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A well-loved German book created by Waldemar Bonsels, which was made into an Animated Adaptation, as well as a live action film. Starring live insects.

Maya the Bee follows the life of Maya, a honeybee and her friends Willy, also a honeybee, and Flip, a grasshopper.

The anime The Adventures of Maya the Honeybee is probably the best-known incarnation. It was originally created in Japan between 1975 and 1979 with a total of 107 episodes, but only 65 of these were ever broadcast in North America during its run in the early 90s (and even then, some of those were taken from the later "New Adventures..." series). The series itself has been dubbed into over 40 languages all around the world and has even spawned a number of video games.

The premise of the anime was that Maya was tasked to collect pollen for her hive, but she ended up doing such a good job that she gathered all of the pollen around her hive, and there was none left. The queen bee then sent Maya further away from the hive in search of more pollen.

A new Maya cartoon is in the works, with Andrea Libman in the title role.

In Fall 2014, Studio100 (the current rights holders) released a film starring the character called "Maya The Bee: The Movie" which was released in Germany on September 11, 2014, with an English version released in Australia on November 1, 2014, and in the U.S. (direct-to-video) on May 19, 2015. At some point in 2015, the film was made freely available to stream for members of Amazon Prime and has since garnered a massive amount of positive attention. The movie aired on Sprout that summer, followed by the TV series in September.

A second movie has been announced and is currently in production. A teaser trailer for the 2nd movie has been released.

The British dub  can now be seen on Amazon Instant Video in the U.S. All of the shows episodes are available. The episodes can also be viewed here.


This work provides examples of:

  • Alternate Continuity: The 2014 movie, despite using the same character designs from the CGI series, isn't connected to the 2012 series, having its own story. For example, in the movie, Maya and Willy meet for the first time in Miss Cassandra's class, much like they did in the anime. While in the CGI series, they are born on the same day and meet as soon as they come out of their cells.
  • Audience Shift: The anime is only aimed to tween and teen girls. The CG-animated series seems to be aimed much more at preschoolers than the anime.
  • Animal Talk: Despite being Funny Insects, the main characters never talk to humans. It can be presumed they're communicating using some form of insect speech.
    • Specifically, they communicate through complicated dances.
  • Bragging Theme Tune
  • Four-Legged Insect: Just look at the page image.
  • Funny Animal: For the most part, insects walk around as bipeds and act just like humans. Some of them even wear clothes.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Maya's pollen collecting skills.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Overlaps with No Export for You - Maya, not even the 65 broadcasted episodes, was never released on VHS or DVD in North America.
  • Mouse World: A world from the perspective of a bee is a very large world indeed.
  • Nice Hat: Flip has one.
  • No Export for You: The sad fate of the 42 unaired episodes in North America.
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