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The Adventures of the Smoke Bee!
A fondly remembered cartoon that doesn't exist!
During my nearly three decades long quest to rediscover and prove the existence of Bill Body: Crazy World of Sports, two friends of mine wrote to me stating that the show I was searching for was an obscure mid ‘90s cartoon entitled The Adventures of the Smoke Bee. I’m going to be blunt here: there is no such animation. Try as you might, searching the Internet for that title will only yield stores for apiary smokers and instructions on caring for beehives while keeping your stings to a minimum. As I’m deathly allergic to bee stings, I think I’ll pass.
So there you have it; another piece of lost media that simply does not exist. Case closed! I really wish it were that simple here. Two people I know, who are the least likely to make up bunk for fun wrote in regarding this non-existent Smoke Bee show. These two individuals also never met one another, and were growing up in different states on opposite sides of the country when this allegedly aired around 1994-95. Both have described a nearly identical cartoon.
It opens in a dim bedroom and there is a swift zoom to a spider’s web in the corner of the ceiling. A sleepy, anthropomorphic arachnid is sitting on the strands of silk as the camera continues past and into a small hole in the plaster. There, a small, lanky honeybee is building a model of some sort and gluing the pieces together with honey when the room lights up in red with a warning on a nearby computer screen. He drops everything and in a wisp of smoke transforms into an insect superhero complete with muscles and a red hood over his head before flying out of the wall, through the spiderweb (tearing it as the spider glances up with a dopy expression) and the title of the series is shown as the bee zips out the window of the bedroom. (One person says the Smoke Bee flies through the partially opened window, the other says he breaks through the glass as he flies out.) All the while, an adventurous theme is playing on a tinny trumpet that sounds as though it’s really a little Casio keyboard performing the part.
I can safely say that I have never seen anything like this. I remember Maya the Bee on Nick Jr. back in the day but that’s about it as far as cartoons starring Apoidea are concerned. There was a Goosebumps book titled “Why I’m Afraid of Bees” which sucked and was possibly the worst in the series, but that was a book and not an animated short or series with what is apparently a memorable opening sequence.
So either there is a lost VHS with an unaired pilot on it that was spread around through a parent, or aunt, or babysitter that just so happened to be in New England and Arizona at the same time, or this is a show that slipped out of an alternate dimension and only two people in the world have bared witness to it. I’m going to lean more towards a misremembering of Maya the Bee or something involving Flecko from Rocko’s Modern Life.
This show doesn’t exist. Or does it?
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