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Literature: Maya the Bee
It's going down.

A well-loved German book created by Waldemar Bonsels, which was made into an animated adaptation, as well as a live action film. Starring live insects.

Maya the Bee follows the life of Maya, a honeybee and her friends Willy, also a honeybee, and Flip, a grasshopper.

The animated The Adventures of Maya the Honeybee is probably the best-known incarnation. It was originally created in Japan between 1975 and 1979 with a total of 104 episodes over two series with 52 episodes each, but only 65 of these were ever broadcast in North America during its run in the early 90s (with half the episodes in the dub from the first series and half from the second). The series itself has been dubbed into over 40 languages all around the world and has even spawned a number of video games.

The premise of the anime was that Maya was tasked to collect pollen for her hive, but she ended up doing such a good job that she gathered all of the pollen around her hive, and there was none left. The queen bee then sent Maya further away from the hive in search of more pollen.

A new Maya cartoon with 3D rendered graphics is currently showing, with Andrea Libman in the title role.

There is currently a film being made by Studio 100 called "Die Biene Maja Der Kinofilm" which will be released in Germany on September,11,2014.


This work provides examples of:

  • Animal Talk: Despite being Funny Insects, the main characters never talk to humans. It can be presumed they're communicating using some form of insect speech.
    • Specifically, they communicate through complicated dances.
  • Bragging Theme Tune
  • Carnivore Confusion: Many examples in anime
    • Carnivores Are Mean, especially Thekla the spider, but actually they have to eat something
    • Maya helps an insect save her nest from a parasite, although somebody has stated that Maya can't save everybody ant that the first insect also has laid her eggs in an larva.
    • Ladybugs give everybody aphid juice. Is it honeydew or everybody can eat sentients? Ladybugs eat also leaves.
    • Burying beetles and ants are scavengers and wish other insects to die.
    • Birds and frogs usually do not speak and are simply predators.
    • The second season seems to be less about insects eating insects.
    • In the 3D animated series almost exclusively Thekla is bug and predator.
      • One mole cricket is vegetarian and does not eat rain-worms, but her sister apparently does. (Although it is not main point of the plot. When the sister appears, she eats truffle and causes an oak to die.)
      • Birds, frogs and lizards talk and sometimes decide not to eat a bug.
  • Canon Foreigner: Willy and Flip wasn't in the original book, but became part of the main cast in nearly all the cartoons/merchandise.
  • Everything's Worse with Bees: Subverted.
  • Four-Legged Insect: Just look at the page image. But Flip has four hands and two legs and it's even lampshaded in one episode of the new 3D cartoon.
  • Funny Animal: For the most part, insects walk around as bipeds and act just like humans. Some of them even wear clothes.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Maya's pollen collecting skills.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Overlaps with No Export for You - Maya, not even the 65 broadcasted episodes, was never released on VHS or DVD in North America.
  • Mouse World: A world from the perspective of a bee is a very large world indeed.
  • Nice Hat: Flip has one.
  • No Export for You: The sad fate of the 42 unaired episodes in North America.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: In the 3rd episode, a dragonfly eats a fly just after Maya gets to know the fly. It is maybe the only named character to die.

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alternative title(s): Maya The Bee
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