As the crowd cheered, Princess Bee and her sister, Princess Honey, hugged their mother goodbye at the edge of the hive.
“We’ll miss you,” Princess Bee said.
“You are grown now. It is time to start your own homes,” the Queen replied. “I am very proud of you both.”
With that Princess Bee and her sister flew away from the wooden hive that they had lived in since they were born.
After flying a long time, the two sisters spied an opening in a pile of rocks. There were several bees working around the opening.
The sisters landed on two large blades of grass and called to the worker bees.
“Good morning,” one of the worker bees said. “You’re welcome to come in for a bit of nectar. We cannot stop to chat, though. We need to get our home ready for a new Queen.”
“When will your new Queen be here?” Princess Bee asked.
“We don’t know,” the worker bee answered. “This is the time of year when the grown up princesses look for new homes. We hope that one of them will choose us. That is why we are working so hard. We want to be ready.”
Princess Bee and Princess Honey looked at each other in surprise. They did not expect to find someplace to live so soon.
“We’re princesses,” Bee said. “We might we interested in staying here.”
The worker bee stopped and looked at the two sisters more closely.
“Yes, yes I see,” the worker bee said and bowed deeply to them. “Of course you are princesses. I see that now. I will be happy to show you around our home in these rocks. We only have room for one of you to live here, though. Whoever wants to stay can be our Queen Bee.”
“You go,” Princess Bee said to Princess Honey. “You are younger then me and won’t be able to fly as far in search of another place to live. You stay here and I’ll go on.”
“Are you sure?” Princess Honey asked.
Honey gave her sister a hug and followed the worker bee into the home in the rocks. Just before she entered, she turned around and called back, “Once you find a place to live, Come and visit me, Bee.”
“I will,” Bee promised.
She stood on the blade of grass for a few minutes longer and then flew away.
She flew a long time before she spotted a tree with a gap in the trunk. She landed on one of the tree’s leaves and watched to see if any bees lived there. Soon a group worker bees came out of the gap in the tree.
“Who are you?” one of them said to her angrily.
“Princess Bee,” she said.
“Well, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave right now,” the worker bee said. “We don’t need another princess. We have several already. They need to find their own places to live. Go away before the guard bees come after you.”
At that moment two guard bees appeared. They eyed Princess Bee sternly and then charged right at her. Frighten, Princess Bee flew off. They chased her a long time before they turned around and when back.
Rather than stop and rest, though, Bee flew on and on for hours. She was afraid they would chase her again. And she was just as afraid that night would come and she still would not find a new home.
Finally, she was so tired she had to land on a flower to rest. She decided that she would take a short nap and then fly some more.
“Hello, Princess,” someone said before she could fall asleep.
Princess Bee opened her eyes and saw a look-out bee on the flower next to hers. The look-out bee bowed to the princess and then said, “Have you flown a long way? You seem very tired. Would you like a bit of nectar?”
“Yes, please,” Bee said. “I am very tired. I have been flying a long time.”
“Come with me,” the friendly look-out bee said. “We have a nice home in a hollow log. You can rest there if you like.”
“Won’t your Queen be upset if I do?” she asked, remembering the guard bees that chased her. “Some queens don’t like extra princesses around.”
The look-out dropped his head and said sadly, “We don’t have a Queen, yet.”
“You need a queen!” Princess Bee said in amazement.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, we do,” the look-out answered. “Please, come. It isn’t very far.”
The two of them had flown only a short way when Princess Bee saw several bees swarming around the opening of a hollow log.
The look-out bee smiled at her, bowed again, and said, “Welcome, Princess. Please let me show you our home. Maybe you will want it to stay here and be our Queen. Our log is very warm in the winter and shady in the summer. There are many wildflowers nearby.”
The look-out showed Bee where the worker bees lived. The rooms were very pretty.
Next, he showed her the royal chambers next to the nursery. Bee thought it was beautiful
When they got to the kitchen, the cook set little cups of delicious nectar out for Bee and the look-out.
“Do you like our home?” the look-out asked. “Will you please stay and be our Queen?”
“Yes,” Bee answered as she sipped her nectar. “Yes, I would like that very much.”
That night Princess Bee wrote to her mother and to Princess Honey to let them know that she had found a home and to invite them to visit.
And the next day the worker bees had a party to celebrate Princess Bee becoming their Queen.