'i had never heard bees'

"Don't you know the sound of bees?" he said. I had never heard bees, and could not know the sound of them. "Those are my lady's bees," he went on. I had heard that bees gather honey from the flowers. "But where are the flowers for them?" I asked. "My lady's bees gather their honey from the sun and the stars," said the little man. "Do let me see them," I said. "No. I daren't do that," he answered. "I have no business with them. I don't understand them. Besides, they are so bright that if one were to fly into your eye, it would blind you altogether." "Then you have seen them?" "Oh, yes! Once or twice, I think. But I don't quite know: they are so very bright—like buttons of lightning."
George MacDonald, At the Back of the North Wind

Via first milk (a friend of bees).