Review of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera
by Candace Fleming; illus. by Eric Rohmann
Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp.
2/20    978-0-8234-4285-0    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4304-8    $11.99

A worker bee breaks out of her honeycomb cell and begins a task-filled life in her colony. The “teeming, trembling flurry” of bees within the close confines of the dark hive is impressively portrayed in Rohmann’s honey-toned illustrations through extreme close-ups and varying perspectives on bee bodies. For the first twenty-four days of her life, the bee remains in the hive, tidying up, nursing larvae, grooming the queen, and performing other vital tasks, all while developing her own strength. With each stage of growth, the text builds anticipation through repetition: will the next stage be “Flying? / Not yet.” Partway through the book, on day twenty-five, the bee finally emerges above a sunlit meadow on a four-page foldout; she flies into the next stage of existence as a pollinator. After ten days of nectar collection (during which she produces “one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey”), the bee dies, and a new bee emerges from a cell. As with the author-illustrator pair’s Giant Squid (rev. 9/16), the art and text together convey a holistic view of environment and organism, with excellent pacing through the complete bee life cycle. A diagram of bee anatomy is appended, and a “Helping Out Honeybees” note discussing the importance of honeybees to human food production and threats to their existence, with a reading list and websites, concludes the book.

From the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.
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Connie Lipa

Are hand-drawn illustrations excepted (scanned?)or only digital art? I draw and paint....not digital.Thanks

Posted : Apr 29, 2020 07:43


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