Once upon a time, there was a bee called Dan. He had slept all winter and was still pretty tired and cold, but he was getting hungry waiting for the sun to come out and warm up nature. He was all snuggled up with his family of 30,000 bees in their hive, keeping warm.
Sometimes the sun warms up the hive and it can trick a bee into thinking spring has sprung. Dan had learned from his family that it was dangerous for a bee to venture out of the hive or even out of the comforts of the warmth of their snuggle. His uncle couldn’t wait one year and he was sadly missed. In memory of his uncle, the bees all met and decided they would elect a head bee for each hive. Dan was now protector of the lady worker bees and their precious Queen Bee of the hive.
The warm days came and continued and finally, it was time. Dan peered out into the world, looking for signs it was time for him to come out. He called out to the next hive for its leader, but it still took several more days of warmth before the hive heated up enough, turning the crystallized honey into a warm, runny, amber flowing liquid fit for a honey bear.
Some of the younger bees were becoming restless, and it was Dan’s job to keep everyone safe. He explained to the younger bees about the cycle of nature that changed with the seasons. In every season, there is a reason why nature acts the way it does. “Bees,” he explained, “are part of the summer season, along with all the delicious flowers they collect pollen from, like dandelions, rose buds, vegetables and fruits.”
“Dandelions! What are they?” the bees buzzed as they asked Dan questions. Their set of five eyes each were wide open watching him. Dan had learned the story a long time ago when he was a young bee. It was how he got his name. For all the bees, it seemed like a long time ago, but it was a mere moment of time ago when Dan’s Mom and Dad told him this story, too.
“Dan-de-lions,” they told Dan, “are God’s way of letting nature roar to the bees to convince them to come out for dinner and play amongst the flowers tickling them to bud and sprout in the magical world of nature.” Dan explained that dandelions were like lions roaring in the fields to let them know it is safe for them to come out of the hive. When the lions open their mouth, their teeth spike and turn bright yellow as they tilt their heads up to the sun to ask it to get warmer so they can grow taller. The French bees learned that “dent-de-lion” means “tooth of the lion.” Dan told the other bees that dandelions also have healing abilities that can help humans. That is why bees dance with them, to pass along that healing to humans through their honey.
Just then he heard, “Look, dan-de-lions are roaring!” All the bees looked out of the hive through the hexagonal windows in search of a dandelion. They didn’t see just one dandelion! They saw a field of yellow as bright as the sun, waving back and forth in the spring sunshine, gently bending their stalks in the warmth of the winds that danced and swirled around them. Mother Nature was out with her magic sparkles and sweet voice, waking up everyone for springtime. There she was in the middle of the field dressed in a light blue bonnet and dress, looking like an orchestra conductor teaching the dandelions how to dance and sing and reach up to the warm sun in the clear blue sky.
All eyes peered out the hive as the buzzing increased so loudly that Mother Nature heard it. All of a sudden, she disappeared. The hive went silent, for they thought they scared away Mother Nature. Then they felt a loving warmth approach them. Just then they heard the sweetest voice of all call out to them to come out and play. She didn’t disappear! Mother Nature was simply able to move so quickly that even the bees couldn’t keep up with her.
“Out,” she called each of them, by name, to dance with her in the field full of dandelions as they all rejoiced in the coming of spring. Dan stayed behind to make sure all the bees made it out safely to meet Mother Nature. Mother Nature greeted them all. And when Dan finally appeared, she smiled so sweetly. She missed how his beautiful wings twinkled in the sunshine. He humbly thanked her for coming to wake everyone. She knew the bees were in good hands after hearing the lessons Dan lovingly conveyed to them.
The tradition of the bees carries on. Mother Nature encouraged them all to practice, practice, practice pollinating as they dance in the gardens of nature. “Quickly,” she encouraged them, “enjoy the sweet nectar, before the dandelions disappear in the puff of the lions breath.”
But fear not, their seeds spread their love to share in the dance with the bees next year.