The Bees, the Drones, and the Wasp

Some bees had built their comb in the hollow trunk of an oak. The drones asserted that it was their doing and belonged to them. The cause was brought into court before Judge Wasp.

Knowing something of the parties, he thus addressed them: "The plaintiffs and defendants are so much alike in shape and color as to render the ownership a doubtful matter, and the case has very properly been brought before me. The ends of justice, and the object of the court, will best be furthered by the plan which I propose. Let each party take a hive to itself, and build up a new comb, that from the shape of the cells and the taste of the honey, the lawful proprietors of the property in dispute may appear."

The bees readily assented to the wasp's plan. The drones declined it. Whereupon the wasp gave judgment: "It is clear now who made the comb and who cannot make it; the Court adjudges the honey to the bees."