"In a Beehive" is the first episode of season three and the twenty-seventh episode overall of the animated children's series The Magic School Bus. It originally aired on September 14th, 1996.
When Wanda and Tim are delivering honey from his grandfather's bee farm, it all goes down the gutter in an accident with a bee. He manages to convince Ms. Frizzle to take them to get more, but on the way there, she drives down a road other than the one that leads to the bee farm. They arrive at a beehive, help the bees to get honey for the winter, and also get honey for Tim, after transforming into bees, of course, but Phoebe doesn't want to take the bees' honey. They make their own nectar, but when a bear breaks in, they have to save the hive.
Wanda and Tim are delivering honey to the houses for Tim's grandfather's bee farm when a bee flies in front of Tim's face, causing him and Wanda to lose control of the bikes they are riding and fall over, causing all the honey to spill out and into the gutter.
When the two return to class, Tim tells the class that they have to convince Ms. Frizzle to take them to his grandfather's bee farm to obtain more honey. The teacher spontaneously appears and Tim tries to convince her to take him and the class to his grandfather's bee farm. Phoebe, however, feels that it is not right to take honey from the bees. So Ms. Frizzle takes the class on a bus ride to a field (over Tim's protestations) to follow a bee to its hive, but they lose the bee when Tim trips over a branch causing the rest of his class to pile up on top of him.
Ms. Frizzle transforms the bus into a bee and takes the class on a ride. When the class hears the bees, they exit the bus, and after another pileup, they spot a bee hive. Wanda takes a closer look inside the hive and finds a lot of bees inside. A swarm of bees then emerge out of the hive and chases the class back inside the bus.
When Wanda states, "Too bad we're not one of those bees, then they'll leave us alone," Ms. Frizzle gets an idea and Liz transforms the class into bees. Carlos jokingly calls Phoebe a "Phoe-bee" and Ms. Frizzle a "Friz-bee". Liz sprays the class with ode hive to have them smelling like bees. They fly to the hive, only to encounter another swarm of bees.
The bees pass them by and the class fly inside the hive. A bee flies next to Ralphie and Ms. Frizzle tells him that the bee is sharing her food with him. Dorothy Ann informs that a bee has a proboscis, similar to the tongue, that they use to share their food with one another. Keesha then surmises that it is flower nectar that the class came across on one of the flowers from Mr. Seedplot's garden (from the episode Goes to Seed). The class then find that there is nectar in one part of the cell and honey in the other part. They learn that the bees fan and stir the nectar to evaporate the water, thus making the nectar thicken into honey since it lasts longer when thickened. They also discover that the bees mix the honey into orange substances to feed to their offspring. When Tim learns that without nectar, there wouldn't be flowers, and without flowers, there wouldn't be any honey, he decides that the class should instead make their own honey since the bees wouldn't survive through the winter due to not having any more flowers to obtain the nectar from to make more honey.
The class exit the hive and find flowers, only to discover that the flowers are empty. So they search through the field to find more flowers replete with nectar, with Liz transforming the bus into a miniature-sized bus. After a while, Tim and Wanda finally find a field of flowers and Liz gets the rest of the class to help with the job. They suck up most of the nectar out of the flower and return to the hive. The bus Liz is controlling then comes across a grizzly bear and narrowly escapes to join the others. Unfortunately, the nectar the class have obtained from the flowers only fill a dearth amount of the honeycomb cells. So the class attempt to exit the hive to get more nectar, only to encounter the bear once again.
The bear gets enough honey for its own, only to get scared away by the bees. Unfortunately, the bear has also taken all of the honey, which means the bees won't be able to survive through the winter. So Tim decides that the class should use sign language to communicate with the bees to inform them of the bad news. But they don't understand their delineation. So Ms. Frizzle offers the class a diagram of dance steps since the bees communicate by dancing. The bees eventually understand the message and fly out of the hive to obtain the nectar out of the flowers. The bees get enough nectar for their beehive and Tim is still trying to wonder how to make enough honey to get them to his grandfather's bee farm on time. So Ms. Frizzle transforms the bus into a giant beehive and the class obtain more nectar from the flowers to make the honey in the beehive-transformed bus.
When the bus stops to a neighborhood house, Tim delivers the last jar of honey to a man named Mr. Drome, who gets a taste and compliments the honey. Tim returns to the bus and Ms. Frizzle states, "Nothing like honey to take the steam out of winter" and drives the bus away.
- When this episode along with the others of Season 3 was released on the Complete Series on DVD in 2012, it has dialogue on one speaker and sounds and music on another.
- Arnold's Honey I Stung the Kids warning is a joke on Honey I Shrunk the Kids from 1989.
- Music from The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas plays during the scene when the bus (with Liz inside) is filling with nectar, a reference to Fantasia (1940) when Mickey inadvertently causes a flood.
- This episode was based on the book by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degan, that was released in the same year.