Maya the Bee is an anime television series produced by Zuiyo Enterprise in Japan. The series consisted of 52 episodes and was originally telecast across Japan from April 1975 to April 1976 on the TV Asahi network. Based on the classic children's book Maya the Bee by Waldemar Bonsels, the anime series has become extremely popular in Europe and has been rebroadcast in countries and languages all around the world since its premiere.
Two English-dubbed versions of the series exist, a British version, using a translated version of the original theme tune, and featuring British accents for the characters; and a United States version with an entirely new theme tune, produced by Saban Entertainment, which was broadcast from January 1, 1990 to December 31, 1992 on the children's television channel Nickelodeon. Maya the Bee aired alongside other juvenile-targeted anime such as Adventures of the Little Koala, Noozles and The Littl' Bits as part of Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block of programming for young children.
A second Maya the Bee series, Shin Mitsubachi Māya no Bōken, was a co-production made in 1979 by Wako Productions and Austrian/German Apollo Film, Wien. The second series first premiered in Germany from September 1979 to September 1980. The very different and cartoon-like second series, which lasted for 52 episodes, wasn't very popular and did not premiere in Japan until October 1982, on TV Osaka, and aired through September 1983. Ten episodes from this series were added to 45 from the original for the U.S. broadcast run, bringing the total of Maya episodes aired on Nickelodeon in the U.S. to 55.