Books About Bees For Kids

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Bees are important insects because they pollinate many of our important food crops.

 

 

Let’s take a look at some wonderful children’s books about bees.

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.

Nonfiction:

Beginning Reader

National Geographic Readers: Bees by Laura Marsh

Learn about bees in this level 2 reader. Illustrated with the high quality photographs you would expect from National Geographic.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ National Geographic Kids; Illustrated edition (January 12, 2016)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 142632281X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1426322815

Look Inside a Bee Hive (Pebble Plus: Look Inside Animal Homes) by Megan Nicole Cooley Peterson

Written 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

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
Publisher: Capstone Press (January 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429655364
ISBN-13: 978-1429655361

 

 

bees-rissman

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!”

The cover shows a bumble bee.

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

 

Picture Books

Begin with a Bee by Liza Ketchum, Jacqueline Briggs Martin, and Phyllis Root, illustrated by Claudia McGehee

The three authors follow a single rusty-patched bumble bee queen through her life, starting with the bee overwintering in a hole under the ground.

“What else waits all winter under the ground?”

Seeds and roots of plants! By explaining that plants are also important for the bee’s survival by supplying food, young reader’s learn how different living things depend on each other.

Begin with a Bee is a picture book that will appeal to nature lovers of all ages. Investigate a copy today!

See related activity suggestions at Growing with Science blog.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 4 – 9 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Univ Of Minnesota Press (May 25, 2021)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1517908043
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1517908041

Honeybee Rescue: A Backyard Drama by Loree Burns and photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz

Find out how a beekeeper removes wild honey bee hives from people’s homes. Photographs are detailed and close-up, so the reader feels like they are standing right there throughout the process.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Charlesbridge (May 10, 2022)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1623542391
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1623542399

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
squirms,
pushes,
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.

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera is a multi-award winning 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

Some older picture books:

 

life-and-times-of-honey-bee

 

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
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (August 25, 1997)
ISBN-10: 039586139X
ISBN-13: 978-0395861394

 

the-honey-makers

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
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (April 5, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0688175317
ISBN-13: 978-0688175313

are-you-a-bee

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

 

brillant-bees

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
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 3, 2003)
ISBN-10: 0761326707
ISBN-13: 978-0761326700

 

The Bumblebee Queen by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne

This lovely layered picture book 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
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; Reprint edition (July 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1570913633
ISBN-13: 978-1570913631

honey-in-a-hive

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
Publisher: HarperCollins (May 3, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0064452042
ISBN-13: 978-0064452045

magic-school-bus

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

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Scholastic; Reprint edition (January 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 0590257218
ISBN-13: 978-0590257213

 

bee-sarasota

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
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing; Tra edition (June 2005)
ISBN-10: 1570916292
ISBN-13: 978-1570916298

 

 

Middle Grade

The Beekeepers: How Humans Changed the World of Bumble Bees by Dana L. Church

After briefly describing the history of studying and keeping bumble bees, Church discusses the business of selling bumble bees to pollinate plants in greenhouses. She explains that the bumble bee you see in your yard may be a native one or may be an import that has escaped from a nearby tomato-growing operation.

Later chapters explore some marvels of bumble bee behavior, before revealing how some species of bumble bees are waning in numbers and on the brink of disappearing. The last chapter summarizes some of the things that are being done to protect and encourage bumble bees.

If you are looking for a book about bumbles bees that the whole family might enjoy, check out the middle grade title, The Beekeepers: How Humans Changed the World of Bumble Bees by Dana L. Church.

Reading age : 8 – 12 years
Publisher : Scholastic Focus (March 2, 2021)
ISBN-10 : 1338565540
ISBN-13 : 978-1338565546

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

Activity

case-honeybees

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

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
ASIN: B006J41BQI

 

Poetry

honeybee-Nye

Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose by Naomi Shihab Nye

Using honey bee metaphors to explore various aspects of living.

Age Range: 8 and up
Publisher: Greenwillow Books; First Edition edition (February 26, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0060853905
ISBN-13: 978-0060853907

UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings, by Douglas Florian

This collection of poems goes into more scientific detail than some of Florian’s other books of poetry. The reader comes away with an appreciation of bees and how they live.

Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 – 8 years
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Beach Lane Books; Illustrated edition (March 6, 2012)
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1442426527
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1442426528

Lessons Featuring Honey Bees

buzzong-the-hive

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

 

Be sure to also visit our growing list of children’s books about pollination.

 

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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