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The flowers are blooming happily here in Maryville and of course, that makes the pollinators exceptionally happy as well.
Bees play a key role in the productivity of agriculture and the beauty of our world and are responsible for the pollination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and flowers. But our cherished bees are facing peril in the form of the disruption of natural habitats. This disruption is in the form of lack of “bee flowers” due to the widespread overuse of pesticides, and numerous bee diseases and parasites have pushed bees to the tipping point. To learn more about the beauty and importance of bees in our world, enjoy this list of Picture Books that help us Be Kind to Bees.
Books that help us Be Kind to Bees
Piotr Socha and Wojciech Grajkowski’s The Book of Bees is a beautifully large (almost A3), glorious celebration of the bee. Crammed full of delicious facts, stunning detail and Socha’s wonderfully quirky illustrations, this non-fiction picture book is simply absorbing.
The son of a beekeeper Socha is quite the expert. He deftly uses his illustrative skills to bring the word of bees to your home. With the look and feel of an elegant coffee table book, Grajkowski’s entertaining narrative takes his readers through the life of the bees. We learn how long they have been on earth (since the dinosaurs), how they pollinate plants (and why that’s important), to how they are organized within their hives.
There’s an entertaining double spread looking a humans’ first encounter with bees – known thanks to the discovery of cave paintings in various countries. Did you know the Ancient Egyptians were expert beekeepers?
The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco is a very favorite author/illustrator so I decided to not only review her wonderful book, “The Bee Tree”, but to also bee kind, bee creative and muster up some fun honey bee activities!
This charming book features a real-life book adventure between a grandfather and his granddaughter.
Mary Ellen complains that she is tired of reading. Her grandfather has just the thing to spice up the afternoon….“this is just the right time to find a bee tree !”
Chasing a bee through the Michigan countryside, they are soon joined by a variety of village folk. Finally, the bee leads them to the hive in a tree where they gather a bit of honey. At the end of the story, the grandfather dribbles a little bit of honey on his granddaughter’s book cover and tell Mary Ellen to compare its sweetness to that which is found inside. “Just like we ran after the bees to find their tree, so you must also chase these things: adventure, knowledge, and wisdom through the pages of a book!
Up in the Trees! Honey Bees!
Otto & the Grand Prix Bees by Kip Noschese
Real life bees obviously can’t race cars, but this delightful story is too fun to pass up! Kip Noschese’s beautifully illustrated story introduces readers to a funny friendship, a wicked race car and an important lesson.
The reality is, we all have our fears. Personally, I’m petrified of sharks even though I live nowhere near the ocean. However, I don’t think I’ll ever befriend a shark, no matter the situation. In this delight children’s tale, Otto is stuck in a sticky situation when he wrecks his car during an important race.
Something To Do
There are many things you can do to help our pollinators flourish, including planting “bee-friendly flowers” and not treating those same flowers with pesticides (insecticides, fungicides or herbicides). That simple act can help to keep bees healthy and on their own six feet. But here is a simple one anyone can do. Plus it would be a wonderful family project that would be educational to boot.
With all of this traveling and the heat of summer, bees can get really thirsty. For a bee to drink water they need a surface to land on. To ensure that the bees are not only well fed but well watered too, let’s create a watering hole for them.
Get the full Bee Watering Hole tutorial HERE.
Get involved in the #FeedABee Movement!
Share. Plant. Repeat.
Help us #FeedABee by using the hashtag to spread awareness, applying for a forage grant, or planting your own pollinator-attractants! If you are interested in establishing a large plot (minimum of 1 acre) of pollinator forage, click here.
National Geographic shares bee footage
Witness the eerily beautiful growth of larvae into bees in this mesmerizing time-lapse video from photographer Anand Varma. Varma said the six-month project, for which he built a beehive in his workshop, gave him a new respect for the meticulous job of beekeeping.
Bee Kind to Bees!
Concerned that your kids aren’t getting enough “outside time?”
Despite data that shows that 80% of natural vitamin D comes from the rays of the sun, many children, roughly only 23% are spending enough time outside and welcoming the sun’s rays. Most children do not get enough vitamin D from food alone and are at risk of deficiency if they are spending prolonged periods of time indoors. Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Marilyn Scott-Waters from The Toymaker have combined their respective talents to not only create a clever solution, but also an amazing guidebook to help parents help their children regain their interest and love of nature.
With over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for families to enjoy, learn, discover and play together, A Year In the Secret Garden brings the magical story to life while also enjoying nature and the great outdoors.
With fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book. Our goal is to not only raise awareness for the necessity of families spending more quality “unplugged” time together but to also share monthly activities that incorporate nature and the outdoors as well. Get your kids moving, exploring and playing today. Get access to this wonderful children’s activity book here.