The Hive Detectives: chronicle of a honey bee catastrophe

The Hive Detectives: chronicle of a honey bee
By: Loree Griffin Burns
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Copyright: 2010
Reading Level: 6.8 IL: Grades 5-8
Genre: non-fiction
Setting: United States
SUMMARY: Being near a bee strikes fear into most people. That will change after
reading The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe by Loree Griffin
Burns. Bees produce honey which we all enjoy. But bees also are an integral part of our
food production. By enlightening readers to the ultimate disaster of Colony Collapse
Disorder, readers will better understand how the over-use of insecticides has imperiled
fruit and vegetable pollination.
Other books written by the author:
Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsame, and the Science of Ocean Motion
How Bees Make Honey by Michael Chinery
Honey In a Hive by Anne Rockwell
Honeybees by Clint Twist
Revised 3/7/08
1. Describe a bee-less society.
2. How is a bee society like a human society.
3. Discuss how honey bee nutrition has changed in recent years. How has that
affected the hives? p. 38-39
4. Every action has a consequence. Discuss how this axiom applies to the use of
insecticides and the Colony Collapse Disorder.
5. How has your view of bees changed since reading this book?
1. What was determined to be the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder
2. Why are bees important for everyone?
3. A typical hive of 50,000 bees would have one queen, 2000 drones, and
47,999 drones. Why are there so many drones compared to the others?
4. In what ways was this book like a detective story on TV? In what ways
was it different?
There is a study guide at with many suggestions
and additional resources.
Language Arts:
Research the history of bees in North America. Locate an apiarist and interview the
individual. Present a powerpoint presentation that informs the audience of what you
Revised 3/7/08
[Standard Indicators: 6.7.1, 6.7.2, 6.7.4, 6.7.5, 6.7.7, 6.7.8, 6.7.9, 6.7.10, 6.7.11,
6.7.12, 6.7.13,6.7.14, 6.7.16]
[Standard Indicators: 7.7.1, 7.7.3, 7.7.4, 7.7.5, 7.7.7, 7.7.9, 7.7.10, 7.7.11]
[Standard Indicators: 8.7.1, 8.7.2, 8.7.3, 8.7.8, 8.7.9, 8.7.10, 8.7.11, 8.7.12, 8.7.13,
Science (Please list Indiana Academics Standards Grades 6-8 addressed by each
1/ Have students research plant structure. Each student should draw a diagram of the
"anatomy" of a tomato blossom, labeling each part. Students should accompany their
diagrams with written explanations of how pollination works and why pollination is
necessary to produce fruit.
2. Describe a bee-less earth.
6.3.2 Describe how changes caused by organisms in the habitat where
they live can be beneficial or detrimental to themselves or to native plants
and animals.
8.3.9 Describe the effect of environmental changes on populations of
organisms when their adaptive characteristics put them at a disadvantage
for survival. Describe how extinction of a species can ultimately result from
a disadvantage. ‘
[Standard Indicators: 6.4.8, 6.4.9]
[Standard Indicators: 6.4.4, 7.4.3, 8.4.2]
[Standard Indicators: 8.4.1, 8.4.3]
Challenging Words
pheromone (pher·o·mone) n. p. 2 A chemical secreted by an animal, especially an
insect, that influences the behavior or development of others of the same species, often
functioning as an attractant of the opposite sex.
Revised 3/7/08
larvae (lärv) n. p. 8 1. The newly hatched, wingless, often wormlike form of many insects
before metamorphosis. 2. The newly hatched, earliest stage of any of various animals
that undergo metamorphosis, differing markedly in form and appearance from the adult.
negotiate (n-gsh-t) v. p. 9 1. To arrange or settle by discussion and mutual agreement:
negotiate a contract. 2. a. To transfer title to or ownership of (a promissory note, for
example) to another party by delivery or by delivery and endorsement in return for value
received. b. To sell or discount (assets or securities, for example). 3. a. To succeed in
going over or coping with, i.e. negotiate a sharp curve. b. To succeed in accomplishing
or managing.
parthenogenesis (pärth-n-jn-ss) n. p. 58 A form of reproduction in which an unfertilized
egg develops into a new individual, occurring commonly among insects and certain other
herculean (hûrky-ln, hûr-kyl-) adj. p. 55 1. requiring tremendous effort, strength, etc. a
herculean task 2. (sometimes capital) resembling Hercules in strength, courage, etc.
Apiary (page 2)
Propolis (page 5)
Many plant parts on page 13
Gastrointestinal (page 24)
Neonicotinoid pesticides (page 43)
Chromatograph spectrometer (page 45)
There are many more terms in the glossary (pages 60-62)
Parthenogenesis (page 58)
Revised 3/7/08