When I’m thinking of ideas of what to write about next in our columns, one thing I try to do in search of inspiration is keep track of days of celebration or national awareness. You’ll find that there are a lot of fun and obscure ones out there when you actively look for them, which is why recently I came across “Don’t Step On a Bee Day”.
Perhaps it was the fact that I’d never heard of it before, or that it sounded so oddly specific, but I was intrigued instantly, and reading about it got me thinking about a particular Zelda game.
Princess Zelda’s Study is a series where we examine the history of The Legend of Zelda to bring you some fascinating (or just plain silly) trivia. In our studies, we’ll explore each game’s development, curiosities within the rich lore of the franchise, and the impact it has had on our culture. From time to time, we’ll also look at Nintendo’s past to unearth some facts about our favorite company.
The fact is that a lot of people won’t hesitate to step on a bee they find on the ground. After all, a common first response to a bee is fear, which leads to defensive action. Unfortunately, it’s occurrences like this that only serves to worsen the endangerment of nature’s incredible little powerhouses.
There is a similar conflict in video games, where bees are often portrayed as an enemy. In Animal Crossing, bees will shred your villager’s face after shaking the wrong tree, and they are a formidable foe in the Donkey Kong Country series. A Link to the Past, however, is notable for allowing bees to ally with the game’s protagonist.
Sure, upon finding them in bushes or trees, bees will initially be hostile towards Link and can cause him damage. However, equipped with the Bug-Catching Net and an empty bottle, you can capture a bee and turn it into a useful companion. Upon release, the bee will attack enemies on Link’s behalf.
Anyone who has tried out this overlooked feature will know it’s a very short-lived alliance, of course, as the bee will fly away to freedom before very long. Which brings us to the subject of today’s trivia topic: the Good Bee.
Just as A Link to the Past‘s Good Bee proves helpful to Link, real bees are crucial to us in so many ways
Found in the Ice Cave’s Fairy Fountain (directions available in our guide), the sparkling Good Bee will remain by Link’s side for much longer than a regular bee, making it easier to recapture and reuse in the next combat encounter.
In the original SNES version of A Link to the Past, the “Good Bee” name was actually a mistranslation. It was supposed to be called the “Golden Bee”, which was later fixed in the GBA port. In the sequel A Link Between Worlds, the creature also reappeared under its corrected name.
Though it was formed from error, I’m fond of the name “Good Bee”. After all, bees in real life are very good to us, more so than we may realize. They pollinate our food crops and trees, boost our economy and inspire many projects in science and philosophy. Just as A Link to the Past‘s Good Bee proves helpful to Link, real bees are crucial to us in so many ways.
While the message to resist stomping on bees you find lying on the ground (even out of compassion, if your intention is to put a seemingly dying creature out of its misery) is an important one, Don’t Step On a Bee Day has a far wider goal of introducing many other ways of protecting our stripy achievers. You can feed sugar water to exhausted bees, build a bee hotel or simply plant more flowers, to name a few.
You can find many of these tips on helping maintain bee populations over on Bee Good. Please consider spreading awareness both locally and online (there is a #DontStepOnABeeDay hashtag), and remember to take care of our buzzing friends!