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Buzz, Buzz, retitled James Goes Buzz Buzz in American releases, is the seventeenth episode of the third series. It is based on the story of the same name from the Railway Series book Main Line Engines.


Trevor is enjoying his work in the Vicarage Orchard. It is a beautiful day with birds singing and apples ripening. James arrives and compliments how Trevor feels as well as his paint. After Trevor admits that he is bright and cheerful, James asks about a strange noise; Trevor explains that it is the bees that are making honey. Trevor tells James that he needs to take the beehives to the station and the Vicar is going to give some of his honey to his friends. When BoCo arrives, he warns the two of them not to make the bees sting. However, James ignores him and both engines leave and set off for the next station.

Bill and Ben are busy arranging trucks but they leave when they see BoCo, who tells Duck about the time he first met the twins. Duck nicknames them "The Bees" and BoCo chuckles and finds a good nickname as a result of their behaviour. James bustles in after having overheard part of the conversation. He butts in asking Duck if he is ever afraid of bees and boasts that he would make the bees buzz off by blowing smoke at them, much to Duck's amusement.

The next morning, James prepares to pull the Express. As the passengers prepare to board the train, the porter is in a hurry and accidentally knocks a beehive off the trolley, causing it to break open. Everyone in the station quickly clears out and a swarm of bees buzz around James' crew in hopes they would repair their hive, but they are more worried that the bees will sting them, so the bees cling onto James' warm boiler instead. One bee burns his foot and in retaliation stings James right on the nose, leaving it red and swollen. James and his crew cannot take anymore and run off only to leave the coaches behind. They try different methods to get the bees off, using such as spinning on a turntable, washing them off and smoking them out in a tunnel, but all methods are unsuccessful. Finally, James' driver says the only thing to do is to go back to the orchard, which allows the bees to fly off when they see a beehive at the Wellsworth vicarage.

Once back at the sheds, the Vicar is grateful and thanks to James for saving the bees. He also jokingly notes that if it was Christmas, they could nickname him "James the Red-Nosed Engine," much to James and his crew's amusement. Instead, they prefer to call him "The Bee's Knees," as a sign of how Really Useful he is.




  • In the original third series the UK, Australian and New Zealand VHS releases, this episode appeared on the Australian release of the VHS, Trust Thomas and Other Stories, while it appeared on the UK and New Zealand releases of the VHS, Escape and Other Stories.
  • The bee that burns himself and stings James' nose is cel-animated, making it the only time that hand-drawn animation is used in the series before Thomas and the Magic Railroad. It was animated by Peter Chiang of The Magic Camera Company. They were only credited when the episode was first released in 1992. An animation celluloid appeared on eBay and was owned by YouTube/SiF member BlueBerkBoco in 2011. Four years later, he sold it on eBay to another buyer. In 2019, three more animation celluloids were sold to Twitter users @FlyingPringle, @IsaacM6991 and @TomsProps respectively.
  • A reference to the second series episode, The Diseasel is made.
  • This is the first third series episode to not have an "early narration" for the UK narration. It was also the first third series episode to not use a still of the final shot for the end credits.
  • On the Shining Time Station ending credits, 10 Years of Thomas VHS/DVD, PBS Kids Sprout airings and Thomas & Friends Classic Volume 3, the UK title is used.
  • This episode marks the last of a few things:
    • The Vicar of Wellsworth's last speaking role to date.
    • Trevor's last speaking role until the sixth series episode, Twin Trouble.
    • The last time that live-action hybrid animation was used in an episode until the twelfth series.
    • The last appearance of Wellsworth Vicarage Orchard until the ninth series episode, Henry and the Flagpole.
  • The Vicar tells James "It's a pity it's not Christmas, then we could call you James the Red-Nosed Engine!" This is a reference to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The reference appeared again in the |seventeenth series episode, Santa's Little Engine.
  • In the restored version, the scene of James spinning on the turntable is slowed down and the shot of a male and female passenger staring at the broken hive is omitted.
  • S.S. Vienna's model and Big Mickey from TUGS can be seen as Bill and Ben leave. The fire station, the steel company, a three berth garage and a large brown building from TUGS also appear.
  • The honeycombs inside the broken beehive are actually pieces of foam.
  • Separate face castings (actually re-casts of two existing moulds/expressions - cross, tired) for James, painted in a satin grey coat as with all the face masks at this time, were made especially for this episode, with characteristic big red nose applied (as if he got stung by a bee) in place of the original nose. This was to ensure the existing moulds would not be spoilt, hence new castings had to be made from these moulds. The face masks were re-painted in a matte grey coat in 2001 (apart from the noses, which kept their distinctive red colour) and appeared again in the 2002 music video James the Really Splendid Engine.
  • Mrs. Kyndley has the lady with the floppy green hat's body from the second series episode Wrong Road.
  • A limited-edition Wooden Railway "James Goes Buzz Buzz" set was released to commemorate this episode. It featured a James with a red nose that, when rubbed, would temporarily go away, as well as BoCo, a turntable, a station with a beehive and the VHS "James Goes Buzz Buzz and Other Thomas Stories". When assembled, the track is shaped like a bee.
  • This episode aired in the UK exactly 47 years after the book, The Three Railway Engines, was first published. Coincidentally, the episode also aired on George Carlin's 55th birthday.


  • When Bill and Ben puff away, one of them is not puffing smoke.
  • Studio equipment is visible when BoCo talks to Duck.
  • The narrator states that the bee that stung James' nose burnt one foot, but it actually burnt two feet.
  • When the people are racing out of the station, the platform bounces up in some frames, one of the stone pillars by the entrance moves slightly, and in the second of the three frames that were shot for this sequence, a passenger figure has fallen over and is lying face down on the station floor.
  • When the bees fly around the driver and fireman, James' cab roof is white. In the same shot, the station wall behind them is a blank, grey wall.
  • In some scenes, some black glue can be seen wrapped around James' funnel, which indicates that at some point, James' funnel had been broken during production.
  • In the Buzz Book, one picture shows BoCo with a yellow bufferbeam.
  • When James arrives at Tidmouth, he stops at the front of the station, but in his point-of-view of the bee, he is in the middle of the station.
  • There appear to be two Mrs. Kyndley's at Tidmouth: one in her first series form and one in her fifth series form.
  • When James backs on his train before being stung, he moves too far back and hits the coaches. They can be seen moving backwards after James stops.
  • George Carlin gives the Vicar a different voice than he did in the previous episode.
  • in the Finnish dub. Trevor is called "car engine" by accident.
  • James' red nose smiling face's nose is smaller than his nose on his previous two red nose faces.


James: Hello, Trevor. You look as bright and cheerful as my red paint.
Trevor: Oh, I am.
James: What's that noise?
Trevor: It's the bees. They're all in these boxy things called beehives. I'm taking them to the station. The Vicar says his bees make good honey and he's giving some of them to his friends.
[BoCo arrives]
BoCo: Take care, you two. Don't make the bees angry. They might sting you.
[James ignores BoCo and leaves the orchard]


BoCo: I remember the first time I met those two. They nearly made my eyes pop out. Edward soon put a stop to their games.
Duck: Edward is the only one who can keep Bill and Ben in order. I sometimes call them the bees.
BoCo: A good name. They're terrors when they start buzzing around.
[James bustles in]
James: What's that, Duck? Are you afraid of bees? They're only insects, after all. So don't let that buzz-box diesel tell you different.
Duck: His name is BoCo and he didn't. We--
James: I wouldn't care if hundreds were swarming around! I'd just blow smoke and make them buzz off!
Duck: Buzz, buzz, buzz.


James: [after the bees swarm to his boiler] Buzz off! Buzz off!
Narrator: One bee burned his foot.
Bee: Ooh! Aah! Ow! Phew! Phew!
Narrator: The bee thought James had burned it on purpose, so it stung James right back on the nose. (the bee stings James)
James: EEEEEEEE!!!
Narrator: Whistled James.


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