Tim Bee was born in Tucson, Arizona on June 20, 1969. He attended Palo Verde High School, where he graduated as Valedictorian. Bee attended the University of Arizona for a time, though never completed a degree. He was later trained as an Audio Engineer at Ohio University.
In 1989, Bee started the Bee Brothers Printing Company in Tucson. He owned and operated this enterprise until he was elected to the State Senate in 2001. After being elected to the legislature, Bee worked with his brother at their company, Bee Line Transportation, until being elected Senate President in early 2007.
Bee was elected to the Arizona Senate in 2000 to represent Legislative District 30. He succeeded his brother Keith Bee, who had represented the same district since 1993. Tim Bee was re-elected three times: in 2002, 2004, and 2006. Bee termed-out of the legislature in 2008. The Senate is term-limited; members may a maximum eight years (four two year terms).
Bee served as Senate Majority Leader for two sessions from 2003 to 2006. In 2007 he was elected Senate President, the first from Southern Arizona since 1974.
Politically, Bee describes himself as a “traditional conservative Republican”. Senator Bee has received endorsements from the Center for Arizona Policy, Arizona Right to Life, and the National Rifle Association. The Arizona Education Association, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters gave him less than favorable ratings.
In 2008, Bee sponsored a measure to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in Arizona. Arizona voters voted against a similar measure in 2006 and the proposed initiative was the source of considerable controversy, resulting in a dramatic last minute clash between legislators at the close of the 2008 session. Ultimately, as the President of the Senate, Bee cast the decisive vote in favor of putting the amendment on the Arizona ballot in 2008. The amendment passed by a 56-44% margin.
Despite Bee’s conservative leanings, as president of the state senate, he has accommodated other prerogatives. In 2008, Bee was criticized by some conservative commentators for being one of four Republican State Senators who voted for a state budget unanimously favored by state Democrats.
On January 19, 2008, Bee launched his campaign to challenge first-term incumbent Democrat Gabrielle Giffords for Congress in Arizona's 8th congressional district.
On March 7, 2008, the Rothenberg Political Report assessed Bee's campaign to be the number one challenger race in the nation. "In 2008, Giffords will face state Senate President Tim Bee (R), whose candidacy represents a slice of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy election cycle for national Republicans... the 8th District should feature one of the most competitive races for the House in the country." Roll Call newspaper said that Bee's candidacy "erases some key advantages the freshman incumbent carried into her successful 2006 Congressional campaign."
On July 18, 2008, President George W. Bush made his fourth visit to Tucson to attend a fundraiser for Bee. The fundraiser was reported to have generated over $500,000 for Bee's campaign.
Bee's campaign was co-chaired by Tucson businessman Jim Click and Sandra Froman, the immediate past President of the National Rifle Association of America. Former Congressman Jim Kolbe, who held the seat from 1985 until his retirement in 2007, also served as co-chair of the Bee campaign.
Bee was endorsed by both Arizona U.S. Senators; Jon Kyl, the Senate Minority Whip, and John McCain, the GOP nominee for President in the 2008 election.
On November 4, 2008, Bee lost the election to Giffords, 104,444 (41.45%) to 141,618(56.20%).
In February 2009, Bee was appointed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to head the Governor's Office in Tucson.
Bee and his wife Grace have been married for 13 years. They live in the Tucson area with their six children (all home schooled), one of whom they are adopting.