Bees live in the strangest places. Well, maybe not in fresh meat.


Lyle's Golden Syrup logo has used the lion and the honey bees image from the Samson story. The golden inside the can is syrup, not honey. But whatever.

Lyle’s Golden Syrup logo borrows the lion and the honey bees image from the Samson story. (Even though the “golden” inside the can is syrup, not honey.)

The other night I was reading Myles the story of Samson from one of our favorite bedtime books, the Kingfisher Children’s Bible. If you’ve never seen this book, let me tell you, it is one of the best bedtime books ever, no matter what religion you are or aren’t. The only thing you have to believe to appreciate the book is that the Bible is literature. The rest? Totally optional.

Kingfisher has short 1 and 2 page stories from the Old and New Testament, distilled to nothing but action and adventure, alongside vivid drawings. The print is big, the stories so concise, you can read each one in five minutes even if you’ve had two glasses of wine and can’t find your glasses.

Anyway, we’d read up to the scene where Samson — a tan, muscly dude with dreamy cheekbones — kills a lion. Honey bees settle into the lion carcass, and in a few days have filled it with honey. Samson scrapes out the honey and eats it.

I knew at this point in the story Myles would start asking technical questions, and I was really sleepy, so I started reading faster to dodge the barrage.


“Hold on Mom. Can bees really build up honey comb in a lion’s carcass?”

“No, it would be too wet and bloody in there. And it takes months for bees to make enough honeycomb to store honey. Whentheyarrived,Samsonsaid,”

“But what if the carcass wasn’t bloody? What if it was old?”

“I suppose if vultures had totally picked the lion carcass clean and it was dried out in the sun for a long time, then, sure, the rib cage and all would be a great scaffold for the honeycomb. Ihaveariddleforyou.Ibetyou30setsofthefinestclothes,”

“Hold on, Mom. Can a guy really kill a lion without a gun?”

“Well, no, probably not. Maybe. With a spear.”

“Hold on, Mom. Wouldn’t the Isrealites want to use the lionskin? and eat the meat?”

“There weren’t lions wandering around the Middle East in 1200 bc. And people don’t eat lions. They’re too hard to catch.”

“Are you sure?”


“What’s the weirdest place bees could make a hive?”

“I don’t know.”

“The weirdest place you’ve seen?”

“Inside the walls of an historic lodge.”

I finished the story with a promise to google it all in the morning.

Eight hours and two cups of coffee later, I find this: Lions indeed prowled all around the the Middle East hundreds of years ago. And people do eat lion meat, right now, in America, including next door in Illinois!

And a douchebag Philistine in Texas found an established colony of honey bees under his barbecue cover and slaughtered them all.


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