Book Review: The Hive Detectives

I love bees. We should all know and love bees. Children, especially, should get to know them–they are indispensable. Honey and beeswax lip balm are the least of it. Bees pollinate flowers, and flowers contain the seeds that enable plants to reproduce. Plants that provide food such strawberries, blueberries, oranges, lemons, limes, cherries, cranberries, cantaloupes, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, avocados, almonds, and apples, to name  a few. Without bees, we wouldn’t have our super-soft cotton Onesies for our babies, or the cool cotton T-shirts we all love. Besides, bees are fascinating creatures. They are a “superorganism,” living in colonies of 50,000 female members. And bees can dance. (You go girls!)

Photo by Loree Griffin Burns

 

I love The Hive Detectives because it’s multidimensional. It is not just the dramatic story of scientists searching for the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the mysterious affliction that is wiping out honeybees worldwide. It’s also the hopeful story of hobbyist beekeeper who refers to honey as “liquid gold.” Now, I want to be a beekeeper.

 

"The biggest thing about bees is not honey. It's that your food supply depends on them," says Dave Hackenberg, the commercial beekeeper who first reported CCD. (Photo by Ellen Harasimowicz)

 

Author Loree Griffin Burns makes us care about bees and the people who who care for them. Not only a great read, the book is beautifully photographed (by Ellen Harasimowicz) and designed (it is part of the excellent Houghton-Mifflin series, Scientists in the Field).

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