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THE HIVE DETECTIVES by Loree Griffin Burns Kirkus Star


Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe

by Loree Griffin Burns & photographed by Ellen Harasimowicz

Age Range: 12 - 16

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-15231-8
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Not long after beekeepers encountered a devastating new problem in their hives in 2006, a team of bee scientists began working to discover the causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD), now attributed to a combination of factors possibly including pesticides, nutrition, mites and viruses. Unusually for a Scientists in the Field book, the focus here is as much on the scientific question as the individual scientists. The central section describing the investigations of four members of the CCD working group is framed by chapters introducing a hobbyist beekeeper’s mechanics and methods and explaining the work of the commercial beekeeper who first discovered the problem. Mock notebook pages break up the narrative with biographies of the individual scientists, information about who and what can be found inside the hive and the features of bee bodies. An appendix adds varied fascinating facts about bees—again using the format of an illustrated research journal. Harasimowicz’s clear, beautifully reproduced photographs support and extend the text. Readers may be left wanting more but will be well served by this example of a scientific mystery still unsolved. (glossary, materials to study, acknowledgments, selected references, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)