Bees are not only fascinating, but vital parts of our ecosystems. These hardworking insects pollinate crops, flowers, and provide food.
Learning about bees with your kids is both fun and educational.
Reading bee books together is a wonderful way to build a greater appreciation for these tiny, but mighty insects!
Before we get to far into this post, I have a confession to make...I love bees, but I am also somewhat afraid of them.
However, as I learn more about them and interact with them in my garden I am slowly getting over my fear.
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Many children are also afraid of honeybees, bumble bees, and wasps. Books about honeybees, bee crafts, and bee coloring pages are fun ways to learn about these insects in a safe way. As kids learn more about them, it can help alleviate their fears.
You see, these tiny insects are responsible for pollinating crops including apples, almonds, and cotton. These little insects play a major role in our food chain and ecosystems!
The old saying, knowledge is power, is true. The more you and your kids learn about these insects, the more you will grow to respect them.
Make sure to check out the end of the post for three free printable bee bookmarks for you to download and use while reading books about bees.
Why Learn About Bees Through Books
Reading books with your children is a fun way for them to learn new things. As I went through these books, I was amazed by the amount of information they contain. If you are looking to create a bee unit with your kids, think about using these as learning resources.
Topics to Explore
- Life Cycle of a Bee
- Structure of the Colony
- Anatomy of a Bee
- Importance of Bees
- Colony Collapse Disorder
- Bees Throughout History
All of the books are not only educational, but beautiful to look at. Illustrations truly make or break a book for me. All of these have unique illustration styles which I describe with each book description.
I hope this list inspires you to read a book or two while learning about bees with your kids. Maybe you and your kids will even be brave enough to sit among the bees as you read these books.
Or you may be lucky enough to keep bees on your property. These books make wonderful companions to bee keeping with kids.
What Children's Books About Bees do Your Kids's Love?
Make sure to add your recommendations in the comments below. I love hearing from you, about your favorite books for children.
What Ages will Benefit from these Books
All of these children's book about bees are geared towards kids of varying ages. Of course you have the freedom to adjust the depth of knowledge you discuss depending on the ages of your children.
- Middle School
One book is written more towards very young children, preschoolers or toddlers. Younger kids, even toddlers will enjoy looking at the images even in the more advanced books. However, none of these books are considered beginner readers.
Older children can dive into the scientific vocabulary, begin asking big questions, and making the connection between bees and almost everything we eat.
Depending on the reading level of your child, they may need your help to read these books. A few have very detailed information which is perfect for older learners.
When I taught 7th grade science, I actually used a few of these books for a unit about colony collapse disorder and bees. These picture books about bees are a perfect way to get kids learning about these insects.
King of the Bees
This is a beautifully illustrated story about a boy who visits his aunt who keeps bees. Written in a traditional story format, kids of all ages will enjoy learning about bee keeping. Lester L. Laminack the King of the Bees author is a wonderful storyteller.
Jim LaMarche created beautiful illustrations for this children's book. Illustrations are done in both ink and watercolor and are inspiring all on their own. Woven into the story are facts about bees and keeping bee hives.
Practicing patience and understanding is a theme that is carried out throughout the text. The boy's aunt is very kind and gentle when working with the bees and when teaching him about bee keeping.
Children will be able to relate to the main character and his fascination with bee keeping. The bees do swarm at one point in the story, but the author describes it in a way that is not scary for kids.
The Life and Times of the Honeybees
Written and illustrated by Charles Micucci, The Life and Times of the Honeybees is a great choice if you are looking for facts about bees for a bee unit of study. Information is divided into fourteen distinct sections.
- Anatomy of a Bee
- Bee Dance
- Bee Keeping
- Bee History
- Importance of Bees
- Products Made Because of Bees
- And Many More
Children will need help reading the text if they are early readers, but the information is kid friendly. If I was using this book with my kids as a resource tool, I would focus on one section at a time instead of the entire book at once.
Sections are a double page spread, making up two pages of the book each. Each part of the book is packed full with science vocabulary perfect for a unit about bees.
I love how this book is full of vibrant illustrations that visually go along with the information on the page. Overall, this book is information packed and would make a wonderful resource for at home learning.
The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees
Written by Sandra Markle a former elementary science teacher. The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees along with the Hive Detectives were two books I used with middle school aged kids to learn about bees. While you can use both for younger kids, some of the information will be better understood by older children.
Framed as a scientific mystery, the Case of the Vanishing Honeybees takes you along on the journey of trying to figure out why bees are disappearing. This phenomena is know as colony collapse disorder.
Written in paragraph form with roughly three paragraphs per page. Perfect for older learners to read independently or along with you.
This book is full of real life photographs of bees and bee keepers. A few drawings are mixed in for reference including a map and a diagram of a flower. Overall, if your child loves learning through real life images, they will enjoy this book.
Similar to a chapter book, it is divided into different sections. When reading with kids, read one section then do an activity or lesson to go along with it. At the back of the book there are resources about ways to help save bees along with a bee glossary.
The Hive Detectives
Written by Loree Griffin Burns with photographs by Ellen Harsimowixz, The Hive Detectives is an information packed book. Another great book for older learners or kids who are really interested in learning about colony collapse disorder. Written in story form, this book is a great book to read with your kids.
If you are looking for an in-depth informational text for kids this is it. Each page has beautiful large real life photographs to go along with the information.
This book dives deep into the scientific study that bee keepers and scientists are doing to collect information about bees. Perfect for an detailed unit study on bees.
Included Additional Resources
- Glossary of Bee Vocabulary Terms
- Book Recommendations
- Educational Websites
For children who are really interested in bees and are ready to move beyond the basic facts about bees, this book is for them. Its even a great read for adults if you are interested in learning more about these tiny insects.
If you are looking for a simple children's book with pretty artwork, Beehive, written and illustrated by Jorey Hurley is a great pick. Each double page spread has only one word on it.
The beautiful illustrations are made digitally and contain flat pastel colors. Overall this book has a very clean minimalists look while still providing information about bees.
If you are looking for a honeybee story for kindergarten, I would check out this book. Also a great pick for bee books for toddlers or preschoolers.
This book can be used with older kids in two ways. One, as a method of studying different type of art and the importance of visual storytelling. Two, as the artwork for their own bee story. Let them write the words to go along with the is beautiful book.
Joanna Rzezak's book 1001 Bees will instantly get your child interested in learning about bees. This series of books is large and contains brightly colored artwork.
This book just makes me happy if I'm being honest. Kids of all ages will enjoy counting the little bees that grace the cover and pages.
Instead of a traditional story line, this book contains pages will information about bees. Topics include beekeeping, the structure of a hive, and facts about bees.
The bright and beautiful illustrations are gorgeous. The illustrations would be beautiful as framed art in a homeschool room. Not that I have ever done that before or anything!
If I was using this book as a resource with a young child, I would flip through the pages, discuss the illustrations, and read a few of the facts.
Since it is not written as a story, young learners may get lost if you simply read through all of the facts found on each page. Older children will enjoy reading through the facts to learn more about bees and their ecosystems.
The Honey Makers
I love reading Gail Gibbon's books with young kids. Her classic nonfiction picture book,The Honey Makers is all about honeybees. She mixes education with storytelling in an easy to follow format. Bright and colorful illustrations are fun to look at while reading.
Text written in story form while including separate vocabulary terms labeled throughout the book. Perfect as an introduction to bees or to go along with learning about their life cycle.
Not designed as an early reader, young children will enjoy being read this story out loud. Although I have found that even middle aged kids love listening to a book being read out loud!
At the end of the book there is a bee keeper's diary along with interesting facts about honeybees. A perfect introduction to information texts for kids.
Begin with a Bee
Written by Lisa Ketchum, Jaqueline Briggs Martin, and Phyllis Root, Begin with a Bee, is a story about the rusty-patched bumble bee. This bee was the first bee placed on the US Wildlife Endangered Species list.
If you are looking for beautifully done scratchboard illustrations, Claudia McGehee's work is breathtaking. This type of medium is very unique and done very well in this book.
Follow along the rusty-patched bumble bee as she wakes from hibernation and completes her life cycle. Learn how these queen bees have the ability to start a whole new colony by themselves! These tiny insects are so amazing.
This book is written in verse, but is easy for kids to understand. A wonderful book to read along with your kids. Full of scientific information, but written in story format.
Even if you have studied bees with your kids in the past, there is something new to be learned from reading this book.
Free Printable PDF Bee Bookmarks
As a thank you for being a reader of this blog, I created three free printable bee bookmarks for you to use with your kids. Simply download the PDF, print if off on regular paper or cardstock, then cut them out. Add some color with crayons, markers, or paint. Happy reading!