Ojibwa - How the Bees got their Stingers
There was a time when bees did not have stingers. They were small and had no way of protecting themselves, so all the animals and birds used to steal their honey.
The bear, who was greedy, could never get enough honey. No matter where the bees hung their hives the bears would find them. The birds would suck the honey from the hives. The squirrels and chipmunks found the honey and ate it too. The bees always worked hard and looked every where for blossoms to make more honey.
One time,, autumn came and most of the flowers had withered and died. The bees did not store enough honey to last the long, cold winter so many of the bees died.
At last spring came,, the bees decided to go see Nanabush, the Great Spirit Being. They took Nanabush a gift of honey, in hopes that he could help them against the other animals and birds. Nanabush listened to the bees and told them because they worked hard and were not lazy, he would give them something to defend themselves against the animals and birds.
The bees were each given a stinger. The bees were pleased because now they would be able to protect themselves and their honey. The bees gave thanks to Nanabush by giving him the gift of sacred tobacco.
The bees returned home and they were happy. Soon the animals and birds gave up trying to steal the honey all except the bears. A swarm of bees would attack the greedy bear and send him yelping bad into the forest or the river but the bear kept returning.
Soon the bear learned not to be so greedy and the bees were grateful to Nanabush for their stingers.