By: Frances M. McCrory-Meservy
Illustrated by: ????????
Picture on Cover: Light Blue Honey dripping down the Yellow page with Honeybees here and there.
Insert picture of beehives under a tree with a farmer covered in netting collecting the honey. There are bees flying around his head and the hives.
There once was a family of proud, hardworking bees who lived on a farm. The farmer took their honey once a week and sold it.
Picture of bees flying over a forest at sunrise with dew still on the grass and pale blue sky.
The bees were tired of flying miles to collect pollen from flowers to make the honey and then having it sold.
Off they flew in search of a new home in the woods where the farmer could not find them.
Picture: full partially dead tree with large hole in the side part way up the tree but low enough for a large rabbit to stick his nose in. Bees with little suitcases moving in. Sunset in the background.
In the middle of a nice forest, they found a large hollow tree.
"My, this will be perfect," they buzzed.
The bees moved into the tree right away.
Picture: Field of yellow flowers with bees collecting pollen.
Bright and early the next morning, they flew off in search of flowers. They took pollen from the flowers and turned it into honey.
They worked every day for many weeks building their honey supply.
Picture honey dripping down side of tree with the bees upset.
Then, it happened. They came home one night and found all their honey gone. Who could have taken it? Did the farmer find them and take it to sell?
At least once a week after that their honey was gone when they came home. They could not figure out who was taking it.
Picture: Little blond haired boy in field of flowers petting a skunk and letting a butterfly sit on his finger while he talked to a red fox close by.
The bees remembered seeing a little boy in a field of flowers. He seemed to like animals and insects. He even talked to them. Maybe he could help them find out who was taking their honey.
Picture of queen bee (she has a crown) with thought bubble. In bubble, picture of boy with flyswatter and her flat under it.
As they arrived at the field of flowers were the little boy sat, Queen Stephanie decided she should go talk to him. She had no idea how the boy would react: he could swat her. She hoped he would trust her not to sting him.
Picture of a little boy with fearful look as Queen bee (she has a crown) sits on his hand in field of flowers.
Queen Stephanie flew down and lit on the boyís hand. She was very still. The little boy looked at her and did not move.
They just looked at each other afraid to move for a long time.
Picture of Boy and bee in conversation. Nothing else in picture
The little boy shyly asked, "Why are you sitting on me?"
"We need your help," answered the Queen. "We need to know how to find out who is stealing our honey. Can you help us?"
The little boyís name turned out to be David and he was more than willing to help.
Picture of different animals and birds showing the different colors.
David exclaimed, "I have it! We can take food coloring and dye the honey. We would have to pick a color that will show up on any color animal.
Letís see now: there are red foxes, brown deer, white rabbits, green parrots, yellow birds and black flies.
If we use blue food dye it will not change the flavor of the honey; but it will show up on all the creatures and on the grass in the forest.
"OK;" questioned Queen Stephanie, "but where do we get the dye?" I love honey," drooled Joey. "I will take some of my money and buy everything you need." "I understand," sighed Queen Ambreí. "We could give you some of our honey in trade. You are very smart.
Picture of boy with coins in hand going down sidewalk to store.
David went off to the store and bought the blue dye. He went home and got two empty jars and a large spoon.
He went to the field of flowers to met the bees. They flew off with David following them.
Picture of boy mixing blue dye into honey in tree with a big spoon. There are two jars of honey sitting on the ground and the bees are on a limb watching.
David took two jars of honey for himself when they arrived at the honey tree. He then mixed the dye into the rest of the honey.
Picture of Boy at home watching the bees holding hands and dancing over his head.
After David finished mixing the honey, the bees followed him home in case he got lost. They did a song and dance of thanks for David and went home.
Picture of tree with tiny blue footprints from honey hole to ground and across the grass.
The next day the bees went off to collect pollen as usual. When they returned home, their honey was gone and the tiniest blue footprints they had ever seen were going from the honey hole to the ground and across the grass. "Who on earth could have such tiny feet?" they wondered.
Rabbit with big feet sitting with blue on his nose and around his mouth.
After storing the pollen, the bees flew off just below the tree branches following the tiny blue footprints.
They saw a rabbit with blue around his mouth. He had been in the honey but his feet were too large to have made the tiny footprints. It was obvious to the bees that more than one animal was guilty.
Picture red fox, brown bear, black & white raccoon, beaver, brown deer, yellow bird, whatever other creature you want with blue honey around their mouths.
Every animal the bees saw had blue honey around his mouth. But they all had big feet. "Who on earth do those tiny footprints belong to?" puzzled Queen Stephanie.
Picture of Blue ants coming out of hole in mound on the ground. Bees flying over ant hill.
Finally the tiny footprints ended at a tiny hole in the ground. Queen Stephanie decided to wait and see who came out of the hole. In a very short time, the mystery was solved. Out of the hole and down the mound to the ground came an army of tiny ants. They were supposed to be red but were all dyed blue.
Picture Ants listening to Queen Stephanie (who is sad) talk to the other bees.
All the animals and insects of the forest were guilty. "If we stay here, we will never be able to get our honey supply built up." Despaired Queen Stephanie, "We must move again."
The ants overheard what the bees were saying. They knew if the bees left, there would be no more honey.
Picture: Ants using antenna on heads to radio other ants about the problem.
The ants called other ants all over the forest with their antenna and told them the bees were going to move. The ants told the animals and everyone decided to meet at the honey tree and talk to the bees.
Picture: Honey tree with animals sitting all around and bees looking out from the hole.
The bees had not been home long when they heard sounds outside. They looked and found all the animals and insects waiting for them. Everyone discussed the problem and called on Al the wise old owl for advice.
Picture: Owl with graduation cap sitting on limb of tree.
Al thought for a long time and finally made a suggestion. "Why donít you help each other?
I know you canít gather pollen; but the bees spend most of their time flying several miles back and forth getting pollen to make the honey.
You could plant and care for flowers nearby so the bees would not have as far to go.
Taking less time to collect pollen, they could produce more honey and would have enough to share with you.
Animals with shovels and hoes planting flowers.
Queen Stephanie agreed, "If you are willing to help make our work easier, we will share our honey with you." The animals thought it was a great idea also.
Everyone went to work and moved the flowers from the edge of the forest into the clearing in front of the honey tree.
Picture Animals, bees and ants having a party in front of the honey tree.
After the last flower was planted, the bees threw a big party. They had been making honey faster than ever and there was enough for everyone to eat their fill.
To this day, animals help flowers grow so bees can make honey. Donít you hear singing in the forest at night?
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