Seaside and Wayside, Book One  by Julia McNair Wright

The Bee War

A FTER the old queen goes out in a rage, what do the rest of the bees do? They all keep still, but they look toward the cells where the new queens sing. Then one new queen breaks off the lid of her cell and comes out.

She lifts her head, spreads her wings, dries her legs. Her legs are like gold. Her dress is velvet and gold. She is fine!

The bees fan her and feed her. But just then a cell near by opens, and out comes one more new queen!

This will not do. Two queens do not live in one hive. When the two queens see each other, they rush together and begin to fight.

If they stop the fight to rest, the work bees make them keep on. At last one of them stings the other near the wing, and kills her.


Battle Royal

Then this strong queen runs to the other cells, where the baby queens lie. She tears off the wax lids and stings each new queen bee. Then it dies.

Now the strong queen is the one true queen of the hive. Her rage is at an end. The bees come to her and touch her.

They are proud of their fine, new queen, and love her. They carry out all the dead bees from the hive, and in great joy build new cells.

The queen bee leaves the hive but twice. A few weeks after she is made queen, the work bees let her go out once into the sun and air. But her wings are very small. She cannot fly far.

She has no bag for dust. She does not need to get honey. All she has to do is to come home and lay eggs.

She does not go out again until the next year. Then she leads off a swarm of old bees, and leaves the hive to the next new queen bee.