The Honeybee Man

by Lela Nargi and Kyrsten Brooker

Fred maintains three beehives on the rooftop of his apartment building—a city... read more

Fred maintains three beehives on the rooftop of his apartment building—a city for bees within the larger human city of Brooklyn. Early on a summer morning, Fred visits his bee city, calling greetings to his queen bees, Mab, Nefertiti, and Boadicea, and the thousands of other hive inhabitants. Fred observes bees that “zip out of the hives and throw themselves at the air, embracing it with their wings,” and imagines their flights through the neighborhood gathering nectar. He knows the bees inside the hive are working, too, as queens lay eggs and others build wax rooms, feed young bees, tidy the hive, and care for the nectar. Later, Fred harvests honeycomb, extracts honey, and gives full jars to his neighbors, filled with honey flavored from their own backyards—sweet pea flowers, linden tree blossoms, and blueberry bushes. Rich language describes the process of maintaining an apiary while capturing the beekeeper’s passion for his task. Charm and accuracy both are hallmarks of the collage and oil paint illustrations, while detailed end papers offer diagrams of bees, flowers, and hives. (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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