Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe” as Want to Read:
The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  261 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Without honey bees the world would be a different place. There would be no honey, no beeswax for candles, and,worst of all, barely a fruit, nut, or vegetable to eat.So imagine beekeeper Dave Hackenburg’s horror when he discovered twenty million of his charges had vanished. Those missing bees became the first casualties of a mysterious scourge that continues to plague honey ...more
Hardcover, 66 pages
Published May 3rd 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Hive Detectives, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Hive Detectives

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 520)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe is an informative nonfiction book that focuses on the honey bee. The plot focuses on a true event in 2006 when a honey bee farmer in the U.S. finds that his honey bees have died. We're not talking about a few hundred bees or even a few thousand...we're talking about twenty million honey bees. This was huge loss and word of mouth discovered other farmers all over the world had experienced similar losses. This information made its way to th ...more
May 07, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: families to read together
As one of my grandsons was searching for books on snakes and dinosaurs in juvenile nonfiction, this gem of a book jumped out at me a few shelves away. Although this book is apparently aimed at children, I found it very interesting and informative. Because of my interest in gardening and beekeeping, I had prior knowledge of the topic, but I am always looking for more information.

The photographs are beautiful, but more importantly this book explains in an easy to understand way the research that h
Feb 10, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing
This is such a great series, and anyone who has read at least one title in the Scientists in the Field will want to have them all in his/her classrooom library. What intrigues me about this book is that the scientists featured are still hard at work trying to figure out what is causing colony collapse disorder(CCD)among honeybees. The author provides interesting details about bees such as the fact that they are often attacked by mites about the size of the letter o or the description of bee diar ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
When I was a kid I was fascinated with the social insects--bees and ants. I still like to read about them. Burns' book related the fascinating story of the search for the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which has devastated beehives around the world and, in turn, affected the food industry, which is highly dependent upon bees to help pollinate plants and trees. She took a complex subject and systematically explained it so that readers could understand. Along the way, she also examined b ...more
Amanda Snow
May 17, 2010 Amanda Snow rated it it was amazing
I am now in love with honey bees. Well, not really, but I am just completely fascinated with them. These insects have a complete society, with a hierarchy, building plans, and social network that easily rivals anything I've ever seen before. SO cool!

The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe by Loree Griffin Burns and photographer Ellen Harasimowicz is part of the amazing "Scientists in the Field" series. If you have yet to pick up a book in this series, you must run out to the li
Jul 03, 2011 Christen rated it really liked it
In this stunning book, Burns chronicles the efforts of beekeepers and bee scientists on their detective journey to find out what is killing honey bees all across the country. The catastrophe is referred to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Before launching into the investigation, Burns details the daily routine behind beekeeping, while photographs provide visual reference and explain the different tools and hives. She then describes, though the story of the Hackenbergs, why bees are fundamental to ...more
Sep 21, 2012 Erin rated it it was amazing
The Hive Detectives chronicles the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the possible causes of this great threat to honeybees and agriculture. The book begins by tagging along with a hobbyist beekeeper Mary Duane, the reader is given a good brief introduction as to what beekeepers do on a small scale. A brief introduction to the large scale beekeeping operation of Dave and Davey Hackenberg follows; they were some of the first beekeepers to observe CCD in their apiaries. As more and more ...more
Sharne' Cherry
Nov 30, 2011 Sharne' Cherry rated it liked it
1. Informational
2. The Hive Detectives discusses bee wranglers and bee scientists across the country who have been working to understand colony collapse disorder better known as CCD.
3.a Illustration
b. The illustrations or pictures in this informational book add to the read. On each page there is at least one picture in which depicts what the page is talking about. As I read through this book, the pictures kept me entertained and interested in the information being given. Without them, I really t
How many eggs do you think a queen bee lays in a day? Two thousand eggs a day, seven days a week!

Bees have such a good sense of smell that they have been trained to sniff out bombs and dead bodies! (p. 56)

Did you know that bees can get diarrhea? There are these little mites that can attach themselves to bees--like ticks--and cause them to get sick... and get diarrhea. They usually don't poop inside the hive (red-orange splatters), but when you get sick and you gotta go, you gotta go, even when
Apr 25, 2015 Kaelyn rated it liked it
This is yet another book about honey bees that I'm reading for research purposes. Luckily I love research, huh? And for all you honey bee/non-fiction lovers, well, maybe you'll get a kick out of this review.

This is a children's book geared to teaching about Colony Collapse Disorder and how it affects us. It also includes how beekeepers tend their bees, bee anatomy, interesting extra information about bee pests, and other tidbits of that nature. This is all written with wonderful, giant photogra
Edward Sullivan
A few years ago, in November of 2006, Dave Hackenburg, professional bee keeper, discovered that nearly all of the hives (some 400) he’d left in Florida, were completely empty, “twenty million honey bees had simply vanished.” This was the first reported incident of what came to be known as “colony collapse disorder.” Soon other bee keepers began to notice this phenomenon, and they collectively sought answers to the mysterious disappearance of their bees. Scientists are now actively engaged in res ...more
Ms. Yingling
In 2006, Dave Hackenburg discovered that 400 of his honey bee hives were just empty. Unable to figure out a cause for this on his own, he consulted a top notch team of bee researcher, who found that bees were in crisis all around the world. Burns takes this event and gives great background on how beekeepers care for hives, how honey is made and processed, and how research continues to try to stop further damage to the honey bee population. Complete with photographs, explanations of terms, and re ...more
Aug 10, 2011 Christen rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
In this stunning book, Burns chronicles the efforts of beekeepers and bee scientists on their detective journey to find out what is killing honey bees all across the country. The catastrophe is referred to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Before launching into the investigation, Burns details the daily routine behind beekeeping, while photographs provide visual reference and explain the different tools and hives. She then describes, though the story of the Hackenbergs, why bees are fundamental to ...more
Jun 05, 2011 David rated it it was amazing
The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe (Scientists in the Field Series) by Loree Griffin Burns, illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz is a very informative look at beekeeping in the US and the continuing search for a solution to CCD, or Colony Colapse Disorder, causing millions of honeybees to disappear.

As a former beekeeper during my 4-H career, I found this a very informative book with lots of great information about honeybees & their society and behavior, CCD and beekeepin
Apr 10, 2012 Allison rated it really liked it
A very interesting and informative book about bees in general, beekeeping, and the recent catastrophe in the bee world which saw hundreds of thousands of colonies just disappear. There is a lot of information given in this book, but Burns was smart in forming it around a general "plot" of discovering that bee colonies were dying and figuring out what went wrong, so there's a bit of suspense to keep you reading.

The layout of the book is what I really loved. Each page has many photographs of bees
Aug 23, 2011 Susie rated it really liked it
This book really does unfold like a detective story; I was tempted to jump to the end to find the "conclusion", but the interesting presentation includes a lot of information without being too detailed. The photography and graphics are very good, although there were a few cases where I wish things had been more magnified (like the proboscis). The amount of text on each page is just right, because you feel you are moving along while still learning. Deductive reasoning and the scientific process a ...more
Aug 18, 2010 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Reading The Hive Detectives did for me what great non-fiction should—it taught me a great deal about a topic I was basically ignorant about and it inspired a new appreciation that will change my perception of the natural world from now on. I think it will have a similar effect on many of its readers. There are three main storylines in this title: the first is the story of an amateur beekeeper named Mary Duane, the second is the quest to find the reason why honeybees are abandoning their hives, a ...more
Nov 15, 2010 Hilary rated it it was amazing
What would a world without honey bees be like?

This is a valid – and disturbing -- question in view of the millions of bees that have died or vanished since colony collapse disorder (CCD) was first identified in 2006. CCD is a mystery that has scientists scrambling to find the cause – and a solution -- before the world’s food supply is irreparably compromised.

The author, a beekeeper herself, takes readers inside a beehive, while telling a compelling story of the decimation of pollinating insects
Aug 17, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older children who want to learn more about honey bees
This is a long, but wonderful book about bees and the scientists who are trying to solve the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The information provided is very interesting and the photographs are terrific. We read this book in small bites, trying to absorb the information, and I have to say that I learned as much about bees and their troubles as our girls did.

The story explains about how bees organize themselves, as well as how beekeepers take care of them. A few beekeepers affected by
Jul 20, 2015 Sue rated it liked it
I had heard of colony collapse but this book fills in the details.. I think this statement towards the end of the book says it best "Think about this. If you asked the general public, "What four things do you need to grow an apple for your table?" I'd bet they could only come up with three of them: sunlight, water, nutrients......the vast majority would not have been able to name the fourth: pollinators."
Jun 25, 2012 Megan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: 4th grade and up
Recommended to Megan by: Young Hoosier Book Award nominee
My grandfather used to raise honey bees so I was especially interested in reading this book about a "honey bee catastrophe." A beekeeper discovered that his bees were disappearing. Since honey bees are necessary to pollenate crops, this was very troubling. A team of scientists worked together to determine if the bees were dying because of disease, parasites, pesticides, or some other reason.

Also included in this book are many facts about bees and lots of pictures with captions to make the inform
Oct 16, 2010 Robyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: juvenile, nonfiction
The Hive Detectives has tons of good information about honey bees and wonderful pictures. But I was disappointed that I wound up in the appendix thinking there was more to the book. The book chronicles the strange disappearance of honey bees that took place a few years ago. It also follows four bee specialists and their quest to discover what caused those millions of honey bees to vanish.

I kept reading waiting for that question to be answered, and like I said, I ended up in the appendix still w
Jms Media
In 2006-2007, a sudden drop in the number of honey-bee colonies alarmed scientists. This story is told as a dramatic scientific mystery, carefully leading us through the unfolding of the crisis and the attempt to solve it. Along with plenty of beautiful photographs, the book includes profiles of beekeepers, as well as details about bees and honey making. Definitely an interesting read!
Allison Webster
Nov 05, 2012 Allison Webster rated it really liked it
This book belongs to the junior information genre.

This book follows the investigation of scientists in discovering the causes of colony collapse disorder(CCD). This book contains information of every aspect of bee life and beekeeping.

This book is an interesting book for students. The information in this book isn't laid out in a traditional textbook manner. Instead it reads like a fictional mystery text to investigate CCD. The content in this book is not only very informational and educational,
Jun 16, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing
My friend and critique partner, Loree Griffin Burns, has written a book that I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to share with you, and it's out now. It's called THE HIVE DETECTIVES: CHRONICLE OF A HONEY BEE CATASTROPHE, and it's about the mystery of honeybee colony collapse and what scientists are discovering about it. It's part of Houghton Mifflin's Scientists in the Field series, and like Loree's TRACKING TRASH, it is told in a narrative nonfiction style that is impossible to put down. ...more
Mackenzie Beals
Apr 19, 2014 Mackenzie Beals rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-689
This 2011 Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts educates readers about bees and the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that continues to plague honey bee populations today. The book has in-depth facts about the life of bees and how we can help protect them. This book is a great informational text that can be useful when learning about bees.
Becky B
When thousands of honeybees just suddenly start disappearing, a team of scientists is called in to figure out what is going on. The book follows scientists examining potential parasite, viral, or environmental factors that could be causing this phenomenon that is threatening bees and thereby produce all over the United States. What the team finds may not satisfy all readers, but gives a good picture of how not all real mysteries can be solved 100%.

A great book to look at the real life applicati
Abby Johnson
May 22, 2010 Abby Johnson rated it it was amazing
In 2006, beekeepers suddenly noticed some of their hives collapsing. The seemingly healthy and happy bees abandoned their hives for no obvious reason. Enter the hive detectives, a group of beekeepers and scientists with different specialties, coming together to figure out what's going wrong and how to fix it. Is it a new bee virus? A pest? Changes in the environment? The hive detectives are working hard to find out.

Another great addition to the Scientists in the Field series, this book has full
Feb 04, 2016 Salsabrarian rated it really liked it
After reading this in my garden, I couldn't help but stop to observe the different bees buzzing about on our blue spirea and wonder where their hives were! Informative, readable and compelling, with plenty of color photos for poring over. Let's hope the mystery of colony collapse disorder is solved soon!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot
  • If Stones Could Speak: Unlocking the Secrets of Stonehenge
  • The Elephant Scientist (Scientist in the Field Series)
  • The Bat Scientists (Scientists in the Field)
  • The Frog Scientist
  • Lizards
  • The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs: A Scientific Mystery
  • Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors
  • The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity
  • Stronger Than Steel: Spider Silk DNA and the Quest for Better Bulletproof Vests, Sutures, and Parachute Rope
  • How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships
  • Feathers: Not Just for Flying
  • Can We Save the Tiger?
  • Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
  • Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure
  • Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
Loree is a scientist-turned-writer specializing in books about science and nature for young readers. You can learn more about her adventures and her books by visiting her website ( or by following her blog (
More about Loree Griffin Burns...

Other Books in the Series

Scientists in the Field (1 - 10 of 47 books)
  • Anthropologist: Scientist of the People
  • The Bat Scientists (Scientists in the Field)
  • Beetle Busters
  • The Bug Scientists (Scientist in the Field Series)
  • Call of the Osprey
  • Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa's Fastest Cat
  • Digging for Bird Dinosaurs: An Expedition to Madagascar
  • Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano
  • The Dolphins of Shark Bay
  • The Elephant Scientist (Scientist in the Field Series)

Share This Book