Many of us delighted in watching Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) on the Andy Griffith Show and later on Mayberry R.F.D. Aunt Bee was the beloved maiden aunt of the widowed Andy. After his housekeeper left to get married Aunt Bee moved into the house to take care of Andy and Opie.
Even though she never married and never had any children, Aunt Bee was a natural at taking care of people. She doted on Andy and Opie and looked after them very well. Aunt Bee acted as a wise grandmotherly figure for Opie. She took care of the family until Opie was a teenager and Andy married his long time girlfriend Helen Crump.
Aunt Bee was an excellent cook who not only provided meals for her family, she also cooked for those prisoners in the town jail. The meals would be carried to the jail in a picnic basket. She loved to cook and was well known in Mayberry for her skills in the kitchen. Her apple pies were known to be excellent as were the majority of the items she cooked for her home, community events and church suppers.
At home, Andy especially liked her cornbread biscuits and pork chops. Butterscotch pecan pie was Opie’s favorite. Unfortunately she was not aware that she made lousy pickles. In fact, Andy and his cousin deputy sheriff Barney Fife would refer to them as her “Kerosene Cucumbers”.
Aunt Bee always appeared to be calm with a sweet demeanor and pleasant voice. Bee was Andy’s aunt and Opie’s great aunt, yet almost everyone in Mayberry called her Aunt Bee. Aunt Bee didn’t spend all of her time cooking and taking care of Andy and Opie. She also had an eye for older eligible gentlemen. There was never any hint of anything physical between she and her gentlemen friends. Unfortunately she did not do very well choosing male companionship.
One of her suitors was Colonel Harvey, a medicine man. Aunt Bee never drank anything alcoholic. She drank some of the two bottles of “medicine” she purchased from him. Aunt Bee became a little tipsy from the alcohol and the Colonel wound up in jail.
Another gentlemen, Briscoe Darling, was a mountain man who abducted Aunt Bee and took her to his cabin in the hills after becoming besotted with her. Andy rescued Aunt Bee, but she had already made Mr. Darling’s life absolutely miserable.
Henry Wheeler was a handyman who romanced Bee in order to get himself lodging and food at the Taylor home free.
Clara Edwards was Aunt Bee’s closest friend in Mayberry. They had been friends since they attended school together as children. Clara often was a rival for the single gentlemen in the area and would challenge Aunt Bee in flower shows and cooking contests.
When Andy married Helen Crump at the end of the series and he and Opie moved away from Mayberry, Aunt Bee stayed on and became the housekeeper for Sam Jones and his son in the spinoff show Mayberry R.F. D.