Despite what Disney might have told you, elephants aren’t particularly afraid of mice. They are not, however, fond of ants. And bees give them the creeps — so much so that when they hear the sound of bees buzzing they squeak the elephant version of “Eeek! A BEE!” and send everyone around them running.

Back in 2009, a team of Oxford scientists figured out that elephants would turn tail and run if they heard the sound of angry bees or saw a beehive. But it turns out that elephants also make “a unique ‘rumbling’ call” and shake their heads when they hear bees. That call is enough to warn other elephants to run far, far away from the evil bees.

Elephants might have thick skin, but bees will go right for their eyes or up their trunks. And calves don’t have as thick skin as the adults. And if there’s anything sadder than the ending of My Girl, it would be if the ending of My Girl also involved a baby elephant getting stung by bees and dying.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!