Inspire appreciation and respect for bees with these engaging nonfiction and fiction kids books about bees.
It’s time for summer and that familiar little buzz is in the air! I didn’t realize how fascinating and complex bees were until we started our bee studies this year. As I’m sure you know, bees are one of the most important creatures worldwide. Our little striped friends are responsible for nearly 1 in every 3 foods we eat and without them, we would miss our apple snacks, cucumber sandwiches, peaches, and even pumpkins for Halloween. According to Greenpeace, seventy out of the top 100 food crops are pollinated by bees supplying about 90% of the world’s nutrition.
Unfortunately, its getting harder for bees to survive with our use of pesticides, climate change, their loss of natural habitats, and food resources. But we can help and our children can make a difference. By encouraging appreciation instead of fear, wonder, and a healthy dose of respect for the amazing ways bees live, communicate, and create – we can inspire them to bee engaged and build a better tomorrow for all of us.
Here is a list of our favorite nonfiction and fiction kids books about bees for your nature study basket. If you are looking for a literature-based unit study, check out our Winnie-the-Pooh inspired Bee Study Family Literature and Activity Guide in the shop filled with S.T.E.M. projects, art invitations, handicrafts, and literacy activities for all ages!
Nonfiction Kids Books about Bees
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The Secret Life of Bees by Moira Butterfield
Join Buzzwing the honeybee as she shares with us all the details of her life: from the different parts of her body, to what its like inside the hive, the secret of how bees pollinate flowers, and different bee folktales around the world. My youngest loved all the ‘search and find’ quests woven throughout the text. (Ages 5+)
Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton
Follow Edgar as he transforms his fear of bees into a new respect and appreciation for all the good they do in the world. Full of fun bee facts and lots of laughs. (Ages 5+)
The Bee Book by DK Publishing
With both illustrations and full color photographs, this book starts by exploring the intricate life of bees, including different species of bees that exist worldwide. Next, we explore how to create bee friendly gardens and steps we can take to protect them. The second half of the book is all about how to get started as a bee keeper. Fascinating! (Ages 7+)
What on Earth? Bees by Andrea Quigley
Colorful child friendly illustrations with general information on bee biology, history, and culture. This book also includes games, dances, poetry, and crafts to enjoy. (Ages 4+)
Turn this Book into a Beehive! by Lynn Brunelle
What a cool idea! This book starts by teaching us about the amazing world of bees, followed by a section with fun experiments and activities like seeing how vibrations move ‘pollen’. Last, the book includes all the materials needed and step by step instructions for building a mason bee house. (Ages 6+)
Bees: A Honeyed History by Piotr Socha
A beautifully illustrated text that answers all your questions about both the science and cultural history of honey bees. We loved learning how our interactions and understanding of bees have changed over time from the Ancient Greeks who believed honey was “elixir from the Gods”, to the story of St. Ambrose (patron saint of beekeepers), right up to present day. (Ages 6+)
The Bee Book by Charlotte Milner
A great introduction on bees for our younger learners with charming illustrations and an important message of conservation. (Ages 4+)
Picture Books about Bees
Five Bizzy Honey Bees by Lance Douglas
A charming story of a little bee family as they each go about their different jobs in the hive. (Ages 3 – 6)
Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckenentrup
This rhyming story teaches us how bees pollinate as the little bee travels through meadows, past birds and deer, from flower to flower and she leaves the “gift of pollen” behind her. (Ages Preschool – 2)
The Honeybee by Kristen Hall
Sweet illustrations and a lyrical verse tell the story of a little honeybee as she travels through the seasons and we celebrate the importance of her work in the world. (Ages 3+)
Please Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley
A wonderful book about appreciating others and not taking them for granted. Benedict is living the sweet life while the bees leave a fresh new jar of honey on his door step each morning. That is until they go on strike. Now Benedict must start listening to learn how he can help them by fixing up the hive and being a better beekeeper. Will the bees be happy?
The Beeman by Laurie Krebs
Learn about the life of a bee keeper from the perspective of a little girl helping her grampa (the Beeman) as we learn what to wear to stay safe, how to care for the hive, and how to harvest honey. (Ages 5-8)
Early Reader Books about Bees
National Geographic Readers: Bees
We are big fans of National Geographic. My daughters grew up on their nonfiction readers. This particular version is Guided Level N for grades 1-3.
National Geographic Readers: Buzz, Bee!
Pre-reader text about the honey bee featuring a vocabulary tree and discussion questions. Guided reading level F for grades K-1.
Time for Kids: A Bee’s Life
The perfect book for your child just starting to read with only one sentence per page and corresponding pictures to help with decoding. Guided reading level E grades K – early 1.
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