They lived from day to day on the efforts of the few sound bees, while the Wax-moth fretted and consumed again their already ruined wax.
Light broke in the top of the hive as the Queen had, prophesied--naked light on the boiling, bewildered bees.
"You should have thought before!" cried the sound bees., "Stay and see the dawn of your New Day."
Many sound bees had nursed on that frame, well knowing their work was useless; but the actual sight of even useless work destroyed disheartens a good worker.
They seem to have lost the instinct of cell-building." The father held up the frame where the bees had experimented in circular cell-work.
There was black comb so old that they had forgotten where it hung; orange, buff, and ochre-varnished store-comb, built as bees were used to build before the days of artificial foundations; and there was a little, white, frail new work.
Then the wondering bees led him to their Queen, and when he had told his tale, and begged their forgiveness, it was gladly given; and all strove to show him that he was loved and trusted.
And when bird, bee, and blossom were strong and fair again, the gentle Fairy said farewell, and flew away to seek her friend, leaving behind many grateful hearts, who owed their joy and life to her.
One day he fell asleep, and when he woke the sun had set, and the dew began to fall; the flower-cups were closed, and he had nowhere to go, till a friendly little bee, belated by his heavy load of honey, bid the weary Fairy come with him.
"You cannot see our Queen to-night," said the little bee, "but I will show you to a bed where you can rest."
She healed the drooping flowers, cheered the Queen Bee's grief, brought back her discontented subjects, restored the home to peace and order, and left them blessing her.
At length, as he lay sleeping in a flower-bell, a little bee came wandering by, and knew him for the wicked Thistle; so he called his friends, and, as they flew murmuring around him, he awoke.