The bee is the symbol of ERSTE Foundation as it has been the symbol of 'Erste Österreichische Spar-Casse' for centuries. The 'slogan' in combination with the bee icon of the first Austrian savings bank was "arbeite, sammle, vermehre" - "work, collect, proliferate". Saving with interests was compared to the collection of honey. The positive impact on developing societies that results from individual financial provisions for the future had its allusion in the prosperous beehive and the role played by bees in pollinating flowering plants.
The busy insect was the ‘heraldic animal’ of the savings banks in general. Most of the European savings banks had the bee on their stationary or as decoration on the facades of their headquarters and branches.