The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe

Overview

“A fascinating book.”—Booklist

Without honey bees, the world would be a different place. There would be no honey, no beeswax for candles, and, worst of all, barely a fruit, nut, or vegetable to eat. So imagine the beekeeper Dave Hackenburg’s horror when he discovered twenty million of his charges had vanished. In The Hive Detectives, Loree Griffin Burns profiles bee wranglers and bee scientists who have been working to understand colony collapse disorder, or CCD. In ...

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Overview

“A fascinating book.”—Booklist

Without honey bees, the world would be a different place. There would be no honey, no beeswax for candles, and, worst of all, barely a fruit, nut, or vegetable to eat. So imagine the beekeeper Dave Hackenburg’s horror when he discovered twenty million of his charges had vanished. In The Hive Detectives, Loree Griffin Burns profiles bee wranglers and bee scientists who have been working to understand colony collapse disorder, or CCD. In this dramatic and enlightening story, readers explore the lives of the fuzzy, buzzy insects and learn what might happen to us if they were gone.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Throughout the presentation, readers learn about the anatomy, development, and social behavior of honey bees, and observe the process of scientific investigation and its vital, real-world application. Appended are lists of recommended books, magazines, films, Web sites as well as a glossary and a source bibliography. A fascinating book from the Scientists in the Field series."—Booklist, starred review

"Not long after beekeepers encountered a devastating new problem in their hives in 2006, a team of bee scientists began working to discover the causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD), now attributed to a combination of factors possibly including pesticides, nutrition, mites and viruses...Harasimowicz's clear, beautifully reproduced photographs support and extend the text."—Kirkus, starred review

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
In 2006, a commercial beekeeper lost all the bees in 400 hundred of his hives for a total of 20 million bees. To unravel the mystery, four respected scientists began an investigation to seek the cause of the bees' disappearance. What follows for readers is the unraveling of a mystery to match any fictional whodunit. One by one, leads are followed and discarded, but despite many theories, this mystery has yet to be solved. The book also includes the work of amateur beekeeper Mary Duane and follows her to her hives to watch her care for her bees and learn the fascinating process of extracting honey from the hive, which the author calls "liquid gold." Along the way, readers pick up information on the social structure of the hive, physical description and division of labor of its inhabitants, and the vital role of bees in the agricultural world. Faux notebook-style pages introduce each scientist as well as provide some hive and bee information. The accompany photos, in addition to being well composed, are dramatic and colorful. An extended appendix and comprehensive glossary and index round out this highly readable and worthy science book. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The mystery of the vanishing honeybees began in the winter of 2006 when beekeeper Dave Hackenberg inspected 400 of his 3000 hives in Florida and discovered that 20 million bees had simply disappeared. He frantically alerted state bee inspectors and other beekeepers that there was some strange new ailment affecting these insects and asked for help in finding the cause. Soon beekeepers across the country were reporting similar catastrophes. Most of this lucid, fact-filled introduction focuses on the investigation into the problem, now known as "colony collapse disorder," or CCD. Separate chapters cover each of four scientists' line of research and describe their procedures, key tools, equipment, and findings. While no definitive cause for CCD has yet been found, the researchers theorize that the disorder is caused by a combination of the usual bee ailments, the chemicals used to treat them, and a new systemic pesticide employed by farmers. Other chapters include interviews with a hobbyist beekeeper and Hackenberg; they are packed with information on beekeeping and stress the importance of bees as pollinators. Special feature pages profile the scientists and describe the physical and behavioral characteristics of honeybees; hive construction; the making of honey, etc. Clear color photographs of beekeepers, scientists, equipment, close-ups of bees, hives, etc., complement the text on every page. Youngsters concerned with the environment will find this meticulously researched title a valuable resource.—Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Not long after beekeepers encountered a devastating new problem in their hives in 2006, a team of bee scientists began working to discover the causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD), now attributed to a combination of factors possibly including pesticides, nutrition, mites and viruses. Unusually for a Scientists in the Field book, the focus here is as much on the scientific question as the individual scientists. The central section describing the investigations of four members of the CCD working group is framed by chapters introducing a hobbyist beekeeper's mechanics and methods and explaining the work of the commercial beekeeper who first discovered the problem. Mock notebook pages break up the narrative with biographies of the individual scientists, information about who and what can be found inside the hive and the features of bee bodies. An appendix adds varied fascinating facts about bees-again using the format of an illustrated research journal. Harasimowicz's clear, beautifully reproduced photographs support and extend the text. Readers may be left wanting more but will be well served by this example of a scientific mystery still unsolved. (glossary, materials to study, acknowledgments, selected references, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544003262
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Series: Scientists in the Field Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 1,333
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Loree Griffin Burns, Ph.D., did her doctoral at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Ms. Burns lives in Massachusetts with her husband and children. She is the author of Beetle Busters, Tracking Trash, and The Hive Detectives.


Ellen Harasimowicz is a freelance photojournalist new to nature photography. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and Scientific American. Ellen lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Paul; her work can be seen at www.ellenharasimowicz.com.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2012

    surprisingly interesting

    This book was written very well- the author wove plot, fact, and background knowledge together like nobody's business. I read this book for an essay I'm doing on colony collapse disorder- and started out thinking I knew everything I needed to know about the subject. But this book taught me A LOT. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a short free read book that's both factual and entertaining, no matter your age.

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