Two books about bees were released earlier this month.
That may sound over-dramatic, but the truth is that bees are a keystone species. That means, writes author Lynn Brunelle, “plants and animals in an ecosystem depend on them for survival.” That dependence includes us – because one third of the food we eat depends on bees for pollination. Think: blueberries, apples, almonds, cucumbers.
But there’s a problem. Bee populations are in decline. Not just honey bees, but the hard-working native pollinators that provide millions of dollars worth of free labor to fruit farmers. Bumble bees, carpenter bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, digger bees…they are all too important to lose.
This book introduces us to bees, plants, and pollination. Then the author introduces us to two kinds of bees: mason bees and honey bees. There are 20 activities and experiments that provide children and families a safe way to learn about our busy, buzzy neighbors. And BEST of ALL – you can turn the book into a beehive for native bees. Durable cover and instructions included.
The King of Bees, by Lester L. Laminack; illus. by Jim LaMarche (Peachtree Publishers) opens: Henry and Aunt Lilla lived deep in the Lowcountry, where South Carolina reaches out and mingles with the saltwater for form tidal creeks and marshes. Don’t you just love that luscious language?
Henry and his aunt live in a small house with a vegetable garden, a hen house, and beehives. He can’t wait until he is old enough to help care for the bees. Henry wants his own coveralls and bee hat. He also loves the bees, their humming, and the stories Aunt Lilla tells about how the sister bees work together.
“Don’t they have any brother bees?” Henry asks. Then one day the bees begin to swarm and Henry decides he’ll help guide the bees to the new hive box Aunt Lilla is getting ready. Things don’t go as planned and he has a closer encounter with bees than he expected.
Head over to Archimedes Notebook for fun links and hands-on bee activities.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
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