Maggi Idzikowski's Reviews > The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe

The Hive Detectives by Loree Griffin Burns
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's review
Jun 25, 10

bookshelves: nonfiction, 2009, ecology, middle-grade
Read in June, 2010

Bees are just cool, but this appealing narrative helps readers reach beyond the honey- and wax-making aspects of bee life to their crucial role in agriculture and horticulture. I don't think my fifth graders would have realized that without bees, we basically have no fruits or vegetables. There are multiple points of access to the text: empathy for the bees through Mary's care for her hive; the mystery of the disappearing bees; the gross-out factor of how bacteria, viruses and other pests kill bees. This book could easily launch a semester-long research project on the effects of pesticides -- or it could just be an interesting read. Either way, it's a good purchase for middle grade classrooms and libraries. I would pair it with Clan Apis (http://www.jayhosler.com/clanapis.html).
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