Bes' primary role among the Egyptians was that of a protector (during childbirth). In the household, Bes was the Name most prominent in the protecting of the household, specifically the pregnant women and children. He is a patron of laughter, happiness, dancing and fertility. Bes is called the 'great dwarf with a large head and short thighs' or as a 'monkey in old age', and is the consort of Taweret . The symbol for protection, 'sa', was often carried by Bes .

Bes is usually depicted as a dwarf facing forward, wearing the mask and tail of a lion, along with a kilt or leopard skin. In some depictions, where He is protecting the family or a child, Bes wields knives. Bes' appearance is considered to be grotesque to the Ancient Egyptians. So grotesque, that it was considered to be as strong of a deterant for evil spirits or demons as the knives, or swords, which Bes is shown to wield.

Depictions of Bes have been found in all caste of the Ancient Egyptians. Amenhotep III has depicted Bes (on a frieze) on his bedroom wall. Other depictions can be seen on the foot boards and head rests of beds (see Shu ).

During the birth of a child, if there were complications, magical spells would be said to call Bes. Bes would dance around the room, shaking a sistrum and yelling to keep the demons at bay who would wish to harm or curse the child. He did not leave when the baby was born either. He would stay to entertain the child. It has been said that when a baby laughs or smiles for no aparent reason, that Bes was somewhere around making funny faces at the baby.