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The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Honeybees are a crucial part of our food chain. As they gather nectar from flowers to make sweet honey, these bees also play an important role in pollination, helping some plants produce fruit. But large numbers of honeybees are disappearing every year . . . and no one knows why. Is a fungus killing them? Could a poor diet be the cause? What about changes to bees' natural ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Millbrook Press (Tm) (first published January 1st 2013)
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Mary Ann
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
As with The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs (Millbrook, 2011), Markle conveys the troubling mystery confronting American beekeepers, farmers and scientists. In 2007, beekeepers in the United States first met to discuss Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). “Beekeepers everywhere were losing about 30 percent of their hives. In some places, the reported losses were as high as 50 percent.” CCD not only affects local farmers and beekeepers; it has significant implications for the larger ecosystem. Mark ...more
1. Twin Text: These Bees Count! by Alison Formento, 2012
2. Rationale: These Bees Count! is quite a bit more simple than The Case of the Vanishing Honey Bees and would be a good introductory text. I can imagine using this book with second graders as a read aloud to provide some background knowledge about honey bees before digging into the more involved nonfiction piece, which is quite in depth and could be used as a whole or part. The These Bees Count, the children in the story visit a "bee farm"
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buy, mg-informational
This book tells about the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder, what some of the possible causes are, and what scientists and bee keepers are doing to try to combat it.

This is a fascinating book written at an upper elementary level. I love the fact that there is interesting nonfiction being written for upper elementary that goes beyond the standard. This book looks into a situation that is currently being studied by scientists. There is no 'this is the answer' here.

This book informs readers, wh
Jun 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: green, j, animals, nonfic
In 2006, Bee Farmers started noticing that their bees were dying - disappearing. What happened? This book explores the reasons at a kid level, with lots of great pictures.

Sandra Markle is one of my favorite Juvenile Nonfiction authors. I took this out to local elementary schools this month, and also took Animals Heroes True Rescue Stories a few years ago. She does a great job of writing about true things in an engaging, accessible way.

Yay. Also, good cover.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I learned a ton about honeybees by reading this! When bee colonies collapse, we potentially lose a lot more than just honey. "Honeybees, in particular, are needed in order to grow apples, raspberries, watermelon, almonds, and cucumbers--to name just a few." Wow! I ate an apple while I read this, and thanked the honeybees. ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It was enlightening, visually engaging, and thought provoking. The honeybees role in it's ecosystem is explored. Colony collapse is a complex issue, and several possible causes are presented. Pictures and diagrams are bold and show aspects of beekeeping I had not yet seen. I recommend this book to upper elementary school students or adults with only a basic understanding of beekeeping. ...more
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
One Sentence Review: Nonfiction mysteries are hard to concoct, but this is one of the very rare few (and just a delight to read).
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beekeepers have discovered that several of their bees have inexplicably gone missing. Without honeybees, many foods cannot get pollenated and be able to grow. In January 2007, beekeepers from across the world gathered to discuss the loss of the bees, calling the problem Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Without the essential worker bees, the hive cannot survive. Scientists have tried to find the problem with the disappearing bees, researching to see if urban development, overwork from farmers tran ...more
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Will the future be sweet? . . . The idea of honeybee colonies living free of the threat of collapse is only a dream" (pg. 42).
A book about a female dominant species is right up my alley. And what an insect it is.
What a great book! Perfect for upper elementary and lower middle school. First, the author explains the importance of honeybees. Apples, watermelon, cucumbers, almonds, and more are at risk here! Then the magnificence of the colony, and the roles of each bee: queen, worker, drone is ex
Marlina Serratos
Age 9-16 Grade Level 3rd-8th

This is a informational text as it informs us about how Honeybees are being affected by nature, humans and other ecological factors that contribute to their decline. The author also provides us with fun facts about Honeybees. Throughout every page the authors also provides beautiful photograph illustrations.

The one thing that I see problematic about this books would be that for younger ages it my be difficult for them to understand the vocabulary. However, it would b
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finding myself recently unable to answer a grandchild's questions about why there aren't as many bees in our flowers this year, I was delighted to locate this book at our library. I found the information both dismaying and hopeful. It's created a number of activities that the grandchildren and I are considering--including ways both locally and globally that we may be able to help slow down this 'honeybee vanishing' situation. ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good book for kids and adults. This short book deals with why the bees are disappearing, Colony Collapse Disorder, CCD. Many different theories. Very interesting.
Roberta Gibson
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle is a fabulous new book about the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in honey bees.

Organized in a beautifully logical way, Markle introduces honey bees and why we should care about them. She then presents the case for different causes of the disorder, revealing how complicated it all might be.

The visual lay out of the book is extremely appealing. It adds bold interest without overwhelming the text. Some of the close
Amy Holland
This book is great high-interest non-fiction for kids -- I can see it being useful in a classroom setting or for assignments, or just for general browsing. I learned a lot about honeybees -- I didn't know about CCD, and I didn't realize the extent to which honeybees are responsible for producing fresh fruits and vegetables. The photographs are excellent, and really complement/elevate the text. I just read Flight of the Honey Bee, and that was OK -- it uses paintings instead of photographs (in no ...more
Aug 27, 2015 rated it liked it
The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery by Sandra Markle is a nominee for the 2015-16 South Carolina Children's Book Award.

The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees is a good book for introducing elementary and middle grade students to the topic of Colony Collapse Disorder. They may have heard that honeybees are disappearing, but, like many adults, they may not know why or what the potential impact could be. This book attempts to provide possible reasons for CCD, but it also lets rea
Kimberly Ann
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
♥ This is a very easy to read & understand book. It is also a very important book to read if you are interested in ecology and the protection of our natural food sources.

In October of 2006, Dave Hackenberg went out to check his bees..... Millions of them. What he found was only the queens of each hive & their broods... the rest were missing. Three weeks earlier, he had driven the group of 30,000 from FL to PA and all was well.

In January 2007, beekeepers from all over the u.s. met.... many had e
Debra Lowman
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Winner of the 2012 Prize for Excellence in Science Books by The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Sandra Markle is well-known in the genre of non-fiction science books for elementary and middle-schoolers.

Having first been an educator, The Case of the Vanishing Bees is the result of six months of research and much more time spent arranging the book into bits of informational text combined with engaging pictures that will draw readers in immediately and keep them turning
It's a fascinating natural mystery. What's happening to the honeybees? Unfortunately, I didn't feel like The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees: A Scientific Mystery will do much to interest children in this global epidemic. The text, while very informative and illustrated by beautiful photographs, is very dry. Dry to the bone. It reads to me like the kind of very well-intentioned books that are foisted on students that bore them to death. I think if there was a little more of a human interest expr ...more
Nov 16, 2013 rated it liked it
The Doctor: Donna, come on, think: Earth, there must have been some sort of warning. Was there anything happening back in your day, like... electrical storms, freak weather, patterns in the... sky?
Donna Noble: Well, how should I know? Um, no. I don't- I don't think so. No.
The Doctor: [disappointed] Oh, OK, nevermind.
Donna Noble: Although, there were the bees disappearing.
The Doctor: [dismissive] The bees disappearing.
The Doctor: [sarcastic] The *bees* disappearing.
The Doctor: [revelational] The
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have to write a research paper for English class on a topic with two sides. I decided to do my paper on honeybees, more specifically Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) simply because I felt that not enough people care about this issue. CCD is a disorder when entire bee colonies die off for no apparent reason (though this book explores many of the things that MIGHT cause it).

My strong feelings for this topic aside, this book is going to be a valuable resource. It's very short and obviously written
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoy Sandra Markle's style, so I anticipated liking this book and I was not disappointed. Treating the topic as a mystery and presenting the theories and evidence from different experts creates an interesting narrative. It also chunks the information into logical sections that are easy to deal with individually, while still maintaining the flow of the book. As in her other books, the photographs are clear and well-captioned. The way the photos alternate with the pages of text gives readers a ...more
Elissa Schaeffer
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not only is this a timely book, it's a fascinating one. I've read books before about bees, I've read articles before on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) but nothing has put them in perspective and with enough frame of reference as this one has.

We get some information on honeybees, how they live, reproduce, and, most importantly to the human population, pollinate. We learn about CCD, starting in 2007 when it first was realized to be a possible epidemic. We then learn about what beekeepers and scien
Sep 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, e-books
A good book for older grade-school readers or even adults who would like to learn about honeybees and colony collapse disorder. Sandra Markle has done a great job taking the reader through the basics of the honeybee hive including the types of bees and the jobs they do and how bees help us. There are wonderful pictures to help guide you along the way. The potential hypotheses for what might be causing the collapse of honeybees are explained along with what solutions are currently being worked on ...more
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, nonfiction
Sandra Markle did a wonderful job writing this current science mystery. She begins the book describing the role of the different bees in the hive. This background information really helped when she started describing different theories as to why the honeybee population is diminishing. I like how she talked to both scientists and beekeepers to get many different perspectives. It was interesting to read the different theories and to learn the experts believe the cause is more than one thing. Sandr ...more
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Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This fascinating read is very well formatted. The problem is clearly laid out as well as why readers should care. Then, readers make their way through research and hypotheses scientists developed to help understand and explain the problem and work towards a solution.

Numerous diagrams and photos are included and back matter includes an author's note, facts about honeybees, suggestions for ways readers can help honeybees, global rescue efforts, a glossary, and a further reading list and great webs
Kelsey Frost
May 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The colony collapse of bees is stumping both scientists and beekeepers. Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate and the consequences of a depleted bee population is more than just loss of honey, it is loss of crops because of inability to pollinate plants. Scientists are researching the top causes of bee loss and trying to figure out the root of the problem. This non-fiction book about bees and threats to the bee population is a great research book to support early to middle grade readers. Pic ...more
Mrs. Trimble
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nf, photo-essay
This is a beautiful photo-essay book. All of the pages are honey-colored and there are vibrant photos on nearly every page to help complement the text. Fun facts are included at the end along with ideas for how the reader can help honeybee colonies. And of course, related books and websites are also included if the reader wants to do more independent research. The book was very interesting and easy to read. I will definitely buy for my school library.
Released October 2013, this is an up-to-date picture book about Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). This book does an excellent job informing readers about the role of the honeybee colony, addressing the top theories behind colony collapse (frequent habitat changes, mobile phone usage, varroa mites, a deadly fungus and pesticides) and explaining some of the things scientists and researchers are doing to stop CCD. The book also lists websites and books for additional information on the topic.
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Sandra Markle is the author of more than two hundred children's books, which have won numerous awards, including Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, IRA/CBC Children's Choice, NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Books for Children, NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended, and ALA Notable Books for Children. She lives in Lakewood Ranch, Florida and frequently travels to schools sharing her program "Sandra Markle's Boo ...more

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