Where Have All the Bees Gone?: Pollinators in Crisis

Where Have All the Bees Gone?: Pollinators in Crisis

by Rebecca E. Hirsch

Hardcover

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Overview

Apples, blueberries, peppers, cucumbers, coffee, and vanilla. Do you like to eat and drink? Then you might want to thank a bee.

Bees pollinate 75 percent of the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States. Around the world, bees pollinate $24 billion worth of crops each year. Without bees, humans would face a drastically reduced diet. We need bees to grow the foods that keep us healthy.

But numbers of bees are falling, and that has scientists alarmed. What's causing the decline? Diseases, pesticides, climate change, and loss of habitat are all threatening bee populations. Some bee species teeter on the brink of extinction. Learn about the many bee species on Earth—their nests, their colonies, their life cycles, and their vital connection to flowering plants. Most importantly, find out how you can help these important pollinators.

"If we had to try and do what bees do on a daily basis, if we had to come out here and hand pollinate all of our native plants and our agricultural plants, there is physically no way we could do it. . . . Our best bet is to conserve our native bees." —ecologist Rebecca Irwin, North Carolina State University

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This slim volume details what scientists know about the long history and potential future of an important pollinator. Hirsch (Garfield's Almost-as-Great-as-Doughnuts Guide to Math, 2019, etc.) opens the book with a narrative about Robbin Thorp, an entomologist who, in the 1990s, began monitoring habitats in Oregon and California for the now-vanished Franklin's bumblebee. From this specific, vivid scene, the text zooms out: Chapter 2 discusses how bees likely evolved, and Chapter 3 lists other pollinators and describes several kinds of pollination. The remaining chapters cover topics including the physical structure of bees, the pesticides that kill them, and some efforts being made to ensure bees' survival. The book ends on a hopeful note, with suggestions for things readers can do to help bees. Chapters are illustrated with color photographs and diagrams, and some include sidebars or entire pages' worth of inserts about things like assisted reproduction. Details about scientists' work will intrigue some readers, but the episodic stories become a bit difficult to track toward the end. Hirsch's main point—that bees are pollinators who deserve our respect and protection for their role in growing the food we eat and feed to domestic animals—is woven throughout the text. Accessible and concise, this volume teaches an important topic responsibly without being dry."—Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

12/01/2019

Gr 5–7—Though all the bees haven't gone anywhere, and, as the author notes, even the colony collapse disorder that threatened to wipe out the commercial honeybee industry a few years ago has abated, Hirsch reports that researchers have discovered major declines in the numbers of certain North American bee species. The cause is hard to pin down, but the author points to improper use of neonicotinoid insecticides, habitat destruction, and evidence that commercially raised bees are spreading virulent forms of infections, diseases, and other parasites to their indigenous relatives. Why does it matter? "Without bees, we wouldn't have food." What's to be done? Hirsch suggests that curious readers dig into her generous selection of print and online resources to raise awareness, plant a flower garden, and perhaps leave dried perennial stalks out for solitary bees to winter in. Still, along with clearer understandings of bee evolution and life cycles, and how pollination works, readers will come away concerned. Frequent sidebars, plus a mix of diagrams, flower pictures, and close-up photos of a variety of different types of bees, enhance the presentation. VERDICT An informative survey for students of biology and environmental science and just a tick denser in language and content than Emily Morgan's Next Time You See a Bee.—John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York

Kirkus Reviews

2019-11-17
This slim volume details what scientists know about the long history and potential future of an important pollinator.

Hirsch (Garfield's Almost-as-Great-as-Doughnuts Guide to Math, 2019, etc.) opens the book with a narrative about Robbin Thorp, an entomologist who, in the 1990s, began monitoring habitats in Oregon and California for the now-vanished Franklin's bumblebee. From this specific, vivid scene, the text zooms out: Chapter 2 discusses how bees likely evolved, and Chapter 3 lists other pollinators and describes several kinds of pollination. The remaining chapters cover topics including the physical structure of bees, the pesticides that kill them, and some efforts being made to ensure bees' survival. The book ends on a hopeful note, with suggestions for things readers can do to help bees. Chapters are illustrated with color photographs and diagrams, and some include sidebars or entire pages' worth of inserts about things like assisted reproduction. Details about scientists' work will intrigue some readers, but the episodic stories become a bit difficult to track toward the end. Hirsch's main point—that bees are pollinators who deserve our respect and protection for their role in growing the food we eat and feed to domestic animals—is woven throughout the text.

Accessible and concise, this volume teaches an important topic responsibly without being dry. (author's note, glossary, source notes, selected bibliography, further information, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541534636
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/04/2020
Pages: 104
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

Customer Reviews