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The Bee's Knees

Posted by Gary on July 09, 2003

In Reply to: The Bee's Knees posted by pdianek on July 09, 2003

: : : Anyone know the origin of the phrase 'The bee's knees', used to describe something that is well done/made or brilliant.

: : : Is it as I suspect it is derived from the word 'business' - as in "it's the business!", which becomes "it's the bee's kness!", possibly as a result of a particular accent put upon it? Maybe German or French?

: : : Have I just answered my own question?

: : : Cheers,

: : : Kit

: : Try

: But -- although no entomologist, it was my understanding that what honeybees carry back to the hive (on their knees or elsewhere) is not pollen (which as far as they're concerned just gets in the way) but the flowers' NECTAR. They then render the nectar into honey, store it, eat it during winter, make some of it into royal jelly to feed potential queens, etc. "Bee's knees" was awfully popular in the 1920s -- microscopes were comparatively primitive at the time, but someone must have glued a bee onto a slide!

I believe it is a mixture of pollen and nectar. You don't need a microscope, the blobs of pollen/nectar are easy to see.