In the Trees, Honey Bees
by Lori Mortensen; illustrated by Chris Arbo
32 pages; ages 3-8
Dawn Publications, 2009
Theme: insects; animal families and social relationships; ecological value of bees
Opening: "Morning light. Warm and bright. In the trees, honey bees."
With simple, clear language, Lori Mortensen leads children into the daily lives of honey bees. Rhyming text in large fonts tells the bones of the story: when the sun comes out, the bees head out to collect nectar and pollen. Back at the nest - and it is a nest built inside a tree hollow - other bees are busy with housekeeping chores. Then there's the bear to contend with, and a thunderstorm.
Supplemental text at the bottom of the pages give more details about honey bee lives. There are cool facts, too. Did you know that the average colony can have as many as 50,000 worker bees but only a single queen? And did you know that, in addition to collecting nectar and pollen, bees gather sticky sap from trees? They use it as glue in their nests.
Beyond the Book: Head outside on a bee hike. Right now, the bees are busy stocking up on winter stores. We find lots of honey bees and native bees on the goldenrod and asters. How many bees do you find?
Do a Bee Dance. In the book, the returning scout bees do a waggle dance to let the other bees know where the flowers are. By the way they orient, and the number of waggles, they communicate direction, distance and quality of nectar and pollen. You can do a "traditional" bee dance, or make up your own to communicate where the "good stuff" is in your house.
Make a candle. Here's some simple directions. All you need is a sheet of beeswax and some wick.
Today's review is part of the STEM Friday round-up. Check out the other science books and resources reviewed this week. We're also joining 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.
Review copy borrowed from a library.