The Bee-Team – Awakening

This story took place at a time when animals and humans lived peacefully together. A paradise full of hares, deer, bears, hedgehogs and foxes, full of wild bees, bumblebees, butterflies and birds. Full of chirping, humming and buzzing. These nature nurseries lay beautifully right next to human communities, they merged into each other, respected each other – in absolute harmony. But then people changed. They took the flowers out of their gardens, some replaced them with stones and concrete.

Beautiful green spaces were covered more and more by newly built houses. But it got much worse: to increase the harvest, farmers sprayed poison on the fields, ploughed the last open spaces, taking the last habitat. People cut down trees, drove too many cars, built too many factories, causing temperatures to rise – this led to droughts and forest fires all over the world. And this is what happened to the Tumbawunda Valley too.

Read the magical story of how the animals fought back and how they changed the destiny of the earth at the same time. They were not alone.

This is a reading sample. If you like the story, the butterflies would be happy if you bought the book!

The Bee-Team – Awakening

The warm wind was blowing over the stems like a honeyed caress of the soul. The fresh fragrance of spring was drifting into every corner of the field. While one season came to an end, the next season was coming to life. Winter was fading everywhere, having lost its battle; life was defeating the deadly cold all over the Tumbawunda Valley. Spring was here at last! Green was pushing through the brown. Surprisingly, there had already been a brief glimpse of summer in February with temperatures up to 30 degrees, but that had disappeared again as quickly as it had come. The winter weather was going crazy. Strange times! But now the small white clouds seemed to be playing with the blue of the sky. The temperatures at night were already constantly above ten degrees and the daytime temperature was also quite high at times. The second heatwave of the year was already on its way, but it was clear to everybody that there was now no going back into winter. Here a rustle, there a wobble. Rabbits were plucking at their tails; hedgehogs were shaking the leaves from their spines.

Ladybirds, small firebugs, grasshoppers, all species of insects: the wild bees, the bumblebees, the butterflies and everything else that crawled or fluttered were once again taking control of meadows and fields with the wild animals. A feeling was coming over every living creature, as if you could already smell the lavender, taste the strawberries and see cherries, apples and plums deliciously dangling from the branches. Glorious, just glorious. And already the magic of nature was unfolding on this field that was waking out of its hibernation. For the first time this year, the sun’s rays hit the beehive of Queen Majesta, the 723rd, and her people. It hung royally from an almost 1000-year-old lime tree: a golden palace, with golden walls, golden floors, simply everything here seemed to be golden. It was not surprising that they were the largest wild bee tribe on this field. Glorious, just glorious. She stretched and stretched, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Tiredly, she yawned, but realised that her sleep was over. Majesta wiggled her bottom one more time, stretched her legs and then looked at the bedside table next to her four-poster bed.

There it was: her golden crown. She swung her legs out of bed, grabbed her sparkling pride and joy … and hey presto … placed it on her head. „Let’s go and welcome spring,“ she grinned and winked at herself in the mirror. She stood in front of her reflection checking that her black and yellow stripes were all in the right place. „Yes, ma’am.“ There was already a knock at the door. Majesta saluted herself with a broad grin, and then walked energetically to the door, but the knocking became louder and louder. „Alright, alright, hold on, I’m coming,“ she whispered. She knew it could only be Lavendula, her most diligent servant and advisor. She was probably already so impatient that she just couldn’t wait for the hive to come back to life. Knock! Knock! Knock! What on earth was up with her? Lavendula didn’t usually make such a fuss! Majesta had almost reached the door and was wondering if everything was OK? With a well-aimed grasp, she opened the door and looked not into the face of her faithful servant Lavendula, but into the panic-stricken eyes of big Bertha, her highest ranking general. Actually, she was a force to reckon with, nobody wanted to mess with her or her sting. Almost 30 medals were pinned to her chest. Among them was the Iron Thorn, the highest honour a soldier could receive. Wow! Yes, it was reported that she had even defeated a sea eagle in flight and had frightened the life out of a bear. She had defeated him all by herself when he had tried to get his hands on her honey. As the story goes, the bear had fled for all to witness when the reinforcements arrived. But now this strong bee was as white as a sheet, standing in front of her looking like a ghost. Big Bertha gathered all her strength and opened her mouth, but not a single word came out. She was speechless. Totally terrified. Majesta realised that Big Bertha was in shock and that really worried her. „Bertha, what’s wrong?“ Queen Majesta suddenly started to shake, as if her body already knew that what was about to come would be anything but good news. Big Bertha tried to start again, took a deep breath, clung weakly to the door frame and let out the earth-shattering news. „Dead, my Queen, most of them are dead!“ Of the 30,000 bees that had gone into hibernation with her, only a few hundred had survived. And they too were weak, very weak. They had run out of food! They hadn’t been able to gather enough pollen and nectar during the previous season. Only the crops that the farmer had planted in spring had been any good to them. And the people in the residential area bordering the field either had no flowers at all in their gardens, or they had flowers that looked beautiful but didn’t provide pollen and nectar as food.



Some of the neighbours had even completely removed the greenery and put stones in its place. Front gardens with lifeless rockeries had become fashionable! Queen Majesta and her staff of advisors had known before going into hibernation that there was not much in the storerooms – but they had hoped that it would be enough to see them through the winter. They simply hadn’t managed to collect any more. What else could they have done? Majesta started to feel dizzy, she no longer knew which way was up or which way was down, which way was right or left. They seemed to be on the brink of disaster without any way out. Her vision became blurred. Most of the colony of Queen Majesta, the 723rd, the wild honeybees from the Tumbawunda Valley had died over the winter. But there was even worse to come. „Your Majesty, that’s not all.“ Not all? Majesta heard the voice of Big Bertha echoing as if it were far away. The words only sunk in slowly. Not all? What else could there be? „Outside our gates, the delegates of other wild bee species are waiting and asking to be let in. They want pollen, nectar and water.“ She looked into countless pairs of eyes, which all looked dull, desperate and exhausted. The front row was made up of mason bees, carpenter bees, sand bees, bumblebees, large earth bumblebees, and red-tailed bumblebees. Behind them were many, many more representatives of various species of wild bees and bumblebees. At the edge of the field, by the old lime tree in the Tumbawunda Valley, there was hardship! Great need! Famine! Drought! Thirst! Queen Majesta felt powerless. She had no idea what to do. After all, her relatives needed help, but there was nothing they could do. „I … “ she said, but immediately stopped. The representatives of the wild bees stood weakly in front of her either on crutches or supporting one another. Some of them were trembling and coughing, others were no longer able to fly. „It is a miracle that they survived the winter at all,“ Majesta thought. But she had enough problems of her own. Actually, that was an understatement. Queen Majesta had tears in her eyes. This was no longer her kingdom. Perhaps she was just having a dream, a really bad one, a nightmare … and she would hopefully wake up soon! Three, two, one … she pinched herself, but nothing happened. The smell of spring filled the air – but her relatives were standing in front of her, hungry and thirsty. What was she meant to do? She had been the most powerful queen of the largest wild bee colony in the field, but that was now history.

They were in dire need. „Majesta, give us pollen and nectar!“ whispered a weak bee to her. A desperate request. The suffering in her eyes was obvious. That look, that awful look. The mere presence of Big Bertha standing beside her gave Majesta the strength to carry on. „Please give us some honey and water, at least! You have plenty, after all!“ a little voice now croaked from behind. And then the next one called: „Yes, give us honey, you are the greatest colony in this field!“ Hopeful looks were directed towards her. They were expecting her to have honey, she just had to have some! Slowly Queen Majesta started to feel nervous. She felt pain in her soul. She had walked through her golden palace and had seen the devastation with her own eyes. Her heart bled, because her corridors were empty. Thousands of her bee children everywhere should have been waking up slowly from their sleep, breathing life into this wonderful royal residence. But almost nothing had happened. Only here and there some workers, a few servants and soldiers were dragging themselves through the corridors. The remaining food had just been enough for them. They had been the ones to find their siblings – dead. Having starved to death over the winter. And she, Majesta, had seen it with her own eyes. Her stores were completely empty. „I … “ Majesta raised her arms. „We … “ she said, but then a shadow fell on everyone present, in the airy height, by the lime tree, in front of the golden doorway to the golden palace. The shadow became larger and larger, wider and wider. Birds! The first bees cried out, „Save yourselves, if you can!“ Majesta was already waving everyone into the palace, so that they could find shelter, but Big Bertha was blocking their way! Soldiers joined her and formed a barrier! They wouldn’t let anyone through! What?! What a betrayal! They were all going to be lost and be eaten by the winged brigands! Treason! „Your Highness, fear not!“ said a gentle, soft voice in front of her. Big Bertha’s voice sounded so calm, so sure, so reassuring. The wild bees couldn’t help themselves, they stopped in surprise. They realised that the birds were not coming to attack, rather they were settling in the branches, keeping their distance. Majesta was speechless, she couldn’t believe her eyes. She looked straight into the frightened eyes of robins, tits, blackbirds, wrens, greenfinches, sparrows, a full flock of them. She didn’t understand. Huh? „Don’t worry,“ Big Bertha patted her shoulder reassuringly. More and more birds were coming to settle in the old lime tree and it looked like there were also a few blue fireflies too.

Within less than a minute, there was no room left in the branches of the old lime tree. Everything in the Tumbawunda Valley that was able to fly was here. „What is this all about?“ Queen Majesta looked to her supreme general, Big Bertha in confusion. She was smiling with a wisdom that very few have. „Look at what’s happening on the ground too,“ she advised her and pointed with her finger. The morning sun was slowly rising. Down at the very bottom of the field, alert observers were able to see one small and one slightly larger dot moving in a garden. The sun’s rays were just breaking through a white fluffy cloud as if shining a spotlight on the moving points in the garden of the house at the edge of the field. It was almost as if the sun’s rays were magically forming two arrows pointing into that garden. Majesta’s gaze was fixed on the horizon. „Look down, my Queen,“ General Bertha touched her gently and pulled her out of her daze. Majesta did as she was asked and could no longer contain her amazement. All the wild animals of the field had gathered there: countless pairs of hares and rabbits, partridges, field hamsters, mice, grasshoppers, hedgehogs, deer, frogs and so, so many more.

And was that a panda over there? Majesta rubbed her eyes. When the panda saw her, he waved happily, scratched his head, wondering. Then he toppled over to one side, to take a little snooze.


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