Giant Bees are a result of the selective breeding experiments of Beekeeper II, who created them in order to use them as living weapons against the heroes of Freedom City, and as a tool to aid him in the conquest of his archnemesis and obsession, Fleur de Joie. Though he insists that he used no superscience techniques in creating his bees, the extreme physical, mental, and social alterations of the population would seem to suggest otherwise.
The average Giant Bee is between sixty and seventy feet long and approximately twelve feet tall, with males slightly smaller than females. They are generally barrel-shaped, covered in fuzzy black and yellow stripes, and have two insectile wings and six legs. Their heads are round and black, with eyes that are visible upon close inspection, and long antennae. The female bees have a concavity in their rearmost legs which are used to store large quantities of pollen while foraging away from the hive. The queen bee is approximately one hundred feet long and eighteen feet tall, and has no wings. Attendants must help the queen move when necessary.
Giant bees have proportionately large barbed stingers, similar to more traditionally-sized bees. The stingers deliver a painful and paralyzing venom, though in most cases, the stinger is large enough to cause catastrophic damage without the venom payload. The stinger is better anchored than in smaller bee species, but an incautious sting can still cause damage to a bee. A small subset of Giant Bees are capable of breathing fire as well (Giant Dragon Bees). All of the Giant Bees can speak English, though with heavy accents. Many of them are only somewhat fluent, and will defer to better speakers when dealing with humans.
Since relocating to Sanctuary, the bees have begun breeding more frequently, leading to increased visibility of juvenile and sub-adult bees. The newly-pupated juveniles are roughly the size of ponies and are clumsy fliers. They do not leave the hive unescorted by adults, and typically only for short periods of time. Sub-adult bees are closer to the size of panel trucks (20'x 10') and tend to be fearless. Their attitudes are often comparable to human teenagers. Hatching to maturity for a giant bee is a process that takes about two years.
Currently there is only one colony of Giant Bees, located on Sanctuary, the alternate-Earth dimension headquarters of Fleur de Joie. The original colony consisted of approximately sixty females, twelve males, and a single queen. A mating flight early on in the colony's development began a period of greatly increased reproduction, more than doubling the size of the colony in just a few years. The successful drone was of Giant Dragon Bee stock, and thus many of the new hatchlings have also displayed the ability to breathe fire.
Because the bees are intelligent, they have made significant divergences from colony behavior, though instinct still guides many of their decisions. The Queen is unquestionably the leader of the hive, but due to her lack of experience in the world beyond the hive, she leaves many of the day-to-day decisions to her daughter Beeatrizz, the second-in-command. Considerable weight is also given to the requests and suggestions made by Fleur de Joie, who although outside the hive's hierarchy is held in considerable esteem by all the bees, who view her as a savior and benefactor.
The Giant Bees make their home in an earthen hive constructed for them by Gaian Knight, with their design input. The hive is roughly the size of a twenty-story building and the length of a city block, and is located approximately ten miles northeast from Fleur de Joie's cottage. The queen's chamber is located underground, specially constructed to protect from bad weather and flooding. The area surrounding the hive is called the Bee Meadow, or “Beedom Valley,” and consists of an area of about one hundred square miles of meadow filled with giant flowers, specially maintained by Fleur de Joie to ensure that the bees have enough to eat. Giant bees fly freely all over the reclaimed territory of Sanctuary, though Fleur has politely asked that they avoid the human habitations unless specifically coming to visit, as the loud buzzing can be disturbing to people and animals.
Important and Named Giant Bees
- Barry: A male bee shot while protecting the Beekeeper.
- Beeatriz: A female fire-breathing bee, second-in-command of the hive. Beeatriz is much more social with humans than many of the other bees, and often serves as a liaison with visitors.
- Beearthur: A male bee who enjoys socializing with people and wants a hot tub.
- Beelisima: The queen bee, matriarch of the hive. Half-again the size of the other bees, she cannot fly, but she exerts tremendous influence in the lives of her subjects.
- Beelizabeth: A female bee who sometimes interfaces between Fleur and the hive.
- Boris: A male bee who was wounded by Dark Star while trying to kidnap Fleur de Joie.
- Curl-bee: A male fire-breathing bee, exiled by the Beekeeper but now reunited with the hive.
- Ebee-beezer: A female bee with a misleading name.
- Henr-bee: A male fire-breathing bee with a quick temper.
- Larabee: A male bee.
- Super-Bee: Also known as Beeling or Bay-bee, one of the second-generation bees hatched on Sanctuary. Super-bee is the first Giant Bee hero, and a day student at Claremont Academy.