Beekeeper Review: Black Hole Sun’s Beekeeper

I have no desire to try to make sense of the whole video for the song Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden, it’s an intentionally oblique and surreal piece of work, but I am dutybound to note that it includes a Beekeeper. Said Beekeeper appears for a couple seconds, seemingly dead. How much can I mine from that? Well, let’s see.

It seems like there is an apocalypse happening. The world is messed up and the band has either caused the sun to wipe out humanity, or is just happy about it. Certainly the lyrics “Black Hole Sun, won’t you come, and wash away the rain” make it sound like they’re fed up with the state of the world and instead of actually putting any work into trying to make things better, they just petulantly want it all to be over. Well, no matter the cause, it’s happening. Things are getting strange and the world is dying.

Amidst the chaos we see a Beekeeper, laying still on the ground while a child dances nearby. Relationship between the child and the Beekeeper? Unknown. We’re simply not given that information. It could be inferred that our Ex-Apiarist was killed by his own bees, and I can’t disprove it, but I don’t think so. While the bees are crawling over the lens of the camera, none seem to be on the corpse. We do see non-bee insects attacking others within the video, most notably a couple of kids who were torturing bugs with tweezers and magnifying glasses, but those insects don’t kill anyone. The insect-bothering children are among those sucked up into the Black Hole Sun.

As far as I can discern, the Beekeeper is the only person shown to be dead from a cause prior to getting apocalypsed. If I wanted to, I could even claim perhaps the apocalypse could only happen because the Beekeeper was killed. After all, what do Beekeepers do? They hold together a society. They protect a group of lifeforms so that everyone can benefit. It’s the polar opposite of thinking everything should just die because it sucks. When not burdened by Beekeeper Rage, Beekeepers are intent on actually improving the world instead of letting it die. Perhaps the band, or whatever force caused this Black Hole Sun, needed to Beekeeper out of the picture to make the end come. I don’t know if they murdered the Beekeeper or if they just took advantage after a natural death, but I feel like if that Beekeeper were still alive, he’d be standing between the planet and the end of times.

But none of that’s in the video, so I can’t let that factor into my rating.

2 Honeycombs out of Five.

Beekeeper Review: Rosalyn D. Schotz

Roz Schotz, better known as Grandma, is a Beekeeper who appeared on a show called Bizaardvark. Played by Ellen Ratner, Roz is the grandmother of Bernie, one of the members of the main cast of teenagers. We’re never told what happened to Bernie’s parents (though we do know that she despises the other side of his family), but Roz is Bernie’s legal guardian.

Raising Bernie, Roz is overprotective in a way she’s not when we see her chaperoning other children. This is no contradiction to her personality however. All indications are that Roz is not usually a parental type and would be fine letting children do whatever they want so long as they leave her alone. At first it seems harsh that she imposes seemingly arbitrary rules such as not being allowed to touch pointy fruit or use hot sauce, but when we see Bernie unsupervised it takes mere seconds for him to stab himself with the pointy fruit and get hot sauce in his eyes. Roz is only as strict as she is because otherwise her idiot grandson would simply be doomed. I can only assume that Roz had no intention of raising the kid, but circumstances forced her to and now she takes the job seriously.

In between the strict rules, she does teach Bernie things in the hope that he’ll develop life skills that will let him survive the world (specifically noting that she won’t be around to help him forever). She pays for his wilderness lessons. She teaches him to dance. She’s even proud when Bernie shows skill at manipulation and lying because those will help him get along in the world. And she’s also taught him some beekeeping skills. Oddly, the reveal that Roz is a Beekeeper occurs in an episode in which she doesn’t even appear. We learn about it when Bernie uses Beekeeping skills that she taught him to smoke a hive. It never comes up otherwise, so we have no idea how good she is at it. But given Bernie’s idiocy at the best of times, if he can be competent from her training, she must be good.

Of course, I like other skills in my Beekeepers as well. Is Roz tough? Heck yes. The show repeatedly goes to the “isn’t it funny that a grandmother could be tough” joke well. Roz is known to be a bareknuckle boxing champion, is in a fight club, was a medic in “the war”, has a flamethrower, and she’s known to the police in six different states. She once beat up a roomful of people in the dark. It doesn’t quite reach supernatural levels, but I would be remiss if I didn’t note that Bernie says his grandmother likes bloody videogames about hunting vampires because “they remind her of her childhood.” He doesn’t know any more about it, but if we had proper details about that Roz could have the potential to raise her score by a whole point! Only on one occasion do I remember her being shown as anything less than super-tough: when she and some kids she was looking after were surrounded by dozens of scorpions. Perhaps she simply has a phobia of the arachnids.

Of course, Roz is unfortunately susceptible to the biggest flaw found among apiarists: Beekeeper Rage. Roz openly admits that she has an anger problem and is repeatedly shown taking her doctor’s advice (do puzzles, enjoy sunsets, and cetera) to try to lower her rage levels. I have to give Roz commendations for being aware of the issue and trying to treat it. She fully admits that she hates her doctor and their advice, so I have to assume that if Roz were still living a life among her “violent friends” she may not even be trying to temper her anger. I think that the fact she’s caring for Bernie is why she is bothering, and that’s kind of nice.

Three Honeycombs out of Five. A solid Beekeeper who cares for her grandson as best as she can.

Beekeeper Review: Higglytown’s Beekeeper Hero

As near as I can tell, Higglytown Heroes was a show about all the different occupations people have in Higglytown. It must have been made by people with good taste, because there’s an episode about a Beekeeper. Kids need to learn. The episode, called “Two Bees or Not Two Bees” naturally, features some kids and some old people and a squirrel (presumably the main cast) who are saddened to learn that the bushes that should be full of higglyberries are not. They summon the Beekeeper to help them figure out what happened.

When she arrives, the Beekeeper Hero investigates a beehive near the bushes and finds it is abandoned (what happened to the bees is unknown), so she has her own bees pollinate the area. She does all this while giving educational lessons to the children. A month later the berries have grown, so the Beekeeper Hero treats the kids to delicious treats of berries and honey. But when the kids hail her as a hero, she makes sure to deflect that thanks to the bees, who are the real heroes. That’s a classy move.

Apart from impeccably-trained bees, does she have any supernatural powers that seem to be different than all the other toy-people of her world? Not that we see. But she has bee-shaped earrings, which is nice.

Three Honeycombs out of Five.

Beekeeper Review: Walter Blane

Walter Blane is a Beekeeper who appeared in Mystic #7, a horror comic from 1952. As I’ve noted before, science and beekeeping go together well, and Blane is indeed a scientist doing “special work on bees!” Although we don’t see Blane participating in the actual beekeeping side of the operation, he’s identified as a beekeeper in the text, he clearly loves the bees (they are his “sweet little friends”), and his hives seem to be thriving. The actual beekeeping done in the story is done by a greedy man named Casper who is paid well to take care of Blane’s bees while the scientist is stuck in his laboratory doing research and experimentation. When Casper, the protagonist, learns that Blane has a serum that prevents him from being stung, though Blane notes that it is designed to work with his own physiognomy and any other person who took it would be at risk, Casper steals the serum and drinks some. This, naturally, results in his head mutating into that of a giant bee.

That serum is interesting. All we know for sure is that it prevents him from being stung. It prevented Casper from being stung as well, though it turned him into a bee/human hybrid. Is it possible that Blane is also becoming a hybrid, but since the serum is specifically attuned to him, the effects are less grotesque and more intentional? And that’s just the one experiment we know about. Honestly, it feels like Blane is on the path toward supervillainy. Either intentionally trying to become a bee-man with plans of world conquest, or destined to accidentally become a monster of some kind. But that doesn’t happen in this story. Here, Walter Blane is just a nice beekeeper.

Three Honeycombs out of Five.

Although stories published by Atlas Comics are not generally considered canon in the Marvel Universe until they are referenced, there is nothing here that I can see that would prevent it. That means we can assume Blane or his research could exist in the same universe as Lucius Farnsworth.

Beekeeper Review: Killer Beekeepers from Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers is a beat-em-up game in which Killer Beekeepers appear both as enemies and as a player character. The enemies appear in only a single level of the game and the player character has to be unlocked, both little touches that make the Killer Beekeepers feels rightfully special. But is that specialness justified?

Well, the enemy Killer Beekeepers are, as I say, rare. They will only attack when the player’s rampage brings them through the fields where the Killer Beekeepers’ bees live and work, and even then the only after the player has taken out a number of bees. In spite of the word “Killer” appearing as an adjective in their name, these Beekeepers just don’t show a sign of Beekeeper Rage. They legitimately just want to protect their bees. That’s admirable.

The unlockable player character Killer Beekeeper is a better study for the skills these Beekeepers can have as they level up. Upon starting the game the Killer Beekeeper is armed with a weapon called the Rat-Beating Bat, implying that they honed their skills protecting their hives from rats. As they level up their magical abilities, they gain the power to summon bees and use them as projectiles to fire at opponents (these bees are perfectly willing to die for the cause). And, indeed, with fully-levelled magic they can summon bees so quickly that enemies find it hard to resist being hurt. And while it isn’t directly related to beekeeping (though it is accompanied by smoke effects), they also have a magical jumping ability and can attack bosses while in the air, something apparently few other characters in the game can do.

It feels natural to compare the Killer Beekeepers with the Beekeeper from Fist Puncher. She was another who existed in the world of a beat-em-up game and could wander around fighting everyone who needs to be fought. A similar comparison would be the Beekeeper from Citizens of Earth, though she has numerous powers beyond just combat, such as healing skills, which give her the edge ratings-wise. The Killer Beekeepers show no talent as healers and have no talking bees or anything like that. They’re impressive fighters, but they have so much more to learn.

Four Honeycombs out of Five.