The Bee People  by Margaret Warner Morley


Ambrosia and Nectar

O F course no one, not even Miss Apis nor the lovely Venus herself, could live entirely upon nectar.

We know that the gods and goddesses, when they had a party on Mount Olympus, always had ambrosia as well as nectar.

They sat around and had it passed to them by the graceful goddess Hebe. She was as beautiful as the springtime, and I have no doubt they often ate and drank more than was good for them, just for the sake of having her bring them one more cup of nectar or one more slice of ambrosia.

The nectar of the gods was like honey; some say that nine-tenths of it was honey.

Just what ambrosia was, I am not able to say, but I suppose it was like the best bread that ever was made on earth, only a great deal better; and like the most delicious cake that ever was concocted for Christmas time, only a great deal more delicious; and like all the bonbons and good things rolled into one, only a great deal sweeter and finer than anything we can possibly imagine.

Miss Apis, too, takes ambrosia with her nectar, though hers is not at all like that of the gods and goddesses. She gets it from the flowers, and is very fond of it. Though we do not agree with her concerning the excellence of her feast. But then we might not like the ambrosia the gods were fond of. Tastes differ. Her ambrosia just suits Mill Apis. In fact, she finds it so much to her mind that she seldom eats anything else. She drinks nectar and eats ambrosia. Her nectar is the sweet juice of the flowers, and her ambrosia is the pollen of the flowers, —a very precious ambrosia indeed.

Miss Apis not only eats all she wants when she visits the flowers, but she mixes nectar and pollen together and carries them away with her.

She is able to do this for she always carries baskets on purpose. She never yet was known to go away from home and forget to take her pollen baskets.