When Charles Darwin wrote about bumblebees in the 1800s, he would have called them humblebees, simply because, as they fly, they hum.
The change from humblebee to bumblebee occurred gradually — in 1912 when Frederick Sladen, wrote about bees, he wrote of humblebees too but the word bumblebee, had always been around and when Beatrix Potter wrote the Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse in 1910, the bees that cause her trouble are headed up by Babbitty Bumble. “Zizz, Bizz, Bizzz!” said the bumble bee.”
Then, as aeronautics took off between the wars and larger, faster planes were developed, the humblebee with its delicate wings and its fat fluffy body, bumbling around, no longer looked so impressive in comparison and by the time the next book on bees was written in 1959, the word humblebee was no longer used.
Synonymous with busyness, bees are perceived to be industrious, hardworking and generally pretty useful to have around — and when I learned the story of the humblebee, I was so completely taken with it, I knew this lovely old word was perfect to evoke the values and ethos I want my business to have.
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