100 books like Bees

By Piotr Socha,

Here are 100 books that Bees fans have personally recommended if you like Bees. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Hour of the Bees

Carla Kessler Author Of Terracolina: A Place to Belong

From my list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, one of my favorite places was in the top branches of a tree. From up there I could watch the world pass by, remaining invisible. I could make up stories about the world below and no one would challenge me. The second best place for me was inside the story of a book, the kind that took you to magical places where children always found a way to win the day. I knew when I “grew up” I would write one of those empowering books. I became a middle school teacher and have since read many wonderful books for this age. Enjoy my list of favorites.  

Carla's book list on where kids who believe in nature make a difference

Carla Kessler Why did Carla love this book?

Carolina walks a fine line between reality and magic, a state of mind many a struggling child understands.

Stuck with her grandfather, whose mind is failing, she finds a special connection to the fantastical stories he tells of a lake and bees and a tree, all connected with love of family and one’s roots. She forms a special bond with her “crazy” grandfather.

His stories about the tree with the magical power to bring people back together especially rings true. Who doesn’t believe in the magic of trees, especially old trees with deep roots (I still do). When Carolina rescues her grandfather from the old folks home and convinces her parents not to sell the family ranch, everything comes together.

Reality and magic really do belong together.

By Lindsay Eagar,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Hour of the Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

A beautifully written debut novel that weaves together magic and reality, about a girl's relationship with her mentally ill grandfather.

This powerful debut novel delicately blurs the line between truth and fiction as Carol unravels the fantastical stories of her mentally ill grandfather. When she and her family move to his deserted ranch in order to transfer him to a care home, Carol struggles to cope with the suffocating heat and the effects of her grandfather's dementia. Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible. She must be imagining things. Yet when her grandfather…


Book cover of Honeybee: Poems & Short Prose

Mobi Warren Author Of The Bee Maker

From my list on the magic of bees for ages 10-14.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by bees. I am a retired Middle School teacher (I taught mathematics, science, and creative writing in an inner-city school district) and am a volunteer community scientist with a special interest in pollinators. I love nothing more than being outdoors, meandering through empty lots, local parks, and my own backyard observing bees of all species. As a storyteller, I am fascinated by how honeybees weave through different cultures’ myths and how they are seen as a source of mystical and transformative power. Honeybees ignite my imagination and bring together my love of science and my concern for threats to our shared environment.

Mobi's book list on the magic of bees for ages 10-14

Mobi Warren Why did Mobi love this book?

In this collection of poems and short prose pieces, Young People’s Poet Laureate (2019-21) Naomi Shihab Nye, takes inspiration from honeybees to encourage us to refresh our spirits by honing our attention and treating others with kindness. While many of the poems concern the nature and wonder of bees and the threats they face, other pieces address subjects as diverse as crickets, egrets, kiwi cake. The poet does not shy away from the heftier subjects of war and injustice because she knows young people are hungry to discuss those things, too. This is a perfect collection to draw from to inspire students in a writing class. I know because I have used her poems in that way. Some of my favorite poems are in this collection.

By Naomi Shihab Nye,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Honeybee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"Nye's sheer joy in communicating, creativity, and caring shine through."-Kirkus Reviews

A moving and celebratory poetry collection from Young People's Poet Laureate and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye. This resonant volume explores the similarities we share with the people around us-family, friends, and complete strangers.

Honey. Beeswax. Pollinate. Hive. Colony. Work. Dance. Communicate. Industrious. Buzz. Sting. Cooperate.

Where would we be without honeybees? Where would we be without one another?

In eighty-two poems and paragraphs (including the renowned Gate A-4), Naomi Shihab Nye alights on the essentials of our time-our loved ones, our dense air, our wars, our…


Book cover of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Into the Sea

From my list on that spark a lifetime of investigation.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning, best-selling children’s author who writes about unexpected “wow” moments that stick with me. I look for books and articIes that take me on a deep journey into unknown environments. I aim for nonfiction that reads like a story with an emotional connection to new creatures with fascinating lifestyles. As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research. The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for those struggling to survive on our changing plant.  

Brenda's book list on that spark a lifetime of investigation

Brenda Z. Guiberson Why did Brenda love this book?

This book became a “wow” moment for me as it celebrates the life of a honey bee. “Can I fly now?” the bee wants to know. With poetic language and exquisite close-up illustrations, the reader has to wait, just like the bee, who has only 35 days to get through many chores before she can fly off for the final flower and honey mission. Who could ever swat a busy bee after reading this amazing life story? Extra information is provided about the special skills and plight of our important pollinators.  

By Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Honeybee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner
 
Take to the sky with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life!

An Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Selected for the Texas Bluebonnnet Master List
Finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

A tiny honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell. Driven to protect and take care of her hive, she cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen. But is she strong enough to fly? Not yet!

Apis builds wax comb to store honey, and transfers pollen from other bees into the storage.…


Book cover of Zinnia and the Bees

Mobi Warren Author Of The Bee Maker

From my list on the magic of bees for ages 10-14.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by bees. I am a retired Middle School teacher (I taught mathematics, science, and creative writing in an inner-city school district) and am a volunteer community scientist with a special interest in pollinators. I love nothing more than being outdoors, meandering through empty lots, local parks, and my own backyard observing bees of all species. As a storyteller, I am fascinated by how honeybees weave through different cultures’ myths and how they are seen as a source of mystical and transformative power. Honeybees ignite my imagination and bring together my love of science and my concern for threats to our shared environment.

Mobi's book list on the magic of bees for ages 10-14

Mobi Warren Why did Mobi love this book?

This is a delightfully wacky book with endearing characters. Zinnia is having a bad hair day, literally. A hive of bees takes up residence in the wild and curly mane of her hair to add to her troubles—a missing brother and a mother who doesn’t seem to care. I fell in love with this book on the first page when I learned that Zinnia was about to yarn bomb a statue of her school mascot. (I’m a knitter and have fancied taking up yarn bombing myself.) Quickly-paced chapters alternate between Zinnia as narrator and the bees discussing their own perilous situation. Told with both humor and empathy, this is a book where you can’t turn the pages fast enough in order to find out how things resolve.

By Danielle Davis, Laura K. Horton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zinnia and the Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hive of honeybees living in Zinnia's hair is actually the least of her problems. Her best friend, who also happens to be her brother, has left home with no explanation. And the one thing that makes her happy and keeps her sane knitting has just got her detention. She's never felt more alone. But the bees have a lot to say about it starting with finding her brother.


Book cover of Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation

Frank Mortimer Author Of Bee People and the Bugs They Love

From my list on buzzworthy beekeeping.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of Bee People and the Bugs They Love, an adjunct instructor at the Cornell University Master Beekeeping Program, a master beekeeper, former vice president of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, and I have written multiple articles featured in the widely circulated Bee Culture Magazine. As president of the Northeast NJ Beekeepers—a position that I held for over a decade—I founded the “Honey Cup," an annual honey tasting competition. I have promoted beekeeping throughout the Northeast by speaking to everyone from school children to gardening clubs and civic organizations, and have led beekeeping seminars across the Northeast and at The New York Botanical Garden.

Frank's book list on buzzworthy beekeeping

Frank Mortimer Why did Frank love this book?

Bees In America is a great read, as it chronologically takes you from the earliest European colonists who brought their bees with them—as honeybees are not native to North America—through to the present. It’s a mix of American history, biology, and American ingenuity, all rolled into a nonfiction account that’s chocked full of interesting facts and details.  For anyone interested in honeybees and/or beekeeping, it’s fascinating to learn the role they played in our developing nation. Plus, it’s exciting to read about all the innovations and advancements in beekeeping that have been discovered in America over the past 200 years. 

By Tammy Horn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bees in America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Queen Bee," "busy as a bee," and "the land of milk and honey" are expressions that permeate the language within American culture. Music, movies, art, advertising, poetry, children's books, and literature all incorporate the dynamic image of the tiny, industrious honey bee into our popular imagination. Honey bees -- and the values associated with them -- have influenced American values for four centuries. Bees and beekeepers have represented order and stability in a country without a national religion, political party, language, or family structure. Bees in America is an enlightening cultural history of bees and beekeeping in the United States.…


Book cover of Planting for Honeybees: The Grower's Guide to Creating a Buzz

Luke Dixon Author Of BEES and HONEY myth, folklore and traditions

From my list on bees and beekeeping.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been enthralled with the natural world since childhood, but it was not until I had enjoyed a career as a theatre director, that my life changed course and I became a professional beekeeper. My new job took be across the rooftops of London, managing bees and hives for The Bank of England, Kensington Palace, The London College of Fashion, Heathrow Airport, Bloomberg, and many others. Now I run a small environmental charity, The Bee Friendly Trust, helping to make the world a little more hospitable to honeybees and some of the many other pollinators that make human life possible.

Luke's book list on bees and beekeeping

Luke Dixon Why did Luke love this book?

You don’t have to have a beehive to help keep bees.

The honeybee, along with the thousands of other bees and insects that live alongside us, are vital to keeping us alive. At least a third of all we humans eat and drink is the direct result of bee pollination. So we owe it to the bees and to ourselves, to do all we can to create an environment to support them.

If you want to give over your garden to a wildflower meadow, or just plant up a window box, Sarah’s book will give you lots of easy ideas. And her illustrations are a rare treat.

By Sarah Wyndham Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Planting for Honeybees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Of the 25,000 known species of bee worldwide, only seven species are honeybees.

Bees and plants have a sophisticated and delicate symbiosis. In recent years, the shrinking of green spaces has endangered the honeybee. Now Planting for Honeybees shows you how you can help these delightful pollinators to flourish by creating a garden as a habitat for them.

No matter how small or large your space - from a window ledge in the city to a country garden - Sarah Wyndham Lewis offers practical advice on which plants to grow, and when and where to plant them.

Charmingly illustrated with…


Book cover of The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

JQ Rose Author Of Arranging A Dream

From my list on extraordinary life stories about ordinary people.

Why am I passionate about this?

My author friend, Mary, brought her great, great, great + grandfather’s journal to our writers' group and shared excerpts from the pages written in the 1800s. When her grandfather was window shopping in downtown London, he peered into the bookstore window. He yearned to own the books on display, but he couldn’t afford them on a minister’s income. Only the rich could purchase books. The journal excerpts brought the 1800s to life. I decided then to begin recording my life experiences to make our lives today real for the generations of tomorrow. I share my enthusiasm for telling life stories by presenting workshops on how to write life stories. 

JQ's book list on extraordinary life stories about ordinary people

JQ Rose Why did JQ love this book?

When she was five years old, Meredith May’s father abandoned their family when he moved far away to California. Her mother moved Meredith and her brother in with her parents, then closed herself off, emotionally and physically by shutting the door to her bedroom and never coming out. The Honey Bus, an old school bus parked forever in the backyard, saved Meredith. Grandfather was a beekeeper and raised bees in that bus. Meredith helped her granddad care for them and learned all about bees, but also about how a family cares for each other. This story was difficult to read at times, but charming too. The author’s bond with her grandpa reminds me of the special relationship our granddaughter has with her grandpa. 

By Meredith May,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Honey Bus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The bee is more frightened than you,' he said.

'Can you imagine how scary it is to be this small in a world that is so big?'

He was right.

When she was five years old, Meredith May was abandoned by both parents. Her father left for the other side of the country. Her mother disappeared into herself.

But when Meredith discovered the rusted old bus where her grandpa kept bees, her world changed forever.

Family duty. Compassion and sacrifice. Unconditional love. The life of a honeybee displays it all. As her grandpa showed her the sacrifices bees make for…


Book cover of The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore

Thor Hanson Author Of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

From my list on the world of bees.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author and biologist Thor Hanson’s research activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures, but bees rank among his favorite subjects of all. He wrote Buzz to explore their fascinating natural and cultural history. No other group of insects has grown so close to us, none is more essential, and none is more revered.

Thor's book list on the world of bees

Thor Hanson Why did Thor love this book?

This quirky little title captures a wealth of information about the deep relationship between people and bees. Ransome delves into mythology and folklore from around the world and across a huge span of history. Every page seems to offer some new and unexpected connection or story, from ancient Egyptians ferrying their honeybee hives up and down the River Nile to the Mayans cultivating a rainforest species with the agreeable trait of lacking a sting. No other book gives the reader such an exhaustive and entertaining exploration of how bees, more so than any other insect, have been part of human cultures since the dawn of civilization.

By Hilda M. Ransome,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No creature has provided man with so much wholesome food as the honey bee. Equally impressive is the number of beliefs and superstitions the industrious insect has inspired. Its honey, which was known to the ancient Greeks as the “food of the Gods,” played an important role in early religious rites and was also mentioned in the folklore of many peoples. Hilda Ransome's well-documented and copiously illustrated study of bees focuses on this valuable byproduct of nature and its creator — the "sacred" bee.
Chapters cover the folklore of bees and bee culture — from Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese, Hittite, and…


Book cover of The Queen Must Die: And Other Affairs of Bees and Men

Thor Hanson Author Of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

From my list on the world of bees.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author and biologist Thor Hanson’s research activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures, but bees rank among his favorite subjects of all. He wrote Buzz to explore their fascinating natural and cultural history. No other group of insects has grown so close to us, none is more essential, and none is more revered.

Thor's book list on the world of bees

Thor Hanson Why did Thor love this book?

There are scores of beekeeping memoirs in print, many of them very engaging. But if I had to choose only one, there is something to be said for this little classic. The biological information is good, but the book rises above the average in the way Longwood conveys it - with charm, wit, and an obvious fondness for his chosen subjects. Paired with a modern how-to manual, this volume could convince just about anyone to try their hand with hive, suit, and smoker.

By William Longgood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Queen Must Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An engaging collection of observations about honeybees and their activities."-Publishers Weekly


Book cover of The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden

Michelle Balz Author Of No-Waste Composting: Small-Space Waste Recycling, Indoors and Out. Plus, 10 Projects to Repurpose Household Items Into Compost-Making Machines

From my list on for aspiring urban homesteaders.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, backyard composting is more than just a way to lessen how much waste I send to the landfill. When you compost you transform items that many people consider garbage into a valuable soil amendment for your garden. You are creating something with real value that can help plants thrive and act as a carbon sink to help reduce negative impacts of climate change. Composting is so easy and rewarding that I really want to see everyone give it a try.

Michelle's book list on for aspiring urban homesteaders

Michelle Balz Why did Michelle love this book?

This book was exactly what I needed to better understand what is involved in starting a beehive in an urban setting. Flottum starts his readers with the bare-bones basics and builds from there. He also goes into what he calls “Extreme Urban Beekeeping” with tips on considerations for those of us with close neighbors. I have not started beekeeping yet, but Flottum has inspired me to add it to my list of future endeavors. 

By Kim Flottum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Backyard Beekeeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Backyard Beekeeper, now in its 4th edition, makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime for urban and rural beekeepers of all skill levels.

More than a guide to beekeeping, this handbook features expert advice for:

Setting up and caring for your own colonies Selecting the best location to place your new bee colonies for their safety and yours The most practical and nontoxic ways to care for your bees Swarm control Using top bar hives Harvesting the products of a beehive and collecting and using honey Bee problems and treatments


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