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THE BUZZ ON BEES by Shelley Rotner


Why Are They Disappearing?

by Shelley Rotner & Anne Woodhull & photographed by Shelley Rotner

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 31st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2247-0
Publisher: Holiday House

This photo-essay describes the decline of honeybees since 2004, their importance in pollination and the work of beekeepers, sending a chilling message to the very young. Rotner’s photographs are bright and beautiful: happy children, glorious flowers and luscious fruits. The accompanying text, written in simple sentences, has little narrative flow. It opens with a beekeeper’s discovery of empty hives, goes on to describe the role of pollinators, introduces beekeepers and then returns to label Colony Collapse Disorder on a double-page spread contrasting a full hive with an empty one. A list of questions about the decline of honeybees suggests causes; unidentified scientists are shown working on the problem. On a second spread of empty cells the author asks the bigger question, “How healthy is our earth?” following with pages of suggestions for action, websites for follow up and fast facts. The book concludes with profiles of the individuals who served as sources. Older readers will be well served with Loree Griffin Burns and Ellen Harasimowicz’s The Hive Detectives (2010); this is less successful at meeting its audience’s needs. (Informational picture book. 5-8)