Flight Of The Honey Bee

HONEYBEE COVEROne of the most informative picture books about honey bees, this is surely among the most beautiful as well. – Booklist (American Library Association)

ALA Notable Children’s Book, 2014NotableBook

Awards and Reviews outstanding science book

News: Paperback now available

Where to buy Flight Of The Honey Bee:

Buy in UK  (Walker Books)

Buy in US  (Candlewick Press)

Buy in Australia  (Walker Books)

Buy in Denmark  (Klematis).

Buy in NZ

 Flight of the Honey Bee is the story of a honey bee (Scout) on a journey to find food for her hive. The action is closely based on the life of real bees and includes science footnotes. This hardcover book is ‘lyrical non-fiction’, a mix of science and poetic narrative. The illustrations by Brain Lovelock also blend art and science, with accurate insects on expressive backgrounds. Here’s the wasp attack (click to enlarge):


Classroom Ideas: Download free Teacher Notes


I was scared of bees until I got a real beehive for my 40th birthday (now that was a surprise party). After watching their fascinating, intricate lives, I came to love bees (although I still wear a protective suit!). Honey bees and humans have been partners for 20,000 years: we give them homes and they pollinate our food crops. But the world’s bees are endangered so I wrote this book to show how intelligent, essential, even appealing, bees are. I imagined all the challenges a tiny bee would face: wasp attack, hail storm, and birds; probably more drama than a bee meets on the average flower run. I wanted a sense of a bee’s experience while avoiding extreme anthropomorphism (eg. in The Bee Movie).

Writing a picture book is a bit like writing a poem – every word has to work hard in a confined space (like a bee) to create character and story; to be economical while still delighting the ear. I was inspired by the picture book Bat Loves The Night by Nicola Davies, which is poetic science at its best: “With a sound like a tiny umbrella opening she flaps her wings”.

Here’s the Danish cover: I love how ‘honey bee’ translates to ‘honningbien’, and ‘flight’ is ‘flyvetur’ (it’s like ‘the honey bee’s flying adventure).

danish cover