One day, the honeybee came to Zeus and requested him to be granted a wish. Zeus agreed and asked the honeybee to tell what he wanted. To this the honeybee requested that he be given the power to inflict great pain on others. Tot his Zeus replied that this wish was a cruel one. But the honeybee was persistent and asked Zeus to fulfill his word and to grant the wish.
Zeus agreed to fulfill the honeybee’s desire but laid one condition. To this the honeybee agreed. Zeus said that before he stings a person, honeybee had to use sound judgment before he can cause any harm to others, and he can use the sting only once during his life time. It is believed even today that the honeybee stings a person only once and after which the honeybee dies.
Source: 365 Folk Tales - Om Book International