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Clan Apis

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  488 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Clan Apis is the biography of a honey bee named Nyuki told in comic book form. Written and drawn by biologist Jay Hosler, Clan Apis is an elegant blend of humor, storytelling, and scientifically accurate information regarding honey bee biology and natural history. This book will entertain and educate readers of all ages.
Paperback, 158 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Active Synapse
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Jun 26, 2015 Martin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
Just perfect.
Jan 11, 2008 Megan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: science teachers, k-8 teachers
Recommended to Megan by: the Lon
Clan Apis is one of the funniest and most moving educational books I've ever read. Jay Hosler's writing is clear and inventive; you don't even notice you're learning a lot while you're reading this. Very much in the vein of what Richard Adams does for rabbits in Watership Down, Hosler does a fantastic job of giving bees strong anthropomorphic character and making them interesting enough to care about. In reading Clan Apis I learned a lot about bees, and a bit about myself. This is one of my favo ...more
Jan 14, 2010 jess rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, bees, graphic-novels
I guess I am off to a slow start in 2010. Since I read so much in 2009 and my nose is deeply buried in 22 books right now, I can't fault myself much for not finishing any of them yet. I picked this up because we're starting a beehive this year and Her Majesty's Secret Beekeeper recommended this book on a Craft gift guide for beekeepers. Plus, Levi will read any graphic novel in the house, so it's a good way to sneak in information when he doesn't realize he's learning.

Anyway, this is a graphic n
Kevin Fanning
Dec 13, 2010 Kevin Fanning rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
Klara recommended this because I was asking her all kinds of questions about bees. This was PERFECT. She is a GOOD LIBARIAN! Raimi and I read it together, he's been totally fascinated with bees ever since my cousin gave him a piece of honeycomb. Raimi learning a ton about the lifecycle of bees and what life inside a hive is like. I liked it because it's about life and death and infinity and stuff. Kind of blown away about what the author did here. I got extremely emotional reading this plus lear ...more
Loree Burns
Mar 02, 2010 Loree Burns rated it really liked it
CLAN APIS is a graphic novel about honey bees. I know. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect myself. But let me tell you … this is a a totally fun and scientifically accurate graphic novel introduction to the world of the honey bee. I kid you not. It is a honey bee must read.

Hosler is a neurobiologist at Juniata College, where he studies—you guessed it—honey bees. In his spare time he cartoons, mostly about sciencey stuff. Can’t remember the last sciencey cartoon you came across? Then check out Kil
Nov 19, 2012 Erica rated it it was amazing
This is the book that made me want to have honeybees. Not for the honey, just to have them in my yard. Because I love them and I am sure all bee larvae smile like that.

I force this book upon everyone I know who asks any type of question about bees.
Nov 25, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovels
Fascinating! A well-executed blend of informational text and storytelling packaged in graphic novel format. I really enjoyed this one.
Feb 24, 2012 Hope rated it it was amazing
Imagine the best biology class you ever had got together with your favorite author and had a baby/book. That book is Clan Apis. I learned more about honey bees from this graphic novel that I ever did from studying them. All that information was a side effect of the engrossing story. Mr. Hosler knocked this one out of the park. I originally purchased Clan Apis to give to my nephew... but I'm not sure I can bear to part with it.

If any of the following are true for you, you will enjoy Clan Apis:
Russell Taylor
Aug 02, 2015 Russell Taylor rated it really liked it
Hosler has a very distinctive voice, which I rather enjoy, even/especially when it takes a turn toward the (somewhat lampshaded) cheesy or didactic. Nyuki develops from a slightly grating novice POV character to a mature and thoughtful hive sister in a minimally anthropomorphized way. While it's not my area of expertise, I do know a thing or two about insects, but Hosler always comes through with an angle that makes the wee beasties even more interesting.
Feb 09, 2009 Monica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
One of my favorite (if not favorite) graphic novels. I like the creative way the story is laid out/illustrated and the part where Nyuki the honeybee meets the dung beetle is the greatest! There is factual references and resources in the back of the book.
My 10yo enjoyed this educational read, though she also felt it was a little too sad at the end.
Sunah Chung
Nov 25, 2016 Sunah Chung rated it it was amazing
Clan Apis is the story on honey bees. In the format of graphic novel, the author, Jay Hosler, portrays the life of honey bees specifically, as well as humorously. The protagonist bee, Nyuki, is born as one of the worker bees in the clan, Apis. She thinks she is special because she was born from the egg the Queen herself laid, but it turns out the whole clans are the children of the queen. Also, she realizes all of them have the same features. The story portrays the life of Nyuki from birth to de ...more
Clare MacQueen
Jan 07, 2016 Clare MacQueen rated it it was amazing
This review was written for “beeks” (aka, beekeeper geeks), and was first published in Beelines (July 2013, page 8), the newsletter of the Northwest District Beekeepers Association.

Biology professor, entomologist, and award-winning cartoonist Dr. Jay Hosler spins the story of a honey bee’s life, from before her “birth” to beyond her death. Though a charming story, this is serious science—synthesized from works by leading researchers—and artfully disguise
Patrice Sartor
SUMMARY: Nyuki started life as a bee larva, like every other bee in her hive. Through the aid of her 'big sister', Dvorah, Nyuki learns her place in the hive, and eventually forms a friendship with a flower named Bloomington. The life cycle of bees, along with the different roles they play, how they communicate, their metamorphosis process and more is explored in an entertaining yet factually correct way.

EVALUATION: The drawings all seem technically correct, and are done in a black-and-white for
Ms Mac
Feb 21, 2015 Ms Mac rated it really liked it
Recommended for Upper Elementary and Middle School Libraries

Nyuki is in every way an ordinary bee. Over the course of a single summer, she hatches, metamorphoses, and works for her hive, and dies. Yet she never loses her ability to wonder at the “commonplace” and “obvious”-and through her eyes, we learn a great deal about insects we might otherwise overlook.

Clan Apis combines a great deal of scientific information with adventure and good humor, and I think it will make a great addition to my cl
Audrey Maran
Jan 21, 2015 Audrey Maran rated it really liked it
Clan Apis is wonderfully drawn, stars honey bees, and has a dung beetle and mantis playing a minor roll: I'm sold. It was well done and very accurate, though sometimes it sacrificed story for that accuracy. The tendency to go on textbook-like tangents was interestingly juxtaposed with "The Bees" By Paull, which often sacrificed some accuracy for the story. Given the accuracy and a minor story component I think Clan Apis could be read for both pleasure and educational purposes. In fact, if read w ...more
May 29, 2016 Emmy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Emmy by: Martin
This interesting little book was recommended to me by a fellow Goodreads member. While I always enjoy science, bees weren't on my radar recently. But, I found myself quickly drawn into this fascinating little book. The reader is taken on a journey with Nyuki, a young bee who is really struggling with the responsibilities that come with her position in the hive. But, while she's cracking jokes with the flowers and trying not to get eaten, the reader learns a lot about bees, their behavior, biolog ...more
Jul 20, 2015 Alicia rated it really liked it
I know it's a weird comparison, but bear with me. I liken what Hosler does for honey bees in Clan Apis to what Spiegelman does for the Holocaust in Maus. There is a thoughtful approach to how to present the information that can both educate as well as sympathize with the situations.

I learned so much about bees in this anthropomorphic graphic novel than I would ever have picked up and learned from a straightforward informational text about them. It's like a more grown-up, black and white version
Tyler Jing
Nov 22, 2013 Tyler Jing rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Clan Apis is a very amazing book. It talks about the of a honey bee in a very fun and adventurous way. It's about a honey bee named Nyuki being in the world of the honey bee. She is very curious about everything and wants to learn about everything. She is curious about everything beyond the hive and sets of for her journey. She encounters predators and other scary things that later kept her hiding in the hive. Because of the great leadership of her sister Dvorah, Nyuki soon realises to see the b ...more
Apr 11, 2012 Allie rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-tech, animals
My grandfather was an apiologist so I feel predisposed to love all things bee-related. This was a really fun, extremely punny graphic novel about the life of bees. The main bee, Nyuki, was super annoying, but all of the other bees were great. It's written by a guy who studies bees, so it's packed with information about bees. In that respect, I think it is better suited to younger readers than adults because of the sometimes overly-explanatory angle. It's still good though, and I would definitely ...more
Mar 16, 2011 Diana rated it liked it
If you're teaching a lesson in science class about bees, this is a great book. If you're looking for a graphic novel with a great and interesting plot, this isn't what you're looking for. The author has a PhD, and he does a great job at explaining the science of bees in a way that makes sense. Unfortunately, the dialog feels a bit off because half the book is spent explaining things, and the plot is minimal. I'm not usually a big fan of stories that are meant to teach something. Still, the art i ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
I first attempted this book with my 5 year old and even though the kid loved animal/science/biology type stuff, the language was too over his head and it felt dry and awkward, trying to blend facts about honey bees with an attempt at fictional story-telling. Fast forward 2 years and the same kid and I gobbled it up. While the combo of fact and fiction isn't seamless, we ended up loving both aspects, and even got teared up at some of the... ok, spoiler alert... "cycle of life" themes. I definitel ...more
Jan 28, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it
I just had to add this although I first read this book a few years ago. It's a wonderful book about life, death, and the meaning between those events. And it's about the lifecycle of bees. My older son loves this book as well; as he says he was surprised how choked up you can get reading about bees.

He is also inspired by the creative products of an entomologist, let alone any scientist, since he sees that as having your cake and eating it too (I know, it's nerdy!). He wants to be an artist/scien
Sep 11, 2008 Gphatty rated it really liked it
Fantastic little story, with a great mix of imagination, naturalistic detail, and scientific information. Would have given this five stars, except that sometimes, the inclusion of the science part isn't smooth. Also, I wish the overall story was a little longer.

But in retrospect, as it follows the natural life-span of one particular bee, I guess it couldn't have been a mini-series.

Highly recommended, esp. to comic lovers, people that like bugs, and people who like Larry Gonick.
Dec 07, 2016 Brendan rated it really liked it
Well worth the read, this is a great intro to the life cycle of a bee. The book is entertaining and has fairly accurate drawings. It does a great job of covering what it does talk about, but I felt there was a lot left out — another one or two chapters would've been appreciated. There was also a bit too much focus on anthropomorphisation and being funny in this book. Humor is great but its overuse can distract from the bigger picture.
Dec 30, 2011 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This was a really entertaining introduction to bee biology. It brought me back to grad school days climbing in a flight chamber with a hive of honey bees. Sometimes the facts of colony life was seamless in the plot and dialog but more often it was clearly the author instructing the reader. Still, it is a great way to learn the biology and the art was terrific and accurate. Can't stand cartoon bees with a smiley face and stinger nose instead of on the abdomen!
Abby Johnson
Sep 22, 2013 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it
More than you ever thought you needed to know about bees... but presented in a fun, engaging way. As Nyuki grows from a larva to a young bee to a mature bee, the reader learns all about how the hive works, the dangers bees face, why bees swarm, how bees create their honeycombs, and more. The narrative format gives the readers characters to care about and a good story as well as lots of information.
May 24, 2011 J rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Written by a biologist with a Ph.D., this is not your ordinary graphic novel. With dialogue and pictures, Hosler teaches us about honeybees, from the larva stage to death. He explains how they go through metamorphosis, why bees swarm and how the queen operates, what the different jobs are and how bees fit into their environment. This is much better than reading a dry text about the life of a bee. I bet you'll learn something new!
Apr 13, 2009 angrykitty rated it liked it
this was on a list of proposed books for our students....proposed by a teacher....even though i'm not finished with it, i know it's not gonna make the's good, but it's not a high school text.....middle school maybe.....

this was pretty good...i don't know is the science is sound.....but i still stand by my belief that this is not really a rigorous enough text to teach in a high school english class......
Giuseppe Pizzimenti
Dec 09, 2011 Giuseppe Pizzimenti rated it really liked it
Prendete l'ape Maia dei cartoni animati di tanto tempo fa, fornitela di un discutibile senso dell'umorismo , una certa dose di codardia ma anche di acume e attenzione per gli altri , accompagnatela con amici e nemici forti e rispettabili, ..poi aggiungete la correttezza scientifica (l'autore è un biologo e ricercatore) ed un nome molto più "cool"...ed infine dategli un piano per partecipare al grande ciclo della Vita..

..ed avrete realizzato "Clan Apis"...
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Dr. Jay Hosler is an Associate Professor of Biology at Juniata College and an award-winning cartoonist who writes and draws comic books about biology and natural history. His work has been called "ingenious" (The London Times), "goofily inventive" (The New York Times), and "entertaining and slyly educational" (The Comics Journal). His works include Active Synapse classics such as Clan Apis, The Sa ...more
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