The Royal Bee?

Buzzy Bee Toy

Buzzy Bee: Age 70, but still fit for a prince

English royalty dropped by for tea in New Zealand. You know how hard it is to find that special gift for out-of-town visitors? Well, try entertaining a prince and his family. The Royals probably have everything they need. Probably. So their Kiwi hosts were in a bit of a pickle. A toy maker came forward with an idea. Why not give little George the same thing given to his father, thirty years earlier?

In 1983, Charles, Di, and baby Wills visited NZ. While there, the Governor-General’s wife, Lady Norma Beattie, presented a Buzzy Bee Pull-along toy to the family. According to the New Zealand Herald, Lady Beattie’s six children had had a wonderful time with their pull-along Buzzy, but had outgrown it, so why not pass the old wooden toy along to the heir to the British Empire? Why not, indeed? Buzzy Bee has been around for 70 years, and undergone only a few minor safety tweaks (no lead paint and smoother corners, for example). William pulled his first Buzzy Bee as a 10-month old. He was photographed from every conceivable angle with his new toy and, according to royal-watcher Miss Amanda Townsend-Blye, “Buzzy became as famous as Prince William – it rose to national icon level and stayed there for years. One couldn’t look at a bee without thinking of Prince William. And you know, even at ten months, we all realized handsome Willie would make a great beekeeper some day, just like his dad.”

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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