In the morning, the bees set out from their hive. They buzzed with anticipation. Soon, the sweet taste of nectar would be on their tongues. They would then bring the nectar back to the hive. They had to sustain their queen and each other with the honey they produced.
One bee however, lagged behind the others. This Worker Bee sighed as her sisters took flight. They all had the same job to do. It was the same job they had yesterday and the day before that. It would be the same job tomorrow and the day after that. Nothing ever changed for the worker bees and this particular bee knew it. Oh, how she wished for something different with her life!
The Worker Bee flew a mile or so and finally made a stop at a rose bush. Without thinking about what she was doing, she went about her task and in just a few moments, she was on her way home.
Back at the hive, her nectar was received with thanks and appreciation. But as she flew away, the Worker Bee heard a whispered exchange among the other bees. “It’s like she doesn’t even try. She hardly had any nectar to offer.”
Who are they to criticize me? thought Worker Bee. That’s not fair! I never asked to spend my days chasing down nectar and feeding the hive. They just assumed I would do it. Well, I’ll show them.
The next day the bees again took flight in search of nectar. But not Worker Bee. She headed towards the lake and spent the day frolicking among the lily pads. On the way home, she picked up just a touch of nectar from the same rose bush she had stopped at before. She deposited it in the hive and did not care to listen to anything the other bees had to say about her.
Worker Bee spent the next two days at the lake as well and each day when she came home she offered just a touch of nectar. The other bees looked at her in irritation. She thought she heard comments such as “lazy,” and “no good,” but Worker Bee averted her eyes, pretending she could not see or hear them. What did she care? She did not want to be doing this work.
After another day at the lake, Worker Bee was summoned before the Queen. This request was not something she could ignore. Worker Bee bowed before her majesty and waited.
“You do not like the work you do for the hive?” asked the Queen.
Worker Bee looked up in surprise. She had not expected this question. “No, your majesty,” Worker Bee admitted. “I do not think this is the work for me.”
“Perhaps not,” said the Queen. “But it is the work you have been given. Why do you not do your best at it?”
Worker Bee thought about the Queen’s question and offered one in turn. “Why should I do my best when this work isn’t for me?”
“I see,” said the Queen. “In that case, you are free from your duties. Go and find the work that is suited for you.”
Worker Bee flew away from the Queen as fast as she could. She didn’t even thank the Queen, for she was afraid her majesty would take back her offer. Worker Bee was free! She could finally do whatever it was she wanted to do.
For the next few days, Worker Bee played at the lake. She buzzed to and fro, stopping on many lily pads and marveling at all the fun she was having.
After a few more days, Worker Bee was ready to move on from the lake. She buzzed around, taking note of all the different flowers she had somehow missed while working for the hive. She stopped at each one, taking in its beauty for the sheer delight and pleasure of it. She licked up the nectar from one yellow one in particular which looked like spun gold. The nectar was so sweet and delicious, Worker Bee wanted to share it with someone. But there was no one around and Worker Bee suddenly felt lonely.
Worker Bee decided to return to the hive with her nectar. As she returned home, no one seemed to take much notice of her, but she couldn’t help but buzz with excitement at the sweet treasure she had found. Soon the other bees were tasting the nectar and in no time at all, Worker Bee was again summoned by the Queen.
“Yes, this nectar is particularly tasty,” the Queen told Worker Bee, who gloated at her find. “I don’t suppose you would be able to bring us back more tomorrow?”
“Oh, yes, your majesty!” said Worker Bee. “I’d be happy to.”
Worker Bee went out the next morning to her yellow flower and returned with the nectar. It was just as sweet as the day before. The bees delighted in the nectar so much, that Worker Bee continued bringing back the nectar to the hive every day after that. Worker Bee never complained about her job again. Now that she found what she was looking for, it didn’t quite seem like work.