What meaning does the quote at the beginning of Chapter Three of The Secret Life of Bees have?
“New beekeepers are told that the way to find the elusive queen is by first locating her circle of attendants."
Your excellent question of course relates to the way in which the quotes that begin each chapter relate to the contents of the chapter. What is interesting about Chapter Three is the way that we see Lily making an important discovery that will lead her to the queen bee, August, who will have such an important impact on her life. Note what leads her to discovering August and her whereabouts is seeing the picture of the black Virgin Mary in the shop and asking the shop attendant about it. Of course, finding one of the queen bee's attendants, in the form of a shop that sells August's honey, allows Lily to locate the queen bee herself, as the shop attendant gives her the directions to August's house:
Oh, sure, it's the darndest house you ever saw. Painted like Pepto-Bismol. Your grandmother surely's seen it--you go through town on Main Street until it turns into the highway to Florence.
Thus it is that we see Lily making another important step in her journey to self-discovery.