Once upon a time, there lived a very lazy worker bee named Beeatrix. While all the other bees were out collecting pollen, cleaning the hive, protecting the queen, or feeding the baby drones, Beeatrix could be found relaxing in the sun on the leaf of a flower as that is really all she liked to do. Beeatrix had become very lazy when she was a drone herself, as everything was done for her and she was waited on hand and knee. She enjoyed living this way, so, even when she was old enough to feed herself, Beeatrix would always pretend to be sick or injured just to make the other bees bring the food to her and this made the other worker bees very angry.
The worker bees told The Queen, Queen B, about their problems with Beeatrix, but they always felt as though they were not being listened to. “We should all feel welcome in our hive,” she would say, “For, without one, we are nothing.” None of the other bees could ever quite understand what she meant, but she was The Queen and you do not argue with royalty. So, they would work, and work, and work while Beeatrix would sleep and relax and eat their honey.
One very hot day, while the worker bees were outside collecting pollen, the hardest working worker bee, Beeanca, looked over at Beeatrix relaxing in the shade and yelled, “This is not fair! Beeatrix is all tucked up under her little leaf while we are working harder than ever! I am hot, I am tired and I have had enough!”
“Well, what can we do?” asked Beeverly. “Queen B won’t listen to us and we would all be in trouble if we let Beeatrix go hungry.”
“Then we must teach her a lesson!” announced Beeanca. The worker bees huddled together and came up with a plan.
Sometime later, Beeatrix woke up from her long nap feeling very hungry. “Bring meeeee some honeeeeeeyyy!” yelled Beeatrix, but the hive was very silent. “I SAID, BRIIIING MEEEEE SOME HONEEEEEEEYYYY!” but there was not a buzz to be heard.
All the worker bees were hiding from Beeatrix in the trees and flowers around the hive, trying to stop themselves from laughing. Beeatrix would have started to panic but she was far too lazy for that, so, instead, she lay on her leaf, thinking of ways to collect honey from the hive without moving. I need a rope. She thought. With a scoop on the end. Without getting up, Beeatrix looked around and grabbed the leaf next to the one she was lying on. She pulled at the leaf’s loose threads until she found one that made a very long piece of rope. Great. Now for the scoop. Beeatrix pulled out the middle part of the flower she was lying on and tore it open. She folded it over a few times to make it nice and strong and then tied it to end of the rope.
The swarm were watching with shock as Beeatrix was now swinging the rope around and around and then throwing it up towards the hive, all while still lying down. She threw it once and missed. Then threw it again, and missed again. On the third try, she threw it right into the entrance of the hive, landing the scoop in the middle of a giant pile of honey. She dragged it out and the honey-filled scoop swung right back into Beeatrix’s hands.
“This can’t be happening,” whispered Beeanca.
Disappointed, they flew out from their hiding places and started buzzing angrily near Beeatrix while she tried to relax and eat her honey. “We did all the work for that honey and you think you can just lie there and eat it without doing anything!”
“But I did do something,” replied Beeatrix. “I worked out how to make it easier for me to get honey. Just like I worked out that all the worker bees work far too hard and never have time to relax, so I have thought of many ways to make all of your jobs much easier. Would you like to hear them? I could make everyone’s life here better if you’ll let me.”
The worker bees listened to Beeatrix’s ideas for their jobs and how they could be done much easier. By the end of the day, all of the worker bees were able to complete their jobs and still have plenty of time to play and, sometimes, relax on a leaf. For while they had all been working, Beeatrix had been working very hard as well.