English: Lesson 100.
Assignment: Write a book report.
by Laline Paull
The Bees by Laline Paull is a fictional story about bee life. It is centered around a large colony of bees living in an old man’s wooden beehive. The main character is a sanitation worker bee named Flora 717. There are many different sections to the hive and many different bees. The story tells of her life in the hive and the bees that she meets during her time there. In the story there is a motto for the hive: “Accept, Obey, Serve”.
The story begins with the hatching of Flora 717. She is an exceptionally large bee and has the power of speech, a trait not normally in her kin. The lowest forms of bees are the Floras. They are sanitation workers and do not speak, hold any sort of position of importance, and anyone may order them around. She witnesses an event where another sister ran from inspection. That sister hid in Flora 717’s recently hatched cell. The police of the hive called officers then inspected the young newly hatched bee and it is discovered that she has a deformed wing. They kill her despite her pleas. Flora watches all this and suddenly is grabbed by the officers. They inspect her until a priestess, a sister Sage appears on the scene. The officers report that Flora 717 is too big and very ugly. The priestess is surprised to find that Flora (as she is referred to in the book) can talk since none of her kin can and she inspects Flora’s mouth. She then feeds Flora a drop of honey and beckons her to follow using bee senses.
Flora follows Sister Sage into the care of young bees’ part of the hive. They enter the larva chamber and it is discovered that Flora can produce royal jelly, the substance which is used to feed the young bees. It is very surprising that she can, since only the sister Teasel’s have been able to produce royal jelly in the past. She is told by Sister Sage to stay and work in the larva chamber under the care of the sister Teasel in charge. While in the chamber she learns all about taking care of young bees. She is never allowed into the nursery chamber which is where the nurses take care of the baby bees before they are put into the cells to hatch. She wants to be in that part of the hive most of all because the nurses look so happy playing with the babies. One day she finds out that a nurse has been laying her own eggs and putting them with the Queen’s eggs. That is a crime punishable by death and the officers arrive and kill the nurse.
Flora stops producing royal jelly and leaves the nursery. She becomes a sanitation worker once more and has her first run in with the Drones. The Drones are the only males in the hive. They are rude, inappropriate, mean, obnoxious, and loud. They are served by everyone and boss everyone around. They make fun of Flora and they think they are the most important thing in the world. There is one Drone whom is the worst to her. His name is Sir Linden and he is much smaller than all the other Drones. He is made fun of for being small and makes up for it by being ruder and meaner.
Flora goes outside for the first time when moving carcasses of dead bees out of the hive. While she is outside, the sentry bees notice a large wasp approaching to attack the hive. Everyone runs inside while the wasp kills as many bees as she can catch. The hive manages to defeat the wasp and she is killed.
Because Flora helped kill the wasp she is told that she may meet with the Holy Mother which is what the bees call the queen. Flora meets the Queen and has many happy days with her. Then one day she is told that she may never see the Queen again and she goes back to being a sanitation worker. One day she meets Lilly 500 an old forager bee, while she is doing a dance to tell her sister bees where to find good flowers. Flora talks to her and tells her that she understood where to look from Lily 500’s dance steps. Lilly 500 tells Flora to come and forage with her for the hive. Flora says no, a simple sanitation worker is never allowed to fly or forage but Lily 500 insists. So flora becomes a forager. Some of the foragers die because of crop dusting and Flora is needed more than ever because she is so large.
Many more things happen in the book but I do not want to give them away. I summarized about one third of the book but many more interesting things happen during that time. I would not recommend this book to audiences under the age of 12. The book has many chapters, it is hard to read and would be boring to someone under that age. I do not think this book was boring at all. It was very entertaining and fun to read. The author added as many facts about bee life as possible while also telling a fictional story. I think that the book was well written and it keeps you in your seat wanting to know what happens next. I hope that you want to read this book if you liked my report on it.
Please tell me of mistakes and errors.