Monday, June 14, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: The Hive Detectives by Loree Griffin Burns

Why can I never find a definite list of the Scientists in the Field series? Every time I think I've got them all, a new one pops up without warning. Oh well.

I had no idea that thousands of bees mysteriously died and disappeared in 2006. Obviously, me and the new have a distant relationship. Anyways.

There are three main sections of this fascinating non-fiction. First, is the work and life of a small beekeeper, Mary Duane. Burns tells us how Duane came to beekeeping and what it means to keep bees as a part of life in Duane's own words, amply illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz's photographs. The second and main section of the story is the mystery of the bee disappearance, starting with Dave Hackenberg's discovery of millions of missing bees among his thousands of hives. The mystery continues with the work of three scientists, each pursuing a different angle of the problem through research and experimentation. Finally, these two narrative threads are interspersed with facts about the life cycle of bees, honey production, and more.

Like all Scientists in the Field books, this is an excellent resource for school reports or for students interested in the lives and work of real scientists. It takes the reader through the steps of a scientific investigation, and shows how science in the real world is very different from a cut and dried experiment in a textbook. As in this example, sometimes the answers aren't found right away - or at all. Science enthusiasts or budding entomologists and apiarists will find much to fascinate them in this excellent book.

Verdict: Another excellent entry in the Scientists in the Field.

ISBN: 978-0547152318; Published May 2010 by Houghton Mifflin; Borrowed from the library; Added to the library's wishlist


Playing by the book said...

Sounds like a good book. If you want a book for yourself on the bee problem I'd heartily recommend:
A World Without Bees
Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum
Guardian Books £9.99, pp256

Camille said...

I agree. I never seem to find all the all Scientists in the Field books either. They don't seem to have a uniform look or design.

Jennifer said...

I've made sure I put "Scientists in the Field" in the series field whenever I add one to LibraryThing, but that still doesn't help me keep up with the new ones!