The Ant and the Bee©

One beautiful morning, something stirring happened on the petals of a new spring flower. A little ant had just arrived to see if the sweet nectar was ready for the taking. Suddenly, something that sounded like an airplane landed right next to the ant. It was a big honeybee. The ant became frightened and decided it had better move inside the flower quickly, because it surely didn’t want to tangle with a bee.

“Just a minute,” said the bee. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“Oh,” said the ant, with a shaky voice, “I was just looking around.”

“That’s what I thought,” said the bee. “All of you ants are alike, always looking around, trying to beat us bees out of our nectar.”

“I beg your pardon,” replied the ant, “but I was here first. Besides, the flowers belong to everyone, and whoever works the hardest deserves the nectar.”

“Don’t tell me you ants work harder than us bees,” said the bee. “We’re bigger, we’re stronger, and we’re a lot smarter than you ants.”

“Well,” said the ant, “if all you say is true, why don’t we have a contest to see who can get the most nectar out of this flower?”

The bee laughed. “Are you kidding? Why, I can make just twenty round trips to my honeycomb and collect all the nectar before you can carry one load to your anthill.”

The bee then dove into the center of the flower, scooped up some of the nectar, and quickly flew away. However, the ant didn’t take any of the nectar. You see, the ant was a scout, and as it hurried down the long stem of the flower to the anthill, it left little droplets along the way. The trail of droplets told the other ants where to find the nectar. With their antennae, the ants smelled the droplets all the way to the nectar, and each ant took some back to the anthill.

Meanwhile, the bee was over at the honeycomb trying to deliver the first supply of nectar, and it was taking much longer than usual because other bees were in the way. It finally got out and headed back to the sunflower. But, to its surprise, when it landed, the flower was completely empty. And as the bee looked down the stem, there was a long line of ants carrying away the last of the nectar.

“I’ve been robbed . . . it’s not fair,” shouted the bee.

Just then, the ant crawled out from behind a petal and said, “What’s not fair, Honeybee?”

The bee said, “You cheated. You got all your friends to help you.”

“Well,” said the ant, “what good are friends if they don’t help you?”

“You listen to me,” said the bee. “I’m big, strong, and smart, and I don’t need any friends.”

“If that is what you really think,” replied the ant, “you’re not so smart. And since ants can pick up many times their own weight, you don’t seem so strong. And come to think of it, compared to that hummingbird over there, you’re not so big either.”

Hearing this, the bee got angry and reared up its big stinger!

“And one more thing,” said the ant. “If you have to use your stinger every time you get angry, you’ll never know what it is like to have friends.”

AntAnt Good friends are such a pleasure;
They are truly life's real treasure.