The trailers and posters for each season of American Horror Story can often provide clues for events to come, though the hints usually don't make sense until after the fact. Season 7's promotional material was dominated by clowns and bees, and it became clear in the first few episodes that both would be important going forward. The clowns seem to be amongst the chief antagonists of the season, what with all the terrorizing and murdering they're doing, but what about the bees? What are the bees for on AHS: Cult?
It's possible the bees exist simply to act as a metaphor for Season 7's overarching theme. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Ryan Murphy referred to bees at "the original cult," so it makes sense that they would be included in a cult-based season. Bees function in highly regimented hives, where each one has a role to fulfill and a job to take on. Queens lay fertilized eggs to create more workers; drones fertilize the queen; workers do everything that needs to be done, from making the honey to defending the hive. That idea can easily lend itself to a cult, where one leading figure commands a multitude of followers to do their bidding. Bees work on a thematic level, but they could have more to do with the plot than that.
Billy Eichner's Harrison Wilton is a beekeeper on the show, which is one way bees factor into AHS: Cult. Bees are Harrison's business, but he's also an admirer of their systematic way of life and how they're able to have a place in the hive without questioning why or what it means. His love of the bees' cultish qualities could be a hint that he's involved in Kai's cult, but there's a chance Harrison's beloved bees might be his undoing, too.
Before the season premiered, Murphy posted a picture of a person consumed by a swarm of bees to his Instagram account. In Episode 2, Ally made a comment about a beekeeper in California who was stung to death by his bees. When combined, those two clues could be foreshadowing for what will happen later in the season: the bees could become a weapon. It's possible that Harrison's bees will end up turning on him.
However, there could be something deeper to Season 7's bee metaphor. Worker bees are all female and they follow a queen, also female. Kai is currently poised to be the leader of this season's cult, but if Murphy took a tip from actual bees, then perhaps Kai is merely a red herring. He's a drone; he's not the real threat. A woman in the cast could rise to become the real cult leader this year — maybe Kai's sister Winter or even fearful Ally could become the queen of their own hive.
Depending on how far the metaphor extends, the bees of AHS: Cult could have all the answers.