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Buzz a Buzz by Wilhelm Busch

Buzz a Buzz

The Bees


subjects: Children's Picture Books

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Buzz a Buzz is a story in pictures from the humorous poet and illustrator Wilhelm Busch. In which the bees are humanized. Wilhelm Busch, spent part of his childhood with his uncle, the Reverend George Little, who was also an experienced beekeeper, and incorporated numerous natural history facts in this story. It’s a typical Busch story, with the usual happy ending.

31 pages with a reading time of ~30 minutes (7776 words), and first published in 1872. This DRM-Free edition published by epubBooks, .

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All hail! thou lovely month of May, With parti-coloured flowers gay! And hail to you, my darling Bees; Much wealth you gain on days like these. From morn to eve a humming sound About the bee-house circles round.

The sentinels, in armour bright, Keep watch and ward throughout the night; And drive away, constrained by oath, The mice, and toads, and Death’s head moth.

At early dawn ‘tis quite a treat To see them work, they are so neat; Some clean their house with brooms and mops, And others empty out the slops.

The architects, by rule and line, Their future cells with skill define; The ever toiling workers these– Meanwhile the Queen, she takes her ease; Sole mother of the winged nation, Her only work is propagation.

The egg she lays; the nurses hatch That egg, and in the cradle watch. The babe to swaddle, and prepare The pap-boat, is their constant care.

All day, in regal state, the Queen Encircled by her court is seen; Their backs they never rudely turn: Good manners they by instinct learn.

And when night comes she goes to bed, And on the pillow lays her head; Whilst by her side her faithful drone Profoundly snores, for they are one.

They send for letters ere they rise; For just at ten they ope their eyes.

The post office is in a flower, Which opens at a certain hour, Miss Crocus keeps it, fresh and fair; The tresses of her flowing hair They glitter like the purest gold; And by her saffron cakes are sold.

Near is the pothouse where both grog Is served to Bumble-Bees, and prog; And when the Bumble-Bees get groggy, Their intellect, like men’s, is foggy.

On rose leaves they their letters write, Here’s one they either wrote or might. “Great Queen, we hope you’ll swarm to day”; “For ‘is a lovely first of May.”

The messenger this letter takes, And eke a store of saffron cakes.

The Drones they neither work, nor can Do aught but sleep on a divan; And smoke their pipes through all the day; Chibouks these love, and those a clay. Such is their life–who would not be A happy little worker Bee; A Queen’s too high for me,–a Drone, Such laziness I let alone.

Now Johnny Dull had once a pig,– ’T was far from fat, its bones were big. To scratch his hide with all his might Was this poor piggie’s sole delight.

Once on a time it so fell out He in the garden roamed about: He chanced to have an itching mood; The bee house quite convenient stood–

His hide he scratched; the bees rushed out, And stung him well from tail to snout– Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! poor piggie cried, Feeling these daggers pierce his hide.

John Dull, who heard the awful clatter, Said, “Bless the pig! why what’s the matter?”

He came,–he saw–, his porker, that Was erst all lean, was now all fat.

It chanced a pig-jobber that way Was passing by; he stopped to say “How much friend Dull for that fat pig?” “Just ten pounds ten, for he is big”– “Done”–“done again”–the bargain’s struck– John Dull he found himself in luck, And blest his bees, and in their praise He chanted forth these jocund lays.

Fly forth, dear Bees, ‘tis morn, fly forth To South, to North, to West, to East; And cull from every fragrant flower A honied feast.