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I had this book when I was rather young in the mid-to-late eighties in southeastern USA. The book was hardback, very good quality, bright yellow binding with embossed bee on the spine and embossed combs on the front. I do not remember a dustjacket. It possibly had yellow, red, or gilt-edged pages as well. A fairly decent-sized book for a juvenile fiction, although it wasn't actually that long - just the paper-stock was very thick, so the book looked longer than it really was. Perhaps around 100-150 pages? Not a very long book, but decent-sized for my age.
I lost the book when hurricane Hugo destroyed our house, and had loved it for at least two years before that date.
This story was entirely 'naturalistic' in tone. There was no fantastic element to it at all, other than the basic conceit of bees being sentient beings. There were also no human elements to the story - there may have been human artifacts or actions, but no moments of human narration and no humans as characters in the plotline.
(I mention this because much later I did read an interesting similar book about bees that DID have faeries and winter-fae in it (related to wasps, somehow) AND a young girl as a character/narrator?and this is NOT that one - apologies that I cannot remember that title either - if you do remember it in passing, I would be curious to read these both side by side to see how similar they actually are.)
The plot was a simple adventure story - a young worker bee awakens for the first time and goes out into the world - I believe she doesn't like the idea of working and wishes to relax and explore. She gets lost or blown away or ? to become seperated from the hive. She encounters butterflies, spiders and a lengthy stay in an abandoned paper-wasp's nest.
I believe also she makes it through the changes of seasons from late spring through to the next spring, all while seperated from her hive. She finally returns to the hive willing to work and be a normal bee.
Both of your books sound interesting - I hope someone can figure them out, I'd like to read them.
ETA - OK, I found my book, which is definitely not yours. Clan Apis by Jay Hosler. It was published in 2000 and I read it in 2010. Good book. I'd still like to see yours.
The naturalistic description was mainly to focus on the lack of humans and "fairy" creatures in the story.
Check out this website (scroll down a ways) to see the actual cover I remember from childhood: http://www.erbzine.com/dan/b3.html It's the bright yellow one with the combs on the front, and the flowers forming her name. Man that brings back memories!
Funny to see how popular it is in Europe - all those adaptations and reboots. How funny!
Still interested in the other one now - the one that DID have winter fairies and humans in it! :)
The fairy queen has power over wasps.
"Tikki wants to give her new human friend, Jan, a precious gift. BUT -- fairies are forbidden to touch humans, still less make magic for them! The Fairy Queen says that all humans want are favours. And only she has the power to give -- or take -- life. Tikki doesn't care! Eight years later, Jan and her fairy child discover that Tikki is being cruelly punished. They must rescue her. But how will they ever free the fairy from the deadly power of the Tyrant Queen!? "
There's even an amusement park with a Maya theme. (Well, okay, there is part of an amusement park with a Maya theme. In Belgium, I think. ^-^)
Can't help you with the other one then, though, sorry. :( Maya's is the only bee-story I know.
Thanks so much, it's awesome how much this group-mind knows!
I also read the Fairy Rebel, and I can see how I mistook Tikki for a bee - she's just like a bumblebee, all roly-poly and cute and pudgy. I don't think I've come across any other stories with pudgy fae. :)
They're sitting side by side on my bookshelf now, and I've been suggesting both of them to kids at the library.