The ‘Rules’ of Mathematics

The ‘rules’ of mathematics say that bumblebees can’t fly
Their wings are just not big enough to launch them to the sky
Their bodies are too large in relation to their power
So the rule makers concluded that the bumblebee’s a liar

But bumblebees cannot do maths and thinking it looked fun
One of them just tried it, and found it could be done.
She went back to her sisters and showed what she could do
And so convincing was her tale the others tried it too.

The rule makers were very cross and showed them all the sums
That proved they couldn’t do it, ‘til the bees felt rather numb
So having thought about it carefully and considered all the facts
The bees decided they could fly, and the rule makers were prats !

©Tony Almond  1994

This poem was written by Tony Almond to explain how scientists used to think that bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly because they were too large. He wrote it for his daughter to inspire her to do what she thought she could do, even if others said it was impossible.

"We are facing a fundamental problem with the decline of bees and other pollinators. They have an absolutely crucial role in pollinating many of our important crops - without them we will face higher food costs and potential shortages."

Professor Douglas Kell
BBSRC Chief Executive

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