Bee: Team Player


‘What are you doing?’ asked Martha to the small black and yellow creature jiggling up and down on the garden path.

‘Dancing,’ said the creature, out of breath.

‘Someone might tread on you,’ warned Martha.

‘Got to practise,’ gasped Bee, for it was Bee who was jiggling.

‘Why?’ asked Martha. She didn’t know that bees wiggle their bodies in a dance to tell other bees where there are flowers, so they can collect nectar and pollen for their hives.  Bee stopped for a moment to stare at Martha with both of her enormous googly eyes.

‘Do you know how many jobs we have to do today?’ said Bee, still panting.

‘No,’ said Martha, ’but probably not as many as mine.’

‘You humans eat all our honey and use our beeswax and you have no idea of the effort involved in making it all,’ said Bee, wiping sweat from her brow.

‘Oh! Well, I have to tidy up my room and then lay the table,’ Martha announced and then, aware of how ordinary her tasks were in comparison with making beeswax, ‘So, shall I take you back to the toybox now?’

‘I can’t go yet!’ gasped the insect. ‘I have a million jobs to do.’ Bee stood up on her two hind legs and began…’We have to clean out the cells, feed the brood, collect nectar and pollen to take back, tell the sister bees where the flowers are, clean out the hive, go on guard duty and then forage again!’

 ‘My jobs are billions worse than that,’ said Martha, desperately trying to recall what they were.  Bee noticed that the girl’s bottom lip was trembling a little.

‘Thing is,’ said Bee in a much softer voice, ‘we all have to pull together in the hive. There are thousands of us to look after and help the Queen grow big and do all the jobs. So that being without each other wouldn’t work.’

Martha stared at Bee and Bee stared back. ‘Thing is,’ said Bee, ‘We’re a team, just like in a football game or….’ Bee was a bit stuck thinking about human games. ’Or a family,’ she said with more certainty. ‘A family is a team and everyone does a bit to keep it going, don’t they?’

‘It’s not fair,’ said Martha. ‘They make me do loads.’

‘That’s because there’ll be loads to do. Just like in the hive.’