The world needs bees. Britain needs bees, but sadly they are in danger. Two species are already extinct, and there is strong evidence to suggest that pesticides and over farming are to blame. Bees are essential. They work tirelessly to transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another – fertilising the plant and promoting growth. Strawberries, blueberries, squash, aubergine, coriander, cucumber, beans, tomatoes, apples are all pollinated by bees, not to mention that bees provide honey, beeswax, propolis, pollen and royal jelly.
‘The Homeless Bumblebee & Me’ is a personalised heart warming tale about a humble bumblebee and her friend (your child). Bumblebee starts off happy in her peaceful meadow, but one day there is the rumbling sound of a tractor and the meadow she knows and loves is destroyed. She lay trembling on a leaf of clover. In the moment she begins to despair; she meets a wonderful friend who is willing to help her find a new home. You and your child are then taken on a whimsical journey discovering places that provide the perfect home for bees, and those that are less than perfect.
I have always found books really useful for explaining situations, feelings and relationships to my children – Winston particularly, as he is a little older. It’s something that I have used more than I thought I would – whether it be a first day at nursery, a lesson on sharing or talking about kindness. I find they really help, and ‘The Homeless Bumblebee & Me’ is the perfect introduction to get your child thinking about their environment, and the world around them. Winston was so pleased to receive a book with his name on it, and every time I read his name, he has subtle look of glee on his face. I chose to personalise the book with Winston’s name for two reasons – because it is more age appropriate, and because Rufus and Otto both have books using their names (Rufus Rabbit and Otto the Book Bear). The illustration is beautiful, and it rhymes magically, making it easy to read and remember. I think this book would make a sweet little gift too.
At the end of the book there are some top tips for encouraging bees in your garden:
- Plant flowers for the bees – Jared signed this petition a few months ago against pesticides that are killing bees, and was sent some free meadow flower seeds. A few months later we have a small section of our garden that is thriving and I can always see a bee (or two). Jared is a closet bee keeper, and would one day love his own set of hives.
- Make a drinking pond – Bees get thirsty. Leaving an old plate with water in it, on a flat surface is perfect. Look out for bees stopping by.
- Leave grass to grow wild – fence off a bit of space in the garden with sticks and just leave it. These will create home for lots of different bees.
This beautifully illustrated book is printed on 100% recycled paper, written by David Greaves, illustrated by Danielle Callaghan, and all profits go to Friends of the Earth. You can buy yours from Homeless Bee, and here is where you can find more about why we need to act now to revive the British bee population.
So next time you consider calling a bee, a pest. Just remember what a truly incredible creature it is. Love them, and encourage your children to love and care about them too.
Many, many thanks to Friends of the Earth for sending us a free copy of this wonderful book for review. All thoughts and feelings are my own.