The Bear and The Bees

The weakest united may be strong to avenge. A bear seeking honey overlooks the fact that many bees united can make even the largest uncomfortable.

The weakest united may be strong to avenge.

Aesop For ChildrenAesop For Children

Bear and Bees

Milo Winter (1919)

A Bear roaming the woods in search of berries happened on a fallen tree in which a swarm of Bees had stored their honey. The Bear began to nose around the log very carefully to find out if the Bees were at home. Just then one of the swarm came home from the clover field with a load of sweets. Guessing what the Bear was after, the Bee flew at him, stung him sharply and then disappeared into the hollow log.

The Bear lost his temper in an instant, and sprang upon the log tooth and claw, to destroy the nest. But this only brought out the whole swarm. The poor Bear had to take to his heels, and he was able to save himself only by diving into a pool of water.


It is wiser to bear a single injury in silence than to provoke a thousand by flying into a rage.

Samuel CroxallSamuel Croxall (The Bear and the Bee-Hives)

Croxall - Bear and Bee HivesA BEAR, climbing over the fence into a place where Bees were kept, began to plunder the Hives, and rob them of their honey. But the Bees, to revenge the injury, attacked him in a whole swarm together; and though they were not able to pierce his rugged hide, yet, with their little stings, they so annoyed his eyes and nostrils, that, unable to endure the smarting pain, with impatience he tore the skin over his ears with his own claws, and suffered ample punishment for the injury he did the Bees, in breaking open their waxen cells.


Whittingham - Bear and Beehive

C. Whittingham (1814)

Many and great are the injuries of which some men are guilty towards others, for the sake of gratifying some liquerish appetite. For there are those who would not stick to bring desolation upon their country, and run the hazard of their own necks into the bargain, rather than baulk [sic] a wicked inclination, either of cruelty, ambition, and avarice. But it were to be wished, all who are hurried by such blind impulses would consider a moment, before they proceed to irrevocable execution. Injuries and wrongs not only call for revenge and reparation with the voice of equity itself, but oftentimes carry their punishment along with them, and, by an unforeseen train of events, are retorted at the head of the actor of them; and not seldom, from a deep remorse, expiated upon himself, by his own hand.


JBR CollectionJBR Collection

Bear and Beehives

Ernest Griset (1874)

A Bear that had found his way into a garden where Bees were kept, began to turn 0ver the Hives and devour the honey. The Bees settled in swarms about his head, and stung his eyes and nose so much, that, maddened with pain, he tore the skin from his head with his 0wn claws.

Crane Poetry VisualCrane Poetry Visual


Bear and Bees

“Their honey I’ll have when I please;
Who cares for such small things as Bees?”
Said the Bear; but the stings
Of these very small things
Left him not very much at his ease.

The weakest united may be strong to avenge.