Maya the Bee (German: Die Biene Maja) is the main character in The Adventures of Maya the Bee, a German book written by Waldemar Bonsels and published in 1912. The book has been published in many other languages and adapted into different media. The stories revolve around a little bee named Maya and her friends Willy the bee, Flip the grasshopper (referred to as "Maja", "Willi" and "Philip" respectively in some versions), Mrs. Cassandra (Maya's teacher), and many other insects and other creatures. The book depicts Maya's development from an adventurous youngster to a responsible adult member of bee society.
Bonsels' original book contains fewer than 200 pages. The storyline is centered on the relation of Maya and her many adventures.
Maya is a bee born in a bee hive during internal unrest: the hive is dividing itself into two new colonies. Maya is raised by her teacher, Mrs. Cassandra. Despite Mrs. Cassandra's warnings, Maya wants to explore the wide world and commits the unforgivable crime of leaving the hive. During her adventures, Maya, now in exile, befriends other insects and braves dangers with them. In the climax of the book, Maya is taken prisoner by hornets, the bees' sworn enemies.
Prisoner of the hornets, Maya learns of a hornet plan to attack her native hive. Maya is faced with the decision to either return to hive and suffer her due punishment, saving the hive, or leaving the plan unannounced, saving herself but destroying the hive. After severe pondering, she makes the decision to return. In the hive, she announces the coming attack and is, totally unexpectedly, pardoned. The forewarned bees triumph over the hornet attack force. Maya, now a heroine of the hive, becomes a teacher like Mrs. Cassandra and shares her experiences and wisdom with the future generation.
Waldemar Bonsels was a German writer. Waldemar Bonsels's most famous work is the children's book Die Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer (Maya the Bee and her Adventures, translated as The Adventures...More about Waldemar Bonsels
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