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BUBS THE BUMBLEBEE AND HER MOST UNFORTUNATE FORTUNATE ADVENTURE
By JOYCE GRAHAM FOGWILL
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2009 Joyce Graham Fogwill
All right reserved.
Chapter One"Help! help! Please help me," screams BUBS in BUMBLEBUZZZ.
Bubs is a worker bumblebee trying to escape from the red pitcher plant's deadly trap. She is tired and wet. She cannot escape; she needs help, and she needs it now.
WHY IS UNFORTUNATE BUBS CAUGHT IN THIS TRAP?
Bubs is a disobedient and adventurous little worker bumblebee. She loves to forage for nectar and pollen in gardens far away from home. She saw the red pitcher plant, and it looked like a flower. She was curious, and she tumbled into its water-filled pitcher. Bubs did not know that these colorful, sweet-smelling red plants are insect traps. If she cannot escape, she will be eaten by the pitcher plant.
Bubs is a member of a small colony of yellow and black bumblebees. The colony is headed by the stern Queen Bee Lou, who insists that all her daughters obey her commands.
In the spring, Queen Bee Lou had emerged from inside an old barn, which was her winter resting place. She built her nest in an old log in a large field near a tiny stream and laid her eggs.
The eggs hatched into larvae. She fed them pollen and nectar, which she gathered from the many wild blue, purple, white,and yellow flowers in the field. The larvae grew larger, molted a number of times, formed their cocoons, and emerged from their pupal stage as adult worker daughter bumblebees. She called her first daughters her A daughters. Queen Bee Lou taught them how to care for the nest while she continued to lay more eggs. She showed them how to collect pollen and nectar from flowers close to home. She taught them how to find their way home if they wandered too far away. She showed them how to use their stingers if they needed to protect themselves or defend the nest.
If they disobeyed, Queen Bee Lou punished them by butting their heads and ordering them to collect extra pollen and nectar.
Queen Bee Lou's Home Garden with
Purple Petunias and purple-blue Pansies and purple Yarrows and pink Delphiniums
One day, as one worker bumblebee daughter, Allie, foraged in a garden beside a bog, she saw a red Venus flytrap. Allie did not know that this was a dangerous carnivorous plant that ate insects. She mistook it for a flower and landed on its reddish purple trap. The trap snapped shut with Allie inside. Allie could not get out of the closed trap. Everyone in the family cried and cried at Allie's loss. Queen Bee Lou became more stern. She warned her daughters about the dangers of wandering too far from home on their foraging trips.
More daughter workers soon emerged from their pupal stages. Queen Bee Lou named this group her B daughters-Bubs, Bunte, Betsy, and Barb. Queen Bee Lou and her A daughters taught them their bumblebee duties.
Bubs was special. She was a happy and bubbly little worker bumblebee who loved to bumblehugg her sisters. She soon became everyone's favorite sister. She was not afraid to forage far away from home, because she was sure that she could find her way back. Bubs loved her family, especially her shy sisters Barb and Betsy, who always obeyed Queen Bee Lou.
Bubs's sister Bunte was the oldest of Queen Bee Lou's B daughters and tattled if she saw another bumblebee doing something wrong. Sometimes when they were punished by Queen Bee Lou, Bunte smugly watched. Her sisters avoided her, did not tell her their secrets, and never asked her to forage with them. So Bunte often foraged alone. Bubs called her Bossy Bunte the Busybody Tattler.
Bubs was pleased as more and more daughter bumblebee workers emerged. It meant there would be more bumblebee workers to share the chores.
BUBS FORAGES FAR FROM HOME
One day, Bubs flew far, far from home. She found herself in a large garden with many flowers that she had never seen before. As she flew around, Bubs saw bumblebees from other families gathering pollen and nectar from yellow Verbascums and yellow Tickseed, white flowers of the Obedient plant, and many other flowers. They were flying up and down, going in and out of flowers, filling their pollen baskets, returning to their nests to empty them, and quickly coming back to the garden to collect more pollen and nectar.
FLOWERS IN THE GARDEN
Bubs met Mandi, a Monarch butterfly, who was flitting from flower to flower; Honor, a Honeybee who was gathering pollen and nectar; and Hubie and Iggie, Hover flies visiting flowers.
BUBS MEETS A FRIEND
Bubs met Corie, an orange-banded bumblebee, and they became friends. Corie told Bubs that her queen bee mother allowed her to go everywhere to collect pollen and nectar. They agreed to meet in this garden often.
BUBS DISCOVERS THE BOG
Bubs heard the gurgling sounds of a little stream as it trickled into a small pool containing water plants and grasses. The pool was beside a small bog in which there were colorful carnivorous pitcher plants. Bubs had never seen these beautiful flowers and plants. This new garden and bog would be her secret place to explore. She planned to visit this garden as often as she could.
BUBS IS PUNISHED
But Bubs could not keep her secret. She told Barb and Betsy about the large garden with strange flowers, the bog with the colorful plants, and Corie and the other insects. Bubs pleaded with Barb and Betsy and asked them "just this once" to visit this faraway garden. Off they flew, without Queen Bee Lou's permission. Barb and Betsy met Corie. They saw other bumblebees, the Monarch butterfly, busy honeybees, and the bog garden. They gathered nectar and pollen and quickly returned home.
Bunte overheard their plans, followed, and tattled. "How dare you disobey my orders; I must be obeyed!" screamed Queen Bee Lou as she angrily scolded Bubs, Barb, and Betsy when they returned to the nest. She gave them extra chores in the nest, forbade them to speak to each other or forage together, and grounded them. Bubs pretended that she was sorry and cried false tears. She planned to go back as soon as she could, no matter how many times she was punished. She had to see her new friend Corie.
BUBS DISOBEYS AGAIN
A few days later, when everyone was busy doing chores, Bubs flew to the forbidden garden. She hoped to meet Corie, but Corie was not there. Bubs was eager to examine the sweet-smelling plants in the bog garden, so off she went.
Bubs saw an ant swimming, splashing, and shouting in the water in a green pitcher plant. Bubs did not understand anteeezzz, the ant language. She thought that the ant was having fun in the water in the pitcher plant. She did not know that this ant was crying for help to get out of the pitcher. Bubs did not know that pitcher plants trap insects.
Bubs flew around the garden, saw many pitcher plants, and was amazed at their different colors. Then Bubs saw a red pitcher plant. She had to see inside!
BUBS IS UNFORTUNATE
She landed on the rim of one pitcher and slowly crawled around the rim of one red pitcher, working her way down the inside of the pitcher. Down and down she went, guided by the pitcher's downward-pointing hairs. Suddenly, there were no more hairs, only a waxy, slippery surface that caused Bubs to slide and tumble into the liquid in the pitcher!
She tried to climb out of the pitcher, but the walls were too shiny and slippery, and she fell back into the liquid in the pitcher. Her wings and body hairs became too wet for her to fly out. Bubs knew that she was trapped.
She screamed "Help! help! Please" help me" But there was no help. Bubs was tired. She had to escape, but what could she do? She tried to be calm and find a way out of the red pitcher plant's trap.
BUBS IS FORTUNATE
Soon a small leaf fell into the pitcher and floated on the surface of the water. Bubs struggled onto the wobbly leaf, but it tipped over and she fell back into the water. She tried and tried, but the leaf tipped over and she fell back into the liquid again and again. She stayed calm, tried again, and carefully crawled onto the leaf. This time it did not tip over. She was tired, hungry, and wet. She rested on the flower until her wings and body hairs dried. Then she flew up and out of the pitcher.
She was free at last.
Everyone stopped work and gathered around the sobbing Bubs when she got back to the nest. She breathlessly blurted out in bumblebuzzzz her fortunate escape from the pitcher plant's trap. They were happy that she was safe and beehugged the fortunate Bubs over and over.
FAMILY ATTITUDES CHANGE
Bubs's unfortunate fortunate adventure caused all of the members of this little bumblebee family to change their behaviours toward each other.
Queen Bee Lou knew that because they had lost Allie, she had become too stern. She became more loving and gentle with her family. Queen Bee Lou often gathered them together just before bedtime to tell them bumblebee stories and remind them of the insect-eating red pitcher plants in the bog.
Bunte knew that she was often mean to her sisters. She said that she was sorry and stopped tattling to Queen Bee Lou. They forgave her, and they all became friends and foraged together.
Barb and Betsy happily beehugged Bubs over and over again.
Bubs promised Queen Bee Lou that she would never again wander far from home without permission.
Bubs and Corie continued to be friends and often foraged together.
A most fortunate Bubs, with Corie happily gathering pollen and nectar.
INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT
bumblebees butterflies carnivorous plants honeybees nectar pollination
red pitcher plant- Sarracenia purpurea
Venus flytrap- Dionaea muscipula
Bog: wet, spongy ground with soil composed mainly of decayed vegetation
Carnivorous plant: a plant that eats insects or other small animals
Forage: to wander about in search of food
Honey: a sweet fluid produced by bees from the nectar collected from flowers and stored in nests or hives as food
Nectar: the sweet secretion of flowers which attract insects or birds that pollinate flowers
Pollen: fine, powdery yellowish grains produced by flowers for fertilization
Pollen basket: a smooth area on the hind legs of bees that is fringed with long hairs used to collect and transport pollen
Pollinate: convey pollen to the stigma of a flower
Pupal stage: insect in the immobile, non-feeding, transformational stage between larva and adult
Excerpted from BUBS THE BUMBLEBEE AND HER MOST UNFORTUNATE FORTUNATE ADVENTURE by JOYCE GRAHAM FOGWILL Copyright © 2009 by Joyce Graham Fogwill. Excerpted by permission.
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