So the bees in front of the bee hive in the Steamy Marsh are about as tough as, well, bees. Even without my large bodyguard, I'd have been able to tap my way through.
Once inside, Tingle's told about the bees' predicament, and is asked to clean up the air. The way to do so, apparently, is to blow up these volcanoes spread throughout the area. This makes for an area-wide puzzle, since the only bombs available are bomb flowers, and there aren't always any in the immediate vicinity of one of the bad air spewers.
So, I can consider myself unstuck in Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland, but I can't consider myself un-stumped just yet.