All the Buzz About Bees


You saw this one coming, didn't you? 

The last couple of weeks, our storybook-a-day has evolved into a rabbit trail of honeybee books. I dug out all out bee books in anticipation of going to meet Ginny's new bees. We read them all and then Katie and Nicky have spent time drawing diagrams and dictating narrations.




The highlight of all of this research, of course, was seeing those bees! They're rather mesmerizing. I can't stop thinking about them. Ginny has much better pictures than my iPhone pictures here. And, we looked for the queen when we were there but couldn't spot her. It was pretty exciting to see these pictures of the queen sighting.

I'm doing a little reading of my own, mostly websites just now, looking to see if there's any possiblity of bees in my own backyard. In the combox on Monday, someone begged me to read Fruitless Fall. Leslie, you'll be happy to know it has been auto-delivered wirelessly to my Kindle. If I read this book and I have to move because i can't bear to be without bees, it's on you;-)

Here are the books in our Bee Basket:

The Life and Times of the Honeybee

The Honeymakers

Are You a Bee?

The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive

The Bee Tree

Honey In a Hive

For more about our Storybook Year, read here. And, there are Storybook Science books, from A-Z, linked here, scroll down on the lefthand side. 

Now, tell me all about your bees, your neighbor's bees, the bees you used to have, the bees you wish you had, bee books for all ages…



  1. Kirstin says

    We are waiting for the call that our nucs are here. We are keeping our bees at a friends home in the country: ). Nicky & Katie might like Keeping Bees by Ashley English, my son & I just finished it. It was a fascinating read!

  2. says

    Between you, and Ginny and SouleMama, I’m getting the itch too. I’m not into animals that much, but bees don’t pee, poop or other gross things. I can risk a sting or two, but I’m not sure about the initial set up costs. Need to look into that!

  3. Gina Stewart says

    I love your post on the storybook year and I am considering following your lead this coming year. I was wondering when you said you do geography once or twice a week, or mapwork, what kinds of things do you do? I seem to always miss the mark on geography…I have a soon-to-be 6th grader and a soon-to-be third grader (along with 2 high schoolers, and 2 toddlers:)
    I would love your recommendations!! Also, I know you shared that you read “The Whole-Hearted Child” every summer to remind yourself of why you homeschool and I wanted you to know I read YOUR book each summer to remember my desires for our family. God bless you for sharing!!!

  4. says

    I’ve done Bees as a 4H unit several times and for other clubs too. A great resource for ideas and fun activities is from LHS GEMS Buzzing a Hive. Here it is at Amazon but check out the website too We created great lap books using the activities from their different “sessions”
    We have used those books and two of our favorites are Watch Honeybees With Me and
    Also the the City of Bees DVD is very very cool You see the bee dances up close, queens fighting for the hive, the kids learn that a bee walking on the ground is not normal and it will soon die and why, and more.
    Sorry for all the ugly links!

  5. says

    Our initial start up costs were around $500. It is an investment, but we think it will be worth it in the long run. That figure was the price for one hive plus some surplus hive bodies to start a second hive, most of the equipment, as well as one local nuc of bees.

  6. says

    Ooooh, bees have become so popular! We have a large wisteria vine at the far end of our yard, and big, chubby bees hover around it every time it blossoms. But we have not ventured into beekeeping! I find it so interesting!

  7. Alyssa says

    I’m in year three beekeeping and this year, with our combined 10 hives (8 at my house, on our 1/5 acre, 2 on my friends roof in the city) we are having a booth at our local farmers market! VERY excited. Starts tomorrow. I just wanted to suggest that if any of you commenters decide to get bees, get 2 the first time, not 1. I know a lot of people that only got one and had queen trouble. They kill the queen for a million reasons (don’t like how she lays, gets too old, she gets injured, or for any old reason). If you loose your queen you can combine both hives into a very large one to buy you time to locate a replacement queen. That way you don’t loose all your bees and their work. Also, if you loose one over the winter (I lost 3) you may still come out with one. Also, I think $500 total start-up is spot on. But the great thing about bees is that you only have to check on them once a week or so (with exceptions), and almost not at all over winter. Lastly, our hives on the roof have been working great. Something to consider if you’re worried about animals or neighbors.

  8. says

    OH! Im so excited that you have the ebook! The kindle is a great idea since our book would be snatched up by another reader in the family as soon as someone set it down! Is there a field or an extra lot adjacent to a neighbors property that you can barter space for a bit of honey? Start looking around. If it is meant to be and not your back yard, the perfect place is surely nearby! Keep us posted on your progress!

  9. says

    The book I LOVE is ‘The Bee People’ by Margaret Morley. I bought the ebook at Yesteryears Classics website. I am anxious to try out these books that you suggested.

  10. says

    My family had bees growing up. A 4-H project of my older brother’s that Mom was left with when he went to college. The bees have now swarmed into the walls of their house, so they aren’t on good terms. That being said, I loved bee stuff. We would borrow this huge extractor 2x a year to extract the honey, it took up the entire kitchen and every nook and cranny was covered with honey when we were done. But…the honeycomb…ah, nothing better than Mom digging some of that stuff out for us kids to chew on.

  11. says

    No bees here yet, but I am attending a bee keeping workshop at the end of May, reading lots and hoping to get our first hive next year…fingers crossed.

  12. Rachael says

    If keeping a hive proves a no go due to restrictions or other considerations, do research into what plants you can grow in your garden to help keep local bee populations healthy and well fed. Many garden flowers produce wonderful nectar to attract and feed pollinators, but many highly bred varieties produce virtually none at all – some gardens really are beautiful, colourful deserts when it comes to supporting wildlife. (You should consider this even if you do get a hive, too!) This site by the Royal Horticultural Society is a great starting point. (Obviously it’s based here in the UK, but most of the info should be relevant across the Atlantic.) Good luck with this project. Personally, I am allergic to pain and too wimpy to go for the full hive option so planting perfect for pollinators varieties is as far as I am going for now. I may get brave enough to take the plunge one day!

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