I’ve written before about various insect-themed comic heroes, and here’s a new one from 1956: The Red Bee.

He appears to be distinguished by….extremely poofy pink sleeves and striped tights. Hmm. redbee

The Red Bee was the alter ego of a District Attorney who kept his bees in his belt buckle. Yes. You read that correctly. I’m guessing he didn’t wear his hero costume with his street clothes, because I think the buzzing would be noticed.  And:

His favorite bee was named Michael.

I doubt that Michael was of any offensive or defensive use at all, since male bees don’t sting.

MightygodKing delivers the goods in an entertaining bio:

“The problem is that while controlling swarms of bees might make you a great behavioral scientist or perhaps an up-and-coming honey magnate, as superhero powers go it is not the most impressive trick one can get, is it?
If you are the Red Bee, twenty feet away from some gangster when he pulls out a gun, and you pull out your swarm of bees, the gangster can just shoot you and then the bees will presumably go find something more interesting to do with their time than sting the gangster to death. Because they are
bees. They will establish a hive somewhere and then begin pollinating flowers. Because that is what bees do.

(And again, we do not know that he controlled the bees as such. But come to think, even if he controls the bees, where does he keep the bees? A swarm of bees is not exactly compact unless you cram them all into a little box and crush/smother them to death. And in the few Red Bee appearances I have read, he kept multiple swarms of bees on his person. Then again, maybe he just throws clumps of dead bees at people and hopes that they panic and scream “OH MY GOD BEES” and don’t notice that the bees are dead.)”

The Red Bee was succeeded by his grandniece in a later iteration, and she had bees that generated electricity. Or Something.

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Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Oh my goodness I did not know about Red Bee Super Hero. I cannot wait to tell my husband. He thinks he knows all about the super heros.
    I also am a bug lady.
    So good to read about bugs when it is too cold for them to be out.

  2. ROTFL!

    What gets me is the fiction that wearing a small mask like that hides one’s identity. Maybe it’s the prosopagnosia, but I can tell you that if Mr District Attorney was one of those people whom I could adequately identify without a mask, I would also be able to identify him with a mask — I don’t use people’s eyes to identify them!

    Male bees in your belt buckle. Eek. Oh, Eek. /deadpan voice

    And I bet it’s not even a cowboy-sized belt buckle, either.


  3. Well that is just FAB-ulous!!!

  4. Hah! Wow – I don’t quit know what to say!

    One the same note, here is a panel from an early X-men comic: http://cicindela.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/i-want-one/

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