Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

In the Trees, Honey Bees!

In the Trees, Honey Bees!

Lori Mortensen
Illustrator:  Cris Arbo 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 9
Dawn Publications, 2009   ISBN: 978-1584691150

The sun is up and the bees that are living in a hole in a tree are ready to get to work. Off they fly in the warm sunshine, leaving their home behind to find flower blossoms loaded with nectar and pollen. These hardworking sisters then carry the nectar and pollen back to the hive where their other sisters are waiting to receive their load.

   There can be as many as 50,000 workers bees in the hive, but there is only one queen. The queen lays all the eggs in the colony and her daughters take care of her. They also take care of the eggs and then feed the larvae when they hatch.

   Most humans know that honey bees are not aggressive and will only get annoyed if someone is foolish enough to attack their colony. There are some animals that don’t seem to understand this. Bears, as most of us know, have a sweet tooth and they love honey. When bears try to steal honey the guard bees go on the defensive and the bears get stung.

   Like many humans, bees prepare for the lean winter months by making food, in the form of honey, during the warmer seasons. They will need between 30 and 60 pounds of honey to get through the winter.

   Though many of us humans see bees in our gardens, visiting our window boxes, or buzzing around parks, many of us don’t fully appreciate how extraordinary these little insects are. This splendid book pairs remarkably detailed and luminous artwork with simple rhyming couplets that young children will love. At the bottom of each double page spread there are also sections of informative prose that older children will find interesting.

   At the back of the book there are two pages packed with further information about honey bees. The topics expand on the text presented in the book.