Friday, May 16, 2014

Flight of the Honey Bee

Flight of the Honey Bee
by Raymond Huber; illus. by Brian Lovelock
32 pages; ages 3 - 7
Candlewick Press, 2013

Theme: nature,insects, nonfiction

A honey bee tackles different jobs over her short lifetime: she cleans the hive, babysits larvae, helps build and guard the nest, serves as scout and harvests food.

"This is the story of a scout..." begins Raymond Huber. "Scout has spent her whole live in the crowded hive. Now it is time for her to fly out and explore the world - time to search for flowers from which to collect pollen and nectar for food."

We follow Scout as she picks up scents with her antennae, dodges a hungry blackbird, and finds shelter from a sudden storm. Finally she makes it home and dances her dance to tell her sisters where to find the best nectar and pollen.

What I like about this Book: Aside from the marvelous honey-colored cover and those wise bee-eyes staring out at the reader? I love the name "Scout" - it's perfect for a bee on a reconnaissance mission. I like the "fact notes" tucked into the page: how many bees in a hive, how far a honey bee travels to find honey. I love the warm, honey-color running through the illustrations, and the splatters of color like bits of pollen that manage to get on every page. There's great stuff at the back, too - notes on how to "save the bees" and an index for impatient folks who want to quickly flip to the facts.

Bee-yond the book: Although Scout's story is set in the fall, right now is a perfect time to get outside and get to know your neighborhood bees. Go on a Bee Walk to see who's buzzing around your neighborhood. You might recognize honey bees and bumble bees, but there are lots of other bees around too - like the metallic green bees that hang around my flowers. If you're not sure what's buzzing in your yard, here's some help.

Make your Yard Bee- (and Butterfly-) Friendly. When honey bees and bumble bees and all the other kinds of bees in your neighborhood visit flowers, they do more than take nectar home to their nest. The also carry pollen from one flower to another. A lot of the food we eat depends on bee-pollination - like strawberries. How could you have strawberry shortcake without bees? Learn how to make your yard pollinator-friendly  here.

Learn the Waggle Dance. That's how Scout tells her sisters where to find the honey. You do a waggle run, then circle 'round right. Do the waggle run, then circle 'round left. Here, let the bees show you:

Drop by STEM Friday to see what other science books and resources bloggers are sharing.   Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.
  On Monday we'll scout the Nonfiction Monday round-up, where you'll find all kinds of great nonfiction for children and teens.  Review copy provided by publisher.


  1. Thank-you for sharing this book, but especially for your post on bee-friendly yards. I can't wait to get started! (Except it is pouring rain this morning.)

  2. I've always had a facscination with bees. My sister-in-law has five hives on their farm. I learned something new about how bees communicate. Love the bee dance video -- very interesting. The intellegence in nature is fascinating.

  3. Fabulous. I do so love and appreciate bees!

  4. Great choice, Sue! I'd love to read this one. And given the plight of honey bees, so important for kids to learn about them. Love your activities too!

  5. The bumble bees are plentiful this spring, buzzing on my holly bushes. I would like to read this one to learn more about the honey makers. I enjoyed your link to the bee photos (sorry, but I HATE yellow jackets).

  6. This looks like a great book as we ready to garden and hope spring has arrived here. Thanks.