Co-authors: Liza Ketchum, Phyllis Root
Illustrated by Claudia McGehee
University of Minnesota Press, 2021
Find @ Your Public Library
About the Book
From the publisher University of Minnesota Press:
By looking closely at the life cycle of one bee, Begin with a Bee helps readers of all ages understand and appreciate the contributions and significance of all bees. The life cycle of the rusty-patched bumblebee is a tale of wonder, the adventure of one queen bee who carries an entire colony of bees inside her tiny body. Her story begins in the spring when she emerges from a hole in the ground to search for pollen. She finds a nest, “underground best,” lays a few eggs, and seals them in pollen. All summer this single queen lays more eggs, and more worker bees hatch. They gather pollen and maintain the colony until next year’s queen hatches in the fall.
The queen bee’s life unfolds through Claudia McGehee’s captivating illustrations. The authors—three beloved and prolific writers of award-winning children’s books—impart the poetry and basic science of the rusty-patched bumblebee, the first bee to appear on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species list.
Extensive commentary at the end of the book offers suggestions for being a friend to bees as well as a good citizen of the natural world. It also introduces the native plants that bumblebees need for survival. Begin with a Bee might inspire a child (or any of us) to seek out, identify, even cultivate these essential flowers—and participate in the next chapter in the story of all bumblebees.
Begin with a Bee – Book Event Video
Read more about nature and the out-of-doors: a bibliography of books about nature. Learn about the environment, bogs and butterflies, gardening and bird watching, the wilderness and the tallgrass prairie. And more books by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and by Claudia McGehee.
The real queen in this colony is the striking artwork . . . Close-ups of the bees alternate with views of a lush countryside and its other denizens. It’s an inviting book on any shelf, and the story is concise enough for longer storytimes. Educators, caregivers, and young readers will all be buzzing with delight. This book is the bee’s knees.
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
A handsome introduction to an endangered bumblebee.
This circle story starts in the winter with one bee (a future queen) nestled in her hole in the ground. This remarkable creature goes from one to thousands in just a few months and the captivating full-color illustrations that accompany the text give a close up view of both the insect and her habitat.
— Youth Services Book Review
If you are ready to dive down a rabbit hole (well, bee colony hole) of curiosity, then you’ll want to pick it up for every nature lover and nature lover-to-be(e) in your life.
— Little Village
A gorgeous and informative look at the bee lifecycle.
— Waking Brain Cells