If Bees Disappeared

Illustrated by Lily Williams

“From food to medicine to clothing, bees help keep our lives going.”

Set in the lush hills of Kent, England, If Bees Disappeared is a nonfiction picturebook that explores the importance of bees for our everyday lives. The book begins by explaining the inner dynamics of a bee colony, showing how all the bees of a hive work together as a cohesive superorganism. It then moves on beyond the bees themselves to talk about their symbiotic relationship with flowers. From there, the story dives into the ecological consequences of bee disappearance, depicting the trophic cascade that occurs when the balance of nature is disrupted. The book concludes by providing additional tips, facts, and resources to encourage readers to actively contribute to bee conservation efforts.

Through bright illustrations and informative text, If Bees Disappeared conveys the compelling message that although bees are small, they play a significant role in keeping our world running. The book highlights the threat of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the alarming phenomenon where an entire colony of bees dies at once. CCD has no singular cause but is rather influenced by a combination of factors, including pesticide use, parasitic disease, poor nutrition, and a loss of foraging habitats. The narrative extensively explores the trophic cascade that would unfold if bees were to vanish. Bees (particularly the honeybee species) are exceptionally efficient pollinators, being responsible for over 80 percent of all flowering plants. Bee extinction would first affect the pollinated flowers and crops but then eventually move on to affect all other beings in the food web. This depiction of biodiversity loss can be used to teach about ideas such as interconnectedness, keystone species, food chains, and the web of life. The repercussions of bee extinction would even extend to human society, namely affecting our food, medicine, and clothing supplies. To help protect the bees, the author suggests local food and urban farming initiatives, emphasizing the need for sustainable, bee-friendly agricultural practices.

©2024 ClimateLit (Alexandra Delacruz)

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Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2021

Pages: 40

ISBN: 978-1250232458

Audience: Little People (4-7), Questers (8-13)

Format: Nonfiction, Picturebooks

Topics: Bees, Biodiversity Loss, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), Ecological Balance, Extinction, Food Chains, Food Webs, Foraging, Gardening, Habitat Loss, Interconnectedness, Keystone Species, Local Food, Pesticides, Pollination, Pollinator Habitats, Pollinators, Sustainability, Symbiosis, Trophic Cascade, Urban Farming, Urban Garden, Web of Life

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