'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 26 July 2021

Review: Bee Detectives

Olivia and Hamish are Bee Detectives. Along with their pet Ignatius, they are guides through a wonderful visual and factual tour, highlighting the lives of Australian bees.

It begins with the noise of a chainsaw. The children and their parents hurry out to see a fallen tree with a black mist rising from it. It isn’t smoke but a hive of bees that have made their home in the trunk.

The Bee Team arrive to carry the nest to a new home. The questions pour from Olivia and Hamish. They want to know everything about what the Bee Team is doing.

It is through the course of exchanging the bees’ home from the trunk to a box, that they learn about what goes on in the hive.

Fantastic illustrations and labels on each area of the comb, allow us an inside view on the workings of a hive.

The team waits for night and moves the hive to Olivia and Hamish’s back yard. They are so excited that they have now officially become Bee Detectives.

Along with the children, we learn about social bees and solitary bees. What their roles are, how they live, what they contribute and how much honey they collect each year.

There are 17,000 species of native bees in Australia. A view through a magnifying glass allows a close-up of the various species shown in the book, offering all the personal information on each bee.

The first focus is on the Blue Banded Bee, its scientific name (Amegilla), and how she lives. The Carpenter Bees don’t use hammers or nails. They leave small holes like a Hansel and Gretel trail behind them, so they are easy to follow. The growth of the Carpenter Bee is depicted in cells, from the larvae stage to when they hatch.

Leaf-cutter bee, Resin Bee, and The Australian Native Stingless Bee are amongst those analysed.

How to attract bees to your garden and the benefits attached to it, plus lots of facts about bees are included in this intricately illustrated and highly educational book.

A comprehensive Glossary adds a wealth of information about the highlighted words found between the covers and the vocabulary associated with bees.

Stunning end pages, depict the bees working under circular magnifying glasses which allows you to view their bodies close up.

Title: Bee Detectives
Author: Vanessa Ryan-Rendall
Illustrator: Brenna Quinlan
Publisher: CSIRO, $ 24.99
Publication Date:1 April 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781486313396
For ages: 6 – 9
Type: Non Fiction