Once upon a time, in the cold and blustery North Pole there was a widower polar bear named Shamus and his son, Ziggy. Every day, Shamus would spend time with Ziggy and try to keep his son warm, and teach him about the dangers of the North Pole.
But one day, Ziggy decided to stray a little further than the Igloo and a storm starting brewing. Ziggy went missing — even with Shamus’s precautions. Shamus began to look for his son but he could not see through the icy fog, he soldiered through and went as far as his furry feet could take him. Suddenly Shamus felt a huge crack beneath his feet, the ice couldn’t hold his big bear weight anymore. Shamus found himself gliding away, and as water glistened around him, he realised that he had walked blindly onto a humongous lake covered in ice. He looked back as his ice sheet island left the land behind. Full of fear and freezing from the coastal cold, Shamus fell asleep.
Hours passed, Shamus awoke. He was no longer in a misty nor icy land, somehow he had floated all the way to to somewhere that smelled of salt and warmth. This place was much warmer than the North Pole that Shamus was so used to. As he looked around, he saw gigantic palm leaves sprawling up ahead and a gentle buzzing of insects mixed with rumbling bushes and a sweetness pervading the humid air. Perhaps Ziggy was here, thought Shamus, and so he embarked on his journey of this strange hot haven.
A few hours passed with the sun beating down on Shamus’ snow white head. He felt thirsty, exhausted and his throat was hoarse having called for Ziggy relentlessly. Suddenly, with the prick of something tiny and sharp, Shamus was reinvigorated, at first with pain, but then with laughter, as the tiniest of creatures dressed in yellow and black flew up to Shamus’ nose. It was he who had stopped Shamus in his track!
The creature yelled ‘Watch where you’re going!’, before following up, ‘Haven’t you seen a bumble bee before?’
Shamus retorted, ‘No I haven’t, in fact, I’ve been busy looking for my son!’
The bumble bee could see Shamus’ smile slide, as sadness filled up in his eyes. Deciding a change of tact, the kindly bee decided to take Shamus under his wing and invited him to his hive.
Shamus looked around at the sticky, stodgy, glowing walls that were so very different to the icy white sheets he used to know. They made him feel safe and warm, cosy in fact, as if he was home!
Seeing his longing eyes, the bumble bee interjected ‘Eat some if you like…just a drop’, and to Shamus’ delight, the golden liquid was the sweetest, most delicious thing he had ever tasted. ‘This would go well with my fish!’, Shamus mused as he licked the sticky goo from his paws.
The pang of reality brought Shamus back to senses as he mumbled, ‘Ziggy would have loved this’, and as he reminded himself of why he was actually in this strange land, his thoughts were interrupted by an announcement echoing through the hive.
‘The Queen Bee has arrived!’
And from a tiny comb, a reel of honey unraveled into a stairwell and the colony all applauded as she said hello! Her eyes were drawn to Shamus, the big hairy bear sitting in her home. ‘How buzzare!’ she said, as she took to her throne.
After hearing of the intrepid bear’s plight, the Queen Bee warmed to Shamus and wanted to help him to find Ziggy, so she sent out all of her colonies to search far and wide. Only the bravest would forage in the farthest forests, but she was sure that her troops would be able to bring Ziggy home.
One bee was flying just half a mile from home, when he spotted the most beautiful looking flower that he had ever seen. He swooped down to take a peek, and before he knew it was sucked right in, he just had to stay at this spot, and get all the pollen in.
A second bee was scanning to see what he could find, but then smack-bang, he found himself swotted like a fly.
One final bee was hunting as far has his wings would fly him West, he knew that he had to find Ziggy and he was more confident than all the rest. He found himself floating over pristine native forests stretching from as far as he could see. A spot he had only dreamed of visiting, for he knew the most rare honey could be found here. Then suddenly through the green he spotted something bright and white gleaming through, and as he delved down deeper he was sure that it was Ziggy!
As he got closer, the white spot began to move. Faster and faster the white spot ran and yelped ‘Please don’t sting me, I’m only 2!’ The bee stopped and saw that the poor little bear had been prickled and stung by lots of cactus trees and realised this bear was the one he was searching for!
‘Don’t worry my friend!’ said the brave bumble bee, ‘I have travelled far and wide to find you, your dad sent me’. Ziggy peered up and began to smile back up at the bee, ‘You’ve come to save me? But you’re tiny!’ The bee took Ziggy back the way he had traveled and explained all of the great work the beer colonies do, and that although the bees are small, they’re also mighty.
And so Ziggy was reunited with his father, with the help of the most unlikely bumble bee friends along the way. They learnt all about the honey, about the lands far away. Shamus showed Ziggy the honey and they were both absolutely impressed about how pure and pristine the golden honey was.
But, the bees also explained how the rising temperatures and global unrest was causing harm. ‘That’s probably why my ice cracked!’ Shamus exclaimed!
‘Yes’, the bumble bee said, ‘And all around the world all creatures great and small are having to endure harsh climates and changing conditions and it’s causing great harm!’
‘What can we do about it?’ asked Ziggy?
‘Well, we can start to reduce our Carbon footprint, use less plastics and recycle our products more. And we can use natural products, not tampered by human hands as much as possible. Like this honey!’
And armed with this new knowledge, Shamus and Ziggy decided to travel before returning to the North Pole. They stopped to educate others about the mysterious honey they found and also how everyone could do their bit for the planet. And eventually, they came back to the North Pole, safe, sound and most importantly, together.