Yellow JuvFic, Honeybee Adventure

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Yellow JuvFic, Honeybee Adventure

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aug 25, 2011, 3:24pm

Hopefully this one will be easier than some of my others.

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.

Many thanks!

Redigerat: aug 25, 2011, 4:33pm

Hmmm. There's a book that sounds rather similar (that I can't remember the name of!), but I don't think it's yours. It's a picture book, largish (8.5x11 or larger, I think); the story is the life of a bee from hatching through her 'childhood' in the hive (patching cells, fanning, etc), to when she goes out looking for nectar, to (eventually) her death. There is the 'why do I have to work so hard' bit, and she gets lost on her first trip out and spends some time away from the hive - but I think it's overnight or a few days, not a full season (let alone year). It's by someone unexpected - Neil Gaiman? Dan Brown? Someone who is not known for kids' books; not one of my favorite authors, but someone I'm aware of. I found it in a new bookstore (store for new books) not too long ago - a year at most - but I don't know whether it was brand-new, a reprint, or what.

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.

aug 25, 2011, 5:01pm

I guess the naturalistic tone rules this out, but the one story with bees I know of is Maya the Bee. I haven't read it and I highly doubt that this is the first/main book you're looking for, but it might be the other one you mention. The summary says Maya gets captured by hornets at some point.

aug 25, 2011, 7:19pm

Wow. That was it!

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: 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! :)

aug 26, 2011, 3:02am

The other one is probably The Fairy Rebel by Lynne Reid Banks
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!? "

aug 26, 2011, 3:03am

Oooh! Yay! I found one! And the one you were looking for most too. ^-^ I'm glad I was able to help! I only know the series from the anime adaptation. I vaguely remember watching it.

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.

aug 29, 2011, 11:33am

5 Aaand that one is correct as well! Yay!

Thanks so much, it's awesome how much this group-mind knows!

jan 3, 2012, 10:24pm

Wanted to pop back in and say that my copy of Maya the Bee finally arrived and I got to read it through again. Funny that it DID have a fairy and some humans in it after all - I had totally forgotten that bit. I must have been really struck by the wasps and the spider also, as they weren't very long interactions, just threatening. I was mainly shocked at how much I DID remember correctly as I went through the story, and how much came back to me as I was reading. It was really strange to have these memories surfacing and then be confirmed as I turned pages. Like an extended patch of deja vu. Freaky, but really enjoyable as well. I have not been able to read this book since 1989 - that's... nearly 23 years. You guys are awesome.

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.