Hal covered with bees

The Bots and the Bees is the fourteenth episode of Season 1 of Malcolm in the Middle and the fourteenth episode overall of the show.


With Lois visiting Francis at military school, Hal helps the Krelboynes make a robot.


In the cold opening, Malcolm, Reese and Dewey diligently search the house for quarters to use on a kickboxing game at the local arcade, running back and forth between them whenever they run out of lives.

Malcolm invites his Krelboyne classmates over and they show him a tape on an open competition where killer robots brawl. They wish to enter due to their number designs, plans, knowledge, barely any social life, and the fact Dabney's father tries to buy his sons love. The only downside is that their parents would never allow them to do something as danger as this, knowing Malcolm's house has a total lack of caring adult supervision.

Meanwhile, Lois is preparing to visit Francis at his school after he become severely injured. Hal is skeptical as hey haven't spent a night apart ever since Francis was first born, but reluctantly agrees. The next morning the boys know that Lois will only be away for 4 to 5 days so the best time to ask Hal for something is when he is distracted. Dewey wishes to wear his pajamas to school and Reese wants to obtain a scope for his BB gun, Malcolm states Reese doesn't have a BB gun to which Reese replies "Not yet". Malcolm states he should go first due to his more dangerous plan knowing anything after "killer robot" would sound reasonable. Hal easily agrees, Malcolm is surprised himself.

Craig comes over incorrectly assuming Lois was having an operation, also assuming Francis shot her, Hal quickly corrects her. In Alabama, Francis is in tremendous pain mentioning how every time he breathes in he feels like his stomach is full of broken glass but is ecstatic about it. He states to Finley he can use it against Lois appeasing her guilt since he almost died and she was the one who sent him away and knows she has the inability to argue about it, dismiss it or try to make it his fault.

Back at home, Hal has trouble sleeping without Lois and creepily rubs Bengay all over her pillow, only to stay up all night eating frosting, junk food and watching a violent war movie. Malcolm awakes the next day to find Hal giving Malcolm some help for his robot, a large buzz saw which slices a chair in half, Malcolm is shocked but Hal only shrugs it off as too slow and contemplates adding a larger blade. Later Malcolm and his friends work on some blueprints and have trouble deciding on the best design, Hal later walks in and after viewing the plans states the flamethrower would work best. Lloyd mentions their parents disapprove of this, Hal states they shouldn't tell their parents, leaving them all awestruck. Dabney claims that Hal's lack of responsibility is oddly thrilling.

The next morning Malcolm and his brothers are watching "Xiaolin Dragon" a kung fu TV series on VHS. Malcolm states that now that they've finished the final video they are now officially desensitized to violence. Dewey has drank a frighteningly large amount of orange sodas and is now hyper claiming he can now write on his tongue. Reese states that they can start on "Monks of Death" or or lighten things up with "Samurai Bloodfest". Just then Malcolm's friends arrive and tell Malcolm that they're backing out of the competition because of how far Hal has taken the project off the edge and ask for their blueprints back. In the backyard Malcolm fines house smoking while working on the robot listening to the "Fire" by the Chicago Players. He give the boys back their blueprints claiming he has come up with a better idea: a laser guided bee cannon. Malcolm wonders how it could hurt a robot but Hal claims it's for the person controlling the robot and it's a guaranteed winner. The Krelboynes are terrified about how sadistic and insane Hal has become with Stevie claiming that it will end badly before leaving. Malcolm goes back inside just as Hal joins in howling with a pack of dogs.

Back at Marlin Academy, Lois plays foosball with the cadets and has a good time Francis starts to become jealous and wants her to leave. At home Hal dances around in his underwear with a shirt on his head to "I just want to celebrate" by Rare Earth. Malcolm states that Lois being gone was fun but starts to get out of control, as Reese and Dewey eat tubs of ice cream. Mr. Jackson calls Hal and refuses to come to work (saying it isn’t fun) and rips the phone out of the wall.


  • The episode title is a pun off of "The birds and the bees".
  • Bryan Cranston was known to enjoy doing his own stunts. After one of the show's writers asked jokingly whether he would be willing to wear a suit of live bees Cranston said he would, so the script for this episode was written around this. He ended up covered in 10,000 bees, and only got stung once.
  • It also shares a name with a Futurama episode.
  • The bot that Hal ends up making is named the "Lois II".
  • When the robot saws the chair in half, a thin shiny line can be seen in the bottom right hand corner of the screen that helps make the chair halves fall over.
  • Malcolm and Reese's voices start breaking in this episode, although their voices do not become fully deep until season 3.
  • During the scene where Hal is building "Lois II" the song that is playing is "Fire" by Ohio Players.
  • The song that plays in the scene where Hal is dancing in his underwear is "I Just Want to Celebrate" by Rare Earth.
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