Honey Bee Books For Kids

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Honey bees are important insects that have been in the news recently.




Let’s take a look at some wonderful children’s books about honey bees and other bees.(Note:  Linked titles go to Amazon for more information. Please see the disclaimer below).


Beginning Reader



Look Inside a Bee Hive (Pebble Plus: Look Inside Animal Homes) by Megan Nicole Cooley Peterson is a timely picture book for young children interested in learning more about honey bees. The book consists of two-page spreads with a full-page color photograph on the right and on the left are simple sentences with controlled vocabulary written at the first grade level. Children learn vocabulary words such as queen bee, worker bee, and comb.

Age Range: 4 and up
Series: Pebble Plus: Look Inside Animal Homes
Publisher: Capstone Press (August 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429660759
ISBN-13: 978-1429660754



How Bees Make Honey (First Facts: Big Picture: Food) by Louise A. Spilsbury

Discusses honey bees foraging, their dances and how they make honey, with large color photographs.

Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Series: First Facts: Big Picture: Food
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Capstone Press (January 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429655364
ISBN-13: 978-1429655361


Bees and Their Hives (Pepple Plus; Animal Homes) by Linda Tagliaferro

Reading Level: K-1
Interest Level: PreK-2
Series: Pepple Plus; Animal Homes
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Capstone Press(MN) (January 2004)
ISBN-10: 0736851224
ISBN-13: 978-0736851220


Bees by Rebecca Rissman

For the youngest set, combines large color photographs with simple rhyming text. “Do you hear that sound? Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! It’s a bee! Covered in black and yellow fuzz!”

Reading Level: PreK-K
Publisher:  Raintree (2013)
ISBN:  9781410948021 / 1-4109-4802-1


Picture Books

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann

The concept of the book is straightforward enough, follow the life of a single adult worker honeybee from emergence from the pupal chamber, starting with:

One summer morning deep in the nest,
a brand-new honeybee
chews through the wax cap of her solitary cell and into…

Just because the story follows an adult, doesn’t mean that the life cycle is missing stages. The worker becomes a nurse bee and tends to the eggs and larvae, so the full life cycle is represented.

Eric Rohmann’s illustrations knock it out of the ballpark. The detailed close-ups make the reader feel like they are right in the hive with the bees. The gatefold-spread section of the honeybee going on her first flight is beyond breathtaking.

The backmatter includes a guide to honeybee anatomy, a section about helping honeybees, and more facts about honeybees.

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
is the ultimate book about these fascinating and important creatures. You don’t want to miss this one!

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: Neal Porter Books (February 4, 2020)
ISBN-10: 0823442853
ISBN-13: 978-0823442850




The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci

Written and illustrated by Micucci, this lovely book gets high marks for both accuracy and ability to hold the reader’s interest. Covers many aspects of bees, including their life cycle and behavior.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 25, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 039586139X
ISBN-13: 978-0395861394



The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons

Also illustrated by the author, this text highlights honey production and beekeeping. Gail Gibbons books are uniformly high quality and children enjoy them immensely.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (April 5, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0688175317
ISBN-13: 978-0688175313



Are You a Bee? (Backyard Books) by Judy Allen check illustrator: Tudor Humphries

Are you a Bee? is an intriguing book that compares humans and honey bees in an informative and gently humorous way.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (May 13, 2004)
ISBN-10: 9780753458044
ISBN-13: 978-0753458044



Brilliant Bees
by Linda Glaser and illustrated by Gay Holland conveys information about the honey bee life cycle and concepts like pollination using a few well-chosen words. The back matter has questions for deeper understanding.

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 3, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0761326707
ISBN-13: 978-0761326700

The bumblebee-queen

The Bumblebee Queen
by April Pulley Sayre (Author), Patricia J. Wynne (Illustrator) is a lovely picture book. It follows a simple story in bold typeface, with sidebars of facts in regular font on some pages. There are also ideas for encouraging bees in the back matter.

Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: Preschool and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; Reprint edition (July 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1570913633
ISBN-13: 978-1570913631


Honey in a Hive (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2) by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by S. D. Schindler

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 4
Series: Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 3, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0064452042
ISBN-13: 978-0064452045


The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive
by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Lexile Measure: 520L (What’s this?)
Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Scholastic; Reprint edition (January 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0590257218
ISBN-13: 978-0590257213





In the Trees, Honey Bees!
by Lori Mortensen and and illustrated by Cris Arbo

Age Range: 5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
Lexile Measure: 650L (What’s this?)
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Dawn Publications (March 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1584691158
ISBN-13: 978-1584691150

The Fascinating World of Bees
by Jose Maria Parramon and A. Julivert

Probably the most densely information-packed of all the books in this list, this older title is worth looking up.

Age Range: 8 and up
Series: Fascinating World Of…
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series (September 1991)
ISBN-10: 0812047206
ISBN-13: 978-0812047202


The Buzz on Bees: Why Are They Disappearing?
by Shelley Rotner and Anne Woodhull

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Holiday House (May 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 082342247X
ISBN-13: 978-0823422470



The Bee: Friend of the Flowers (Animal Close-Ups) (Animal Close-Ups)by Paul Starosta has excellent full-color photographs. As well as important facts about honey bees, it also wasps, bumble bees and carpenter bees.

Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: Preschool and up
Series: Animal Close-Ups
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; Tra edition (June 2005)
ISBN-10: 1570916292
ISBN-13: 978-1570916298




Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose by Naomi Shihab Nye

Using honey bee metaphors to explore various aspects of living.

Age Range: 8 and up
Grade Level: 5 and up
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (February 26, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060853905
ISBN-13: 978-0060853907





UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings, a newer book by Douglas Florian (2012), goes into more scientific detail than some of his other books of poetry. The reader comes away with an appreciation of bees and how they live.


Middle Grade


The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field Series) By Loree Griffin Burns and photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz.

This book examines colony collapse disorder or CCD – the problem with honey bees disappearing that has been in the news – by going right to the beekeeper who first noticed missing bees. Dave Hackenberg runs a large company, Hackenberg Apiaries. He moves thousands of hives around the country. When he found 400 empty hives in Florida, he knew something big had gone wrong and he sounded the alarm. Burns then introduces us to four bee scientists who are at the front lines of CCD research, and explains their roles in the investigation.

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April 16, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0544003268
ISBN-13: 978-0544003262

My Review



The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery
by Sandra Markle is a fabulous new book about the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honey bees. Organized in a beautifully logical way, Markle introduces honey bees and why we should care about them. She then presents the case for different causes of the disorder, revealing how complicated it all might be. The visual lay out of the book is also appealing. It adds bold interest without overwhelming the text. Some of the close-up photographs are astonishing.

Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (August 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1467705926
ISBN-13: 978-1467705929



Nonfiction appropriate for Young Adults



Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive by Stephen Buchmann

A noted expert on bees, Buchmann is a passionate and informed author. He does, however, write using complex sentences and vocabulary. If in doubt whether it is age appropriate, check the excerpt on the Amazon page for idea of the reading level.

Age Range: 11 and up
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (June 8, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 038573770X


Lessons Featuring Honey Bees


Buzzing A Hive (Old Edition) by Jean C. Echols, illustrated by Lisa Haderlie Baker. Published by Great Explorations in Math and Science, University of California, Berkeley. 1987.Great ideas for hands on activities for young children.

Paperback: 146 pages
Publisher: GEMS-Regents of the Univ of CA (March 1996)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0912511125
ISBN-13: 978-0912511122






The Honey Hunters by Francesca Martin is a version of an African folktale involving a following a honey guide bird to find honey.

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Candlewick (January 3, 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1564022765
ISBN-13: 978-1564022769


the honeybee-man

The Honeybee Man
by Lela Nargi and illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker (2011)

A realistic fiction picture book about a man named Fred who keeps bees on his rooftop in Brooklyn. Description of the honey-making process included.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (March 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0375849807
ISBN-13: 978-0375849800



The Honeybee & the Robber by Eric Carle

Age Range: 1 – 6 years
Hardcover: 14 pages
Publisher: Philomel; Revised edition (July 23, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399237313
ISBN-13: 978-0399237317





The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco

When a young girl wants a break from reading, her grandfather takes her on a quest to find a bee tree. It is a tale about life’s adventures.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (May 4, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0698116968
ISBN-13: 978-0698116962


Disclaimer: Just so you know, I am an affiliate with Amazon. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the title links, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you, the proceeds of which will help pay for maintaining this website.


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