and neither does the mousetrap saying. Arguably, even the origin of the Willie Sutton saying (which occurred in the form of response to a question: "Why do you rob banks?" "Because that's where the money is.") is a simple, nonnegative description of his motivation. Your saying is interesting, in part, because it expresses an ambiguous relationship between bees and honey—the bees are portrayed as being attracted to the hive because of the honey that is already there, not because they want to add honey to it.
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 1, 2018 at 20:21
  • As far as I know, bees eat honey. As to your version, I don`t think that robbing banks sounds something as non-negative.
    – Beqa
    Apr 1, 2018 at 22:15
  • 2
    Do bees steal honey from other colonies? I thought they were attracted to nectar. Apr 2, 2018 at 1:20

3 Answers 3


Like bees to a honeypot.
Like bees to honey

like bees to/round a honeypot
If something attracts people like bees to a honeypot or like bees round a honeypot, it attracts people in large numbers.
Collins Dictionary

1A container for honey. ‘she always had men hovering round her like bees round a honeypot’
Oxford Living Dictionaries

like bees/flies around a honeypot
surrounding someone or something that is attractive or interesting
Macmillan Dictionary

I haven't found "Like bees to honey" in a dictionary but if you do a search you get quite a few results.

  • Using a biologically equally viable, but somewhat less savoury, natural parallel, there’s also like flies to/on shit (or slightly less crudely, manure). Apr 2, 2018 at 13:24

Although it doesn’t have particularly financial connotations, ”like a bee to honey” is also used in English. Collins lists it as:

Like bees to/round a honeypot

Of course, depending on context, and particularly after some banking controversy, the phrase “like flies to manure” (or another, more offensive synonym for “manure”) can also be used.


Those who wish to take advantage of a situation smell blood in the water.

This idiom refers to the idea that if another ocean animal is wounded and bleeding, then sharks will be able to smell the blood from miles away, and will swarm upon that animal and possibly create a feeding frenzy.

The idiom does imply not only being attracted to a situation where a gain can be had, i.e. food for a shark or financial benefit for a person, but also that said situation has resulted from someone else's misfortune, i.e. a wounded fish or a gullible mark. (If you don't want that second aspect, this might not be the phrase you want.)

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