all about bumblebee jasper

all about bumblebee jasper

Bumblebee jasper is a rare and unique stone discovered in the 1990s in West Java, Indonesia near an active volcano. It is named after its distinct vibrant yellow and black stripes. 

  • Sacral & solar plexus chakras 
  • Sedimentary rock composed of calcite & volcanic sediment 
  • 4 hardness level
  •  Positive energy & creativity
  • Confidence, courage & motivation 



Is bumblebee jasper really a jasper?

You may be surprised to hear that bumblebee jasper is not actually a jasper at all. Jasper is a microcrystalline type of quartz, and bumblebee jasper actually contains no quartz at all! You can learn more about jasper in this article. A more accurate name for this crystal would be bumblebee stone, although most people still refer to it as bumblebee jasper. 

So if not quartz, then what makes up bumblebee jasper? Bumblebee jasper is a sedimentary rock consisting mostly of calcite. It contains fibrous calcite as well as limestone, which is a sedimentary calcium carbonate rock made of calcite or aragonite. Since bumblebee jasper is found in a volcanic environment, it contains volcanic sediments in its composition. This crystal gets its vibrant yellow and orange color from a mineral called realgar. Realgar is an arsenic sulfide mineral, meaning bumblebee jasper does contain arsenic and sulfur. This stone also can contain a mineral called orpiment, which is also an arsenic sulfide that is very often formed alongside realgar.  Bumblebee jasper gets its dark gray and black coloring from manganese oxides, pyrite, and hematite. Since bumblebee jasper contains quite a few different minerals, it can vary quite a bit from piece to piece depending on the amount of each.




Bumblebee jasper has a hardness of 4 out of 10 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, which is pretty soft. Even in polished pieces it's common to see crumbling, mainly in the yellow realgar sections, which is to be expected as this mineral has a hardness of only 1.5-2. 

Safety & care

There is a lot of debate around if bumblebee jasper is even safe to buy or wear, due to its arsenic and sulfur content. Some sellers don’t feel comfortable selling it and warn people to stay away and don't touch this stone! Now normally I feel that people can be a little unnecessarily fearful about crystals due to the elements they contain. For the most part, crystals on the market are perfectly safe to handle and own as long as you aren't doing anything crazy with them. Bumblebee jasper is one of the few crystals I would actually recommend being cautious with, especially in its raw form. Saying this may scare some people away from working with bumblebee jasper entirely, but based on what I’ve researched I still do believe it is perfectly safe to own or even wear bumblebee jasper as long as you are handling it with care.  

So how can you stay safe while working with this stone? As with many other crystals, the biggest danger comes from cutting and polishing the stone, where dust can be inhaled and be very dangerous. This can be true for any crystal, not just ones with toxic elements. Even a harmless crystal like quartz can be very harmful if inhaled. Bumblebee jasper is one stone you really don’t want to get wet, as this can make it easier for these elements to absorb into your skin and get into your body. Especially if you have a raw piece of bumblebee jasper or maybe even a polished piece that is a bit crumbly, I would recommend not getting it wet and washing your hands thoroughly after touching it. Most pieces of bumblebee jasper are well polished, therefore there is very little risk from simply touching it or keeping it on your shelf. It is safe to handle and hold thoroughly polished bumblebee jasper, so don’t be scared if you have been keeping a tumble in your pocket, wearing a pendant, or holding a palm stone. So while bumblebee jasper does contain technically toxic elements, you would need to have a lot of it inside your body to cause any damage. The risk of getting significant amounts of arsenic or sulfur in your body from handling a polished stone is very low. 

It is even safe to wear bumblebee jasper jewelry, especially if it’s something like a pendant that has a metal backing so the stone itself doesn’t touch your skin. If you do choose to wear bumblebee jasper jewelry, just be sure to avoid getting it wet and if it starts to crumble or crack in any way I would stop wearing it. 



When it comes to drinking crystal infused water, I strongly advise you do NOT mix bumblebee jasper in water that will be consumed or in contact with your skin! Crystal elixirs in general are already dangerous no matter the stone, and this is one of the worst crystals that you could possibly consume. It is also a good idea to keep this stone away from children or pets who may try to consume it. 

For cleansing the energy of your bumblebee jasper, I would avoid methods such as water or salt. The safest way to cleanse this stone would be smoke cleansing or placing it on top of selenite. Bumblebee jasper is also safe to be charged in sunlight or moonlight.

So at the end of the day, while bumblebee jasper does contain toxic elements, with proper precautions it poses very little risk to the average crystal user. As long as you aren't cutting it without proper safety measures or consuming it, you will be perfectly fine. I personally love the stone and it’s always been one of my favorites, but it’s up to you if you feel comfortable working with it or not.



When it comes to the quality of bumblebee jasper, there is a wide range of pieces you will see on the market. High quality crystals will have that vibrant yellow or orange color with very distinct banding. High quality pieces may have black giving it that strong bumblebee contrast, whereas some high quality pieces may be entirely yellow. No matter your preferences, a high quality piece should be vibrant in color with minimal gray. A low quality stone may look muddy, where the yellow is not vibrant and is mixed together with the gray. Really low quality pieces will barely even have any yellow color! 



Low quality vs. high quality bumblebee jasper 


While bumblebee jasper is quite rare since it only comes from one location, it shouldn’t be outrageously expensive. It has definitely gone down in price in the past few years since it was new on the market.


An example of high quality bumblebee jasper with orbs (source)

Fakes & mislabeling

I rarely if ever see fake bumblebee jasper on the market, but there are a couple of mislabeling situations to look out for. 

Occasionally bumblebee jasper will be confused with other stones, such as maligano jasper which is an actual jasper also found in Indonesia. A good way to tell the difference aside from the appearance is a scratch test, but this is a bit of a tricky situation. Since bumblebee jasper does contain toxic elements, and the most dangerous aspect of working with the stone is cutting it and inhaling its dust, I can’t really recommend a scratch test. But if we were to do a scratch test on bumblebee jasper, here’s what we would look for. 

Bumblebee jasper is pretty soft since it is calcite based, whereas a quartz based genuine jasper or agate will be a lot harder because it is composed of quartz. Bumblebee jasper is a 4 on the Moh’s scale, and jaspers are 6.5-7. 

I have also seen crazy lace agate mislabeled as bumblebee jasper, since it has very similar colors. However with crazy lace agate, any banding present will be much smaller than bumblebee jasper banding. The pattern may also be unpredictable, and the stone may contain more colored inclusions such as red that you would not normally see in bumblebee jasper.  

Most bumblebee jasper can be identified just by appearance. Normal to high quality bumblebee jasper has a banded appearance with gray, black, yellow and/or orange. Sometimes bumblebee jasper can even have an orb appearance, which is pretty uncommon! Bumblebee jasper banding may also appear in a unique chevron pattern, whereas other stones like calcite or agate are more parallel. 



Brown calcite, crazy lace agate & maligano jasper- some common crystals that are mislabeled as bumblebee jasper 


Metaphysical properties 

Bumblebee jasper is associated with the sacral and solar plexus chakras. This is a great stone to energize you and bring positive energy into your day. Bumblebee jasper promotes creativity of all sorts and pushes you closer to your goals and life's purpose. This is the best stone for coming up with fresh ideas and new solutions to your problems. It is great for getting the energy in your body moving again, allowing negativity or blocks to be dissolved. Bumblebee jasper provides you with the confidence and courage to handle the day and work towards your goals. 

Bumblebee jasper is a great stone for when you’re feeling down and lost in life, as it brings you optimism and motivation. This stone can help you get a fresh start when you’re feeling stuck. 

Bumblebee jasper is a great stone for working with others and keeping an open mind about what other people have to say. It can bring a sense of positivity and connection to a difficult environment. 


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