Copper Bee Apiary

A garden apiary in Whittlesford, Cambridge, UK - honey bees and their beekeeper Hilary van der Hoff.

The Hidden Princess

Do you remember I told you the story of the Young Princesses and the Wicked Witch, in which the princesses were torn from their cribs to stop them growing up to be queens? Well, the wicked witch left the beehive that day with an evil smile on her face, thinking she had killed all the little princesses. Little did she know that one princess had escaped. The loyal nurse bees had managed to hide one of the little princesses safely away where the witch could not find her. When the beehive was closed up again and all was quiet, Princess Jasmine crept carefully out of her hiding place, smoothed out her crumpled robes and, helped by her handmaidens, put on her tiara.

She knew that her mother, Queen Eve, was downstairs. Bees moved up and down through the hive all the time, bringing news of goings on in the other rooms. Princess Jasmine was the talk of the hive. And so of course it was not long before word reached Queen Eve.

The bees had to act, and quickly. Loyalties were dividing. Some bees swore their allegiance to Princess Jasmine; others to Queen Eve. And then, all of a sudden, as though orchestrated by some unseen conductor, Queen Eve and her bees flew out of the front door and up, up, up into the air! Away they went, singing their swarming song, circling and buzzing under the May sky.

It just so happened that a hawthorn tree was growing nearby, its gnarled and thorny branches twisting up into the air where the swarm was taking shape. Queen Eve spied the tree and settled there to rest. Her bees clustered around her, forming a golden blackness high among the spiky boughs.

Meanwhile, in the beehive, Queen Jasmine gracefully assumed the royal duties of her palatial home. She knew that the witch would return, but she was not afraid. Because everyone knows that bees, just like princesses in fairy tales, always get the better of the wicked witch.

Not The End.

Editor's note: The Hidden Princess is one of multiple possible explanations for recent findings in the Cedar Hive - only the bees will ever know for sure what happened! And as to what became of Queen Eve and the swarm in the hawthorn tree, only the bees will know that, too.

Writings, images and sound recordings are by the beekeeper unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.

Logo artwork © 2015-2019 Susan Harnicar Jackson. All rights reserved.