Posted by ESC on April 09, 2000
In Reply to: Re: Birds and the bees posted by Bob on April 09, 2000
: : : : : I was asked this question today in class. what does the saying the birds and bees have to do with having sex. I would greatly apperciate any info anyone has on this subject. thanks alot. beth
: : : : Birds do it. Bees do it. Even educated fleas do it.
: : : Let's fall in love. (Or at least I think that's the way it goes.) I'm with Bob on the pollinator idea. (See previous post.) The last time this subject came up, I looked in my reference books and couldn't find the phrase. I found that surprising since it's such a common phrase.
: : "Ah, what a beautiful day. The birds are out. The bees are trying to have sex with them ... as of my understanding."
: Ah.Now we come to the heart of your problem. No, indeed, the bee is not having sex with the bird. Or vice (pardon the pun) versa. The bees are happily doing it within their own species. Likewise the birds (singing for a reason) are breeding with their own. The phrase "birds and bees" is a way of communicating common, visible examples of sexual activity to illuminate the idea that all living creatures breed and propagate. The example (or synecdoche, if you will) is a means of illustrating this truth to children, or Republicans, who might not grasp it otherwise.
But seriously. This is one of those instances where I am amazed that a common phrase isn't in any of the standard reference books.