The bee shape decoration on spring only became the symbol of these knives after the 1930s.
The first Laguiole knives have neither design on the spring, nor pattern on the fly. They were very similar to the models of Yssingeaux knives.
Legend has it that Napoleon would have allowed Aveyron cutlers to use the bee as a sign of their bravery in battle. But in reality it's merely because of an aesthetic reason.
Although bee is an insect much more sympathetic than fly, "fly" is a technical term of cutlery denoting the crushed part during forging of the spring. It's the extreme front of a spring. This part can also be something other than a bee.
For example, a horseshoe, a clover, a St. Jacques shell, a lily flower or your badge (we can also customize that part at your request).
Prior to 1930 the extreme of the spring has always been forged but this date marks the appearance of the welded fly.
Moreover, it is also an element of distinction between Laguiole basic models and prestigious Laguiole.
As you can see in our creative models of Laguiole knives, it costs less than ten euros to have a forged fly but not a welded.
Below a welded bee
and below a forged bee