Dazel and the bee sting

Hello Din Din, my friend," cried out Dazel cheerfully. "I see you are hard at work."

Din Din looked up from where he was bent over his garden of colourful flowers, hard at work.

"Hello Dazel. Good to see you," Din Din replied with a grin. "Here, you can help me weed out the wild grass from among the flower beds."

"Sure, I'd love to," said Dazel enthusiastically. She moved to a patch of bright yellow flowers and began to pluck out the wild growth from its sides. "What flower is this, Din Din? It's beautiful!"

"It's a Yellow Dahlia. Dahlias have got 36 species," said Din Din pleased that his friend was taking such an interest in his flowers.

"It's so bright and attractive," said Dazel as she moved closer to sniff at the petals.

"Oh Dahlias don't have a scent. They attract insects by their bright hues," explained Din Din.

Suddenly, Dazel gave a shout of pain. "Ouch ouch! Oh my! That hurts."

Din Din dropped his gloves and rushed over to where his duck friend was jumping around in pain. "What happened, Dazel?" Din Din cried in concern.

"Something stung me! Here on my neck," yelped Dazel in agony. "Oooh, it hurts!"

"Just hold still and let me take a look at it," said Din Din as he peered at his friend's neck. "Oh my! You've been stung by a bee! I can see the stinger lodged in your neck."

"What! Am I going to die?" screeched Dazel.

"No no! You'll just be in a lot of pain! But the bee who stung you is certainly dead," replied Din Din. "Let me first pull the stinger out!" and despite his large hands, Din Din gently took out the stinger from Dazel's neck.

"Oww!" yelled Dazel. "It still hurts and itches! Oh! It's unbearable!"

"I guess one is supposed to apply something to treat a bee sting," mused Din Din. "Let's go over to Burrow the Rabbit. He'll know what to do."

And so an agonized Dazel and a duly concerned Din Din made their way as quickly as possible to Burrow the Rabbit's famous gardens.

As always, Burrow was also hard at work surrounded by his fields of vibrant flowers. When he saw Din Din he grinned in pleasure. "So what brings my fellow gardener here this morning?"

"Oh Burrow! Dazel has been stung by a bee," said Din Din. "I've pulled out the stinger but it still hurts."

As soon as Burrow heard this tale, he hurried off and returned with a clove of garlic. "Here is some garlic from my vegetable garden," and he began to rub it on Dazel's neck.

"Many traditional remedies have been suggested for bee stings including damp paste of tobacco, salt, baking soda, papain, toothpaste, clay, garlic and onions to mention a few," explained Burrow.

After a while, as Dazel regained her composure, Burrow asked, "How did you manage to get stung by a bee? A honey bee that is away from the hive for nectar or pollen will rarely sting, except when stepped on or roughly handled. Honey bees only actively seek out and sting when they perceive the hive where they live, to be threatened."

"I was just weeding out the wild grass in Din Din's garden when suddenly I stepped forward to smell the flower and something flew towards me and bit me," said Dazel mournfully. "I meant no harm."

"I'm sure you didn't, dear," said Burrow in a soothing voice.

"The bee probably got scared."

But Din Din said that the bee must have died after it bit me?" questioned Dazel miserably.

"Well, when a honey bee stings a creature, it cannot pull the barbed stinger back out. It leaves behind not only the stinger, but also part of its abdomen and digestive tract, plus muscles and nerves. This massive abdominal rupture is what kills the honey bee. Honey bees are the only species of bees to die after stinging," explained Burrow. "But don't feel distressed. That's how its life cycle is. Also you were lucky there wasn't a hive nearby otherwise when a bee stings and alarm pheromones are released near a hive or swarm, it may attract other bees to the location, where they will likewise exhibit defensive behaviors."

"Do all bees live in groups?" questioned Din Din as the three of them sat under the shade of a Weeping Willow eating a few ripe strawberries from Burrow's fruit garden.

As Burrow chomped on a strawberry, he replied, "Bees may be solitary or may live in various types of communities. The most advanced of these colonies are found among the honey bees, bumblebees, and stingless bees. In some species, groups of cohabiting females may be sisters, and there is a division of labor within the group. The group may also consist of a mother and her daughters. The mother is considered the "queen" and the daughters are "workers."

"Some types of bees are solitary in the sense that every female is fertile, and typically inhabits a nest she constructs herself. There are no worker bees for these species. Solitary bees typically produce neither honey nor beeswax," finished Burrow.

"Oh! So honey comes from these bees?" asked Dazel, her pain forgotten momentarily.

"Bees are found wherever there are insect-pollinated flowering plants," explained Burrow licking his strawberry stained lips. "There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees. Despite the honey bee's painful sting, bees are respected for their usefulness as pollinators and as producers of honey, their social nature, and their reputation for diligence."

"I feel terrible that a bee died because of me," said Dazel. "I need to apologize to the Queen Bee otherwise I won’t be able to sleep a wink at night."

"That's very considerate of you," said Burrow with a smile. "I believe you should look around in the vicinity of Din Din's garden and you are sure to find the hive."

So a subdued Dazel accompanied Din Din on his back to the Fruit Park.

Soon they found the hive. On request the Queen Bee appeared, "I usually never come out of my hive," replied the old Queen Bee imperiously. "But you have been sent by Burrow and we respect him. What do you want to say?"

"I wanted to apologise for the fact that a bee from your hive was killed because it bit me. I wanted to explain that I meant no harm to it," said Dazel as she shuffled nervously from one webbed foot to another. The Queen Bee looked at Dazel with a piercing look. Then her features softened, "That's very noble of you. We accept your apology. No one has apologized to us after being stung!"

"As a honey bee queen I have to lay 2000 eggs per day during spring buildup, mostly to replace daily casualties, most of which are workers dying of old age," the Queen explained with a sigh. "But that is the way of our life."

Dazel felt better after the apology and was able to sleep relatively peacefully that night. But she did dream all night about bees and honey.

The Adventures of D'Land
Animated Series

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