World's Largest Happy Bee
West Dover, Vermont
This 12-foot-long grinning insect originally stood outside the Honey Museum in Wilmington. It cost $6,500 to build and it was supposed to draw tourists. It didn't. The museum went under and the bee was bought by a local business with dishonorable intentions -- they planned to cannibalize the bee for scrap. The owner of another local business, Deacon's Den restaurant in neighboring West Dover, found out and got mad.
He liked the bee. So he bought it himself, winched it onto a truck, and put it on display in his back yard.
The bee's owner was dressed like a woman when we found him at a West Dover tavern in 1991 -- he was on his way to "the Congress," whatever that is -- but he cheerfully piloted us up a twisting dirt road to see the bee's new home. It's a nice backyard, and the bee has an excellent view of the rolling countryside from his new, hilltop vantage point. Happy Bee owner, we salute you!
(The World's Largest Happy Bee should not be confused with The World's Largest Killer Bee, which is larger and would not be welcomed into most back yards).
The Bee's legs snapped in a wind storm in late Spring 2000, but at last report was still visible and smiling.