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WHAT'S THE BUZZ? by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox


Keeping Bees in Flight

From the Orca Footprints series

by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4598-0960-4
Publisher: Orca

Author and hobbyist beekeeper Wilcox presents a cheery introduction to honeybees and their wild cousins.

Wilcox covers a lot of territory in a brief book, notably including quite a lot of information about bumblebees and other undomesticated bees as well as a healthy helping of facts about honeybees. From an overview that distinguishes between bees and wasps and then among types of bees and a bit of honeybee history, Wilcox moves on to bees as pollinators, both those used in commercial agriculture and specialist bees that focus on just certain types of blossoms, such as the squash bee. She covers bee behavior and roles, swarming, and what beekeepers do before moving on to cover threats to bees such as neonicotinoids and the varroa mite. The text is broken into brief chapters, which are then broken into short sections, and the design includes both bright, mostly stock photographs and sidebars. Specialized vocabulary (“nectar,” “industrial agriculture,” etc.) is italicized within the text and defined in a closing glossary. The resource list includes only two books, both aimed at adults, but the list of websites includes several that are kid-friendly. Wilcox’s tone is upbeat, and though her use of the exclamation mark is perhaps overdone, her enthusiasm for her subject is both genuine and infectious.

As comprehensive an introduction as can be found in 48 pages.

(index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)