hive of activity

can someone explain what the phrase "hive of activity"actually means.
can u pls give us some examples in sentences.

does it express the state of the human “mind” eg: busy with thoughts or is it like a “many groups of people doing all kinds of work in a large space”

thank you


Hello Purley,

It’s your second interpretation: a group of people, obviously very busy with different things, in a particular area. If you walked into an office, for instance, where all the occupants were typing, talking loudly on the phone, asking each other for information, etc., you could call it a “hive of activity”.

The metaphor is from “beehive”: the home of bees.

Best wishes,


hive of activity = a busy space

You could use it to refer to any busy place, including the space in your mind, but I’m not sure if it has been collocated with the word “mind” very often.

Here’s an interesting variation on the metaphor though:

“My mind was a hive of swarming gadflies whose stings were my remorseless thoughts, visions of her unchastity - mad, shameful, bestial imaginings.”

The Flying Dutchman

And another:

So while Reynard was avidly engaged in initiating his grown-up student in the ABCs of driving, his mind was a hive of development in progress. There were ideas taking shape, new discoveries being made (accomplishing the tricky task of opening a stubborn truck door is quite an achievement for a toddler) and a whole new world that beckoned to his childish curiosity. … 060100.htm

And you can qualify the original in many ways and to suit your context:

Shoreditch is a great spot for going out with Old Street a hive of late night activity.

A hive of fun activity, there is. always lots to do at the Glamis.

Hide House seeks to become a hive of artistic activity …

Rotorua a ‘hive of UFO activity’

Singapore is a hive of entrepreneurial activity.

Every side street is a hive of bustling activity.

As the Clyde - once a vibrant hive of frenetic activity, reverberating with the sound of riveting and billowing with smoke - gradually fell …

Source: Google

I should have added that the underlying sense is of co-ordinated industry, such as you would find in a beehive.

However, clichés sometimes detach themselves from their original sense; it is now very likely to be applied to any industrious scene.


Hi diva

I often associate the phrase with the word “hub”. A hub is more just the focal point and often refers to a location of the activity.

A hive gives it more of a quality as MR P suggests like those place where there are busy bees.

A busy bee might be in or away from a hive, but could be closer to your suggestion of a single human state/mind.

I suppose too (for a busy mind) there’s the adjective “buzzing”.


And for many busy scenes.