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Confused Wanda.jpg "How can Ms. Frizzle be with you when she's with us in Peru right now?"
This article is about the episode of the TV duology. You may be looking for the Cole/Degen book.
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Ups and Downs In a Beehive In the Arctic

"Nothing like honey to take the sting out of winter."
Ms. Frizzle

In a Beehive is the first episode of the third season of The Magic School Bus. It is about honeybees.


Wanda and Tim are delivering honey from the latter's grandfather's bee farm, but when a bee flies in front of his face, causing him and Wanda to lose control of their bikes and fall over, all the jars break and the honey spills out into a storm drain.

When Wanda and Tim return to school, the latter tells his classmates that they have to convince Ms. Frizzle to take them to his grandfather's bee farm to obtain more honey. She spontaneously appears and he tries to convince her to take them there. Phoebe, however, feels that it is not right to take honey from the bees. So Ms. Frizzle takes them on a bus ride to a field (over Tim's protestations) to follow a bee to its hive, but they lose it when Tim trips over a branch causing his classmates to pile up on top of him.

Ms. Frizzle transforms the bus into a bee and takes the class on a ride. When they hear the bees, they exit the bus, and after another pileup, they spot a beehive. Wanda takes a closer look inside it and finds a lot of bees. A swarm of them then emerge from it and chases the class back inside the bus.

When Wanda states, "Too bad we're not one of them, then they'll leave us alone," Ms. Frizzle gets an idea and Liz transforms the class into bees. Carlos jokingly calls Phoebe a "Phoe-bee" and Ms. Frizzle a "Friz-bee" (frisbee). Liz sprays the class with "eau de hive" so that they'll smell like bees. They tried their bests to go inside the hive, but mains only to discover an entire swarm of angry-buzzing bees (also known as apis mellifera intermissa bees) popping up out of the hive and the scene changes.

The bees pass the class and they fly inside the hive. A bee flies next to Ralphie and Ms. Frizzle tells him that she is sharing her food with him, to which Carlos jokingly states, "Maybe she wants to "bee" your honey". Dorothy Ann informs that a bee has a proboscis, which is similar to a tongue, that they use to share their food with one another. Keesha then surmises that it was flower nectar that the class came across on one of the flowers in Mr. Seedplot's garden (from the episode "Goes to Seed"). The class then find that there is nectar in one part of a cell and honey in the other. They learn that the bees fan and stir the nectar to evaporate the water, thus making it thicken into honey since it lasts longer when done so. They also discover that the bees mix it into orange substances to feed to their larvae. When Tim learns that without nectar, there wouldn't be flowers, and without flowers, there wouldn't be any honey, he decides that the class should make their own honey instead since the bees wouldn't survive through the winter due to not having any more flowers to obtain the nectar from to make more honey.

The class exit the hive and find flowers, only to discover that they are empty. So they search through the field to find more replete with nectar, with Liz shrinking the bus. After a while, Tim and Wanda finally find a field of them and Liz gets the rest of the class to help with the job. They suck most of the nectar out of the flowers and return to the hive. Soon, Liz (driving the bus) gathers too much nectar. The bus becomes too heavy, and inadvertently lands on a bear's nose before narrowly escaping to join the class. Unfortunately, the nectar they have obtained from the flowers only fills a dearth amount of the cells. So they attempt to exit the hive to get more, only to encounter the bear once again and the scene changes again.

The bear attacks the hive and gets enough honey for itself, only to get scared away by the bees. Unfortunately, it has also taken all of the honey, which means the bees won't be able to survive through the winter. So Tim decides that the class should use sign language to inform them of the bad news. But they don't understand their delineation. So Ms. Frizzle offers them a diagram of dance steps since they communicate by doing so, to which Carlos jokingly states, "They're really bee-bopping!". They eventually het the message and fly out of the hive to obtain the nectar from the flowers. They get enough for their hive and Tim is still trying to wonder how to make enough honey to get them to his grandfather's customers on time. So Ms. Frizzle transforms the bus into a giant beehive and the class obtains more nectar. Then after a montage, they fly back into the bus, transform back to normal, and make honey.

When the bus stops by a neighborhood house, Tim delivers the last jar of honey to a man named Mr. Drone, who gets a taste and compliments it. Tim returns to the bus, Ms. Frizzle states, "Nothing like honey to take the steam out of winter," and drives away.


  • Arnold references Disney's 1989 film Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!, replacing "shrunk" with "stung". This is ironic because the bus is able to shrink.
  • Music from The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas plays during the scene when the bus (with Liz inside) is filling with nectar, a reference to Disney's 1940 film Fantasia when Mickey Mouse inadvertently causes a flood.
  • This is the second episode with a Disney reference. It has two (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) and Fantasia (1940)).
  • It is revealed that Wanda does not like the cold, but in production order ("In the Arctic") it reveals that.
  • Going by production order, this is the 4th episode of Season 3. This marks it as the eleventh episode to be switched in streaming order.
  • This episode has a reference about nectar in "Goes to Seed". Also, the scene in which Wanda and Arnold were going back on the bus is reanimated.
  • Tim, Carlos, and Ralphie's voices are noticeably deeper and teenage-like, due to their voice actors, Andre Ottley-Lorant, Daniel DeSanto, and Stuart Stone, going through puberty at that time in production.
  • This is the only time in the series where Carlos does the "Carlos!" gag on another character in response to a bad pun. He does it to Arnold when he makes a fanning motion with his wings as he says he's become "a fan" of bees.


  • When this episode along with the others of Season 3 was released on the Complete Series on DVD in 2012, dialogue is much more audible than music on one speaker and vice versa on the other speaker.
  • While Tim is talking to Mr. Drone, the bus appears to be floating behind him.


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