“Where do bees come from?” the fuzzy bee asked as she ate through the last bit of wax that was holding her in the crib. A passing worker, whom the fuzzy bee had mistaken for her mother, thought quickly. She recalled
what she had overheard from foragers as they used their heads to pack pollen into the cells in the pantry right next to the labor ward.
Big Mama, whom she had occasionally sensed with her antennae as the distinguished persona
passed by in the dark in search of clean cribs in which to dip her royal abdomen, determined whether to give birth to boys or girls, although the nurse bees knew that the decision was based on the size of the basinets built by the ladies of the
community. The latter was a carefully guarded secret among the ladies, not wanting to hurt the royal ego.
Big Mama goes into labor as often as 2000 times a day and the young darlings are fed so often by their foster-moms and
grow so fast that after a week they have increased 500 times in size.*
Fortunately Big Mama does not have to conjure up names for her progeny; indeed she does little for herself but is fed and cleansed by a retinue
of women who hover around her day and night, tending to her every need. They know that should she fail they can choose several of her youngest daughters, feed them a special baby formula and they will become Big-Mamas-in-Waiting.
Every day, for about two hours, the young men of the community take off in search of a Big Mama (not their own, that would be incestuous) with whom to frolic. They run around recklessly, blinded by passion, and if they spot
one they pursue her ruthlessly, often falling exhausted by the wayside until one of the four hundred lovelorn romeos finally reaches her and in an act of explosive mating … dies.
The rest of the guys go home to mama
where the women folk tend to their every household need so that they can return to the fray the next day. Most will perish with their one purpose in life unfulfilled, bachelors to the very end.
Sadly there is
no love involved. It’s shameless, selfish procreation both from the men and from Big Mama who shows no interest in her children once they are ensconced in their basinets.
Meanwhile the ladies of the neighborhood,
who outnumber the men 30:1, go through a series of activities ranging from preparing the basinets for new offerings from Super Mom to going to the store thirty times a day and returning with baby formula strapped to their legs in baskets.
In emergencies these ladies can produce boy babies which they lay in profusion in single basinets, but eventually the village will die because of the lack of co-dependent ladies to tend to their menfolk unless, by some kind of divine influence, a new
Big Mama mysteriously appears in the village, literally dropped from the heavens, ready to get to work.
No, she thought, that can’t be true. Not only is it ridiculous, it’s enough to turn boys off of
sex for the rest of their lives and for little girls like this fuzzy bee to give up any hope of successfully becoming pregnant. So let me tell her how it really is.
“In England,” she said, “the stork brings
baby bees, which is why we talk about the birds and the bees. In France they are found under a cabbage leaf. But this is America, and so you can find out more about it on the internet.”
* For human readers, if we
developed at the same rate, a child with a birth weight of 8 lbs would weigh 2 tons after 6 days and be the size of an elephant.