OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:
Well done. We're playing games with chefs Carla Hall and Nancy Fuller. Are you ready for one last game?
CARLA HALL: Yes.
NANCY FULLER: Sure.
EISENBERG: So this game honors some of the busiest food manufacturers in the world - honeybees. And to help ask you the questions, we have a very special guest - a real-life honeybee named Drone-athan Buzzton (ph). Hello, Drone-athan.
(SOUNDBITE OF HONEYBEE BUZZING)
JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) Hello. Hello, Nancy. Hello, Carla.
HALL: Hello, Drone-athan.
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) I'm happy to bee (ph) here (laughter). But I have a hard out in about 10 minutes because I've got to get back to doing bee stuff. So...
EISENBERG: OK. Well, let's get to it.
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) Yeah. Let's get to it.
EISENBERG: All right. So you're going to be working back-and-forth with this one.
EISENBERG: Drone-athan, go ahead.
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) OK. This one's for Carla. Carla, the job market in the honeybee world it's absolutely buzzing, and you could honeycomb through the e-listings - do you see what I did there? - for hours.
HALL: Mmm hmm. I see what you did there.
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) Nectar-foraging, hive-building, wax-making, all sorts of jobs - what's the only qualification to get these gigs?
EISENBERG: Is it A, you must a be one month or older; B, you must be female; or C, you have to be a go-getter honey wizard with a rock star sense of humor?
HALL: (Laughter) I think about the queen bee being female. But are the drones female, too?
FULLER: No, the worker bees are all female.
HALL: OK. So that...
FULLER: The answer is B.
EISENBERG: That's right. Male bees - all drones, and their only purpose is to mate with the queen - lazy. The worker bees are all female.
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) I mean...
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) I would love to have a job, but I'm not allowed to because I'm male. So...
EISENBERG: I've heard this excuse before.
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) Yeah. But Nancy, according to the University of Arkansas, what percent at fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the United States require honeybees for pollination?
EISENBERG: Is it A, 50%; B, 25%; or C, 80%?
EISENBERG: 80%. Wow. And you were quick to that. You know that. The answer is C.
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) Yeah. All right, Carla. I was on Bumble the other day, and I told this absolute queen that I would never forget her smile. Well, she told me to buzz off, which really stung. So...
COULTON: (As Drone-athan Buzzton) Besides a beautiful smile, what else can bees recognize and remember?
EISENBERG: Do bees recognize and remember A, traffic signs; B, their favorite dialogue in "Bee Movie," or C, individual human faces?
HALL: What? They are really smart.
EISENBERG: They are super-smart.
HALL: They are super-smart.
FULLER: You want me to tell you the answer, Carla?
HALL: Of course, Nancy, if you know it. Come on.
EISENBERG: Yeah. I want to hear it.
EISENBERG: C, individual human faces.
EISENBERG: That is correct. How did you know that?
FULLER: Because I read about the bees.
EISENBERG: Oh. All right.
COULTON: Nancy is an old friend. Nancy is a friend to all bees. I'm here to tell you.
HALL: I found a friend in Nancy.
EISENBERG: Yeah. So this study was by a scientist at Cambridge. It involved pictures of human faces, and one of them was covered in a sugar solution - smart. But when the scientists took the sugar away, the bees still flew to the same person's face. And truly it is unclear whether they think human faces are human faces or just really weird flowers.
COULTON: Nancy, this is the last question. Bees are, of course, famously busy. But being a bee isn't always the bee's knees. How much honey can the average honeybee make in its lifetime, its whole life?
EISENBERG: Is it A, two tablespoons, B, one-twelfth of a teaspoon, or C, you know what; a bee's worth is not determined by its honey's output?
HALL: It takes 12 bees to make one teaspoon of honey.
COULTON: Yeah, so that's B.
EISENBERG: Carla, you were going - you were dancing through this question. You definitely felt connected to it. Please explain.
HALL: I was because that's the only thing that I really know about bees. It makes me really appreciate honey and all the work that went into it.
COULTON: Yeah. Carla, I'm very glad to hear you appreciating us because it is - I mean, it's a lot of work to make honey, and I feel like people don't get how difficult it is. You spend your whole life. You get a twelfth of a teaspoon. What's it worth? You know, but to hear you say how much it means to you, that means a lot to us.
HALL: Drone-athan, I see you, and I appreciate you.
COULTON: Thank you. Oh, thank you, Carla. I see you, too. And I recognize your face, also.
EISENBERG: OK, everyone. Just take a moment and just remember that Drone-athan doesn't have to do any of the work, OK? Just remember that...
COULTON: No, no, no. I'm saying...
EISENBERG: ...Before we all get all thank you.
COULTON: For the bees who are making the honey, I feel bad for them.
EISENBERG: Don't take the credit of the females, OK?
COULTON: No, no, no. I'm saying...
EISENBERG: I've had enough of this.
COULTON: ...As a species.
EISENBERG: (Laughter) OK - as a species.
COULTON: Carla, Nancy, Ophira, what a pleasure it has been hanging out in such a B-positive situation.
EISENBERG: Oh, yes.
COULTON: I really do appreciate your time and attention to us bees, so thank you very much.
HALL: Any time.
COULTON: And thanks for having me on your show, Ophira.
HALL: Thank you all so much.
EISENBERG: Yeah. You both did fantastic.
FULLER: It was wonderful.
EISENBERG: Carla Hall wrote the cookbook "Carla Hall's Soul Food: Everyday And Celebration" and the upcoming children's book "Carla And The Christmas Cornbread." Nancy Fuller's book is "Farmhouse Rules," named after her show on Food Network, where you can catch them both. Coming up, I'll talk to "Bake Off" winner Nadiya Hussain, and she'll tell us what to do with those emoji-shaped birthday candles we all have lying around. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.
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