Posts tagged ‘bees’

#BUG OFF…

The Queen Who Banished Bugs, A Tale of Bees, Butterflies, Ants, and Other Pollinators

Written by Ferris Kelly Robinson

Illustrated by Mary Ferris Kelly

King Claude and Queen Libertine rule the kingdom of Dunce. The queen is overbearing and obstinate. King Claude spends his days trying to appease her. One day a bee lands on her heel. The queen immediately kills it. That does not appease her anger. Queen Libertine banishes every insect in the kingdom. That effectively destroys the food chain. Pollination ceases and crops die. The animals in the kingdom have no food.

The king becomes desperate. He decides to defy the queen. Claude plants a tiny seed that grows into milkweed. Other types of flowers follow. Pollinators return to the kingdom. The king tutors his queen on the importance of pollinators to ensure the food supply of their kingdom.

The author provides an explanation of how pollination works at the end of the tale. Robinson adds a link to resources for learning more about the subject.

This story is written in rhyme. The illustrator provides line drawings with color interspersed throughout the story. I would consider this book more of an early chapter book than a picture book. While it could be a read-aloud for younger children, it will appeal more to readers in the five to eight age range or as a beginning reader.

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THE BUZZ ON BEES

A, Bee, See: Who are our Pollinators and Why are They in Trouble?

Written by Kenneth Eade

Photographs by Valentine Eade

A,Bee,Seepic

The author decided to write a children’s edition of his adult book. You might expect it to be written by a biologist, but Kenneth Eade is a lawyer with the vision to look ahead toward environmental responsibility. He begins by explaining the interdependence of plants and animals and then introduces the bee as our most important pollinator. Bees have been at work for more than one hundred million years. There are thousands of kinds of bees, but Eade concentrates on the most common types like the honey bee and the bumblebee, and how they accomplish their work. Most of us are aware of the bees work, but are less familiar with the fact that moths and bats pollinate plants at night. Did you know that bats pollinate three hundred kinds of fruit and cacti?

The reader will learn how the honeybee colony is organized into queen bee, workers and drones. Did you know that honeybees have five eyes that help them navigate with light, color and direction? For years I have been telling children to stand still when any type of bee flies near them. I felt vindicated that this is the right action. What I found really interesting is that worker bees have two stomachs, one for eating and one for storing the nectar they gather, They even have tiny bags on their hind legs for carrying the pollen to the hive. I was never aware of the processing bee that puts nectar into a honeycomb cell nor that she adds an enzyme that allows it to ripen and dry into honey. Such a perfect food for the bees which lasts for years and provides nutrition for humans as well.

Bees are endangered now because excessive land clearing depletes home-sites for bees as well as other animals. At the same time the wildflowers are disappearing. Many farmers treat their crops with pesticides that kill bees. Children can help by urging their parents to plant wildflowers in their gardens and writing to government representatives to make them aware of environmental concerns.

This book contains beautiful photographs and is well written. It belongs on the shelves of every elementary classroom. Younger children can learn a lot about plants, animals and the environment by using this book as a reference. Older children might use it as a starting point for more advanced study. This book is enlightening and informative for all ages.

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