The bee in this girl’s bonnet refuses to leave

Category : Science/Environment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. mammal / ˈmæm əl / (n.) – an animal that gives birth to live babies (instead of laying eggs) and feeds them with milk

    I was surprised when I learned that dolphins are mammals. I thought they were a kind of fish!

  2. perch on (something) / pɜrtʃ ɒn / (v.) – to sit on or near the edge of something, usually a high place

    Several birds were perched on the electric line.

  3. nectar / ˈnɛk tər / (n.) – a sweet liquid produced by flowers

    Bees turn nectar into honey.

  4. attached / əˈtætʃt / (adj.) – having a strong emotional connection to someone or something

    Jimmy is very attached to his teddy bear. He takes it everywhere he goes.

  5. bonkers / ˈbɒŋ kərz / (adj.) – crazy

    I told my friends that I saw a UFO, and they called me bonkers!


Read the text below.

Lots of people have stories about being best friends with dogs, cats, horses, dolphins and other mammals. But in Coventry, England, 13-year-old Lacey Shillinglaw got to be best mates with a bumblebee, and her story is putting huge smiles on people’s faces.

Lacey was walking her dog in August when she spotted a large bumblebee lying on the road. The bee had a crumpled wing, and Lacey picked it up and gently placed it on some flowers in a nearby park so the bee could heal and not be accidentally stepped on. But the bee refused to lie still and followed Lacey as she tried to go her way. Eventually, Lacey took the bee home, naming it “Betty.”

Now Lacey and Betty are inseparable. The bee follows her beloved friend everywhere, including the stores and local bowling alley, where she stayed perched on Lacey for two-and-a-half hours.

They share snacks like “jammie dodgers,” which are shortbread cookies with a jam filling. Betty goes for the jam, while Lacey nibbles on the cookie part. Otherwise, Lacey feeds Betty sugar and water and takes her friend into the garden to drink nectar from the flowers.

But Betty stays outside only as long as Lacey does. As soon as Lacey goes back inside the house, Betty follows. Her favorite hangout spot is the back of Lacey’s neck or inside her sleeve. At night, Betty has her own bed — a pot without a lid — beside Lacey’s bed.

Bumblebees can sting humans repeatedly with no damage to themselves, which separates them from honeybees. No one can explain why Betty seems so attached to Lacey alone, as the bee has shown no interest in other family members.

Lacey’s mother Laura told reporters: “She absolutely loves her. It’s completely lovely and also bonkers.”

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • No one can explain why Betty seems so attached to only Lacey. What do you think is the reason for this? If you were Lacey’s parent, would you allow her to bring Betty in the house and take her shopping? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • When Lacey saw that the bee had a crumpled wing, she gently placed it on some flowers so it could heal and not be accidentally stepped on. Do you think it’s important to show kindness to all living things? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think it’s really possible for an animal to become a human’s best friend? What are good ways for humans to become closer with animals (ex. feed them, play with them)? Why? Discuss.
  • If you could be best friends with any animal in the world, what animal would you choose? What would you like to do with that animal (ex. go shopping together, ride it to work/school)? Why? Discuss.
Category : Science/Environment