Shirley Raines’ book, Bees, introduces young readers to the lives and importance of four different kinds of bees. Written for children ages 5-8 years old in grades K-2, the book provides STEAM content (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) combining factual scientific information with poetry and outstanding close-up photographs. This multidisciplinary approach appeals to children with diverse learning styles and furthers their education while also giving them an appreciation for the natural world.

The author immerses young readers in sensory delights from the first to the last pages and packs all sorts of basic and fun information about bees in the pages in between. Blue skies with fluffy clouds on the end pages welcome us into the work and lead to an introduction to bumblebees, honeybees, sweat bees and carpenter bees. We learn that bumblebee flap their wings back and forth rather than up and down, sweat bees have the least painful sting, and that carpenter bees live alone in tunnels they carve in wood. Subsequent pages introduce us to job specialization in honeybee hives, mutualism between bees and the flowers they visit, the waggle dance, pollination, and swarming. A large detailed photograph of a honeybee with labels teaches us the anatomy of a honeybee and we can identify hard exoskeleton, three body parts, three pairs of legs for a total of six, two pairs of wings, one pair of antennae and two compound eyes. We learn that 6-8 pounds of honey are needed to make one pound of wax and that the cells of honeycombs are hexagonal because hexagons hold the most honey with the least wax. Ending sections contain a glossary, suggestions for conserving bee colonies, and exercises to expand the text material with activities to extend learning in and out of the classroom.

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their impact on the world for early learners.  It begins with clouds on the endpages.  Here you will find simple fun facts, poetry, and outstanding close-up photographs of different bees.   Did you know that the bumblebee can use their stingers more than once, while honeybees can only use theirs only once? Sweat bees come in green or blue or purple? That carpenter bees live on every continent except Antarctica. I also learned that a queen can lay up to 2000 eggs per day, that most of the bees in a colony are worker bees, that honeybees pollinate more than 90 different crops across the United States and can visit thousands of flowers in a day. Plus their honey, if stored in an airtight container, never expires.   Backpages include story stretchers and activities, as well as a glossary full of STEAM vocabulary.

K-2, 5-8 years old