Well, this is about a big brown bear (as can be told by the title) who has been asked to go and get some fish and to stay away from the beehive. However since the bear (like many of us) is a slave to his passions, when he walks past the hive he falls to the temptation to stick his paw into the hive, remove some of the honey, and eat it. As can be expected from a hive (that happens to be inhabited by bees) the bees all rush out to defend their hive and attack the poor bear who, while hiding in the water, has his nose stung.
Okay, some may suggest that maybe I am reading too much into this book, but then again that is what I do, and I am unlikely to be the first person to do this. Anyway, these books aren't simply designed for kids to learn to read but to also learn some life lessons as well. This book pretty much warns you about becoming a slave to your passions (which in this case is a passion for honey) because there are always consequences, and in this case it involved the bear getting his nose stung.
Okay, I could also suggest that there are some other, more traditional ideas here as well, but then again this book was written during the 40s, so the idea of the man going out and working while the wife stays home and looks after the house is typical of that time. This is not the case anymore, particularly since in a lot of cases both man and wife go out and work. Also, there is the idea that the wife tends to be the one with the brains and the man is a slave to his passions. It is the wife that remains home and keeps the house clean, while the man, usually on his way home from work, though sometimes on his way to work, stops off at the pub and drinks beer. Maybe there is something a little subtle hidden in the text here in this regards, particularly since to many children this would have been noticeable.