Bee Aware – Feed the Bees This September

Feed the bees! banner courtesy of Apiculture NZ

September is “Bee Aware Month” in New Zealand. For Bee Aware Month 2021, we are being asked to ‘Feed the Bees’ by planting bee-friendly trees and plants.

According to Apiculture NZ, who look after bees and beekeepers in Aotearoa, “planting for bees is a fantastic way to look after nature’s tiniest superheroes as they keep our gardens, food crops and native bush growing.” As they busily buzz around the plants and flowers looking for food for themselves and their hives, they also help to pollinate the plants so that fruit, veges and crops continue to grow and thrive. Humans simply cannot survive without these amazing insects to keep our food on the table. Superheroes indeed!

Some plants are better sources of nectar and pollen than others.  And some plants produce nectar and pollen at times when there is not a lot else around for bees to feed on.

Don’t know what to plant? Some awesome ideas from Apiculture NZ include plants such as rosemary, sunflowers, harakeke, and citrus fruits!

bunch of sunflowers



Want to find out more?

Here’s a bee-friendly gardening guide to get you started

Learn about bees

Products made by bees

Fun activities and competitions

The Bee Aware BIG BEE QUIZ

The Bee Aware month Art Competition


And yes, you guessed it, Wellington City Libraries have got LOADS of books crammed full of facts about bees, gardening for bees and fiction bee books… so we’ve included some suggestions for you and the adults in your lives:

BEE BOOKS FOR KIDSHoneybee on Google Android 12.0

The secret life of bees / Butterfield, Moira
“Did you know that bees love to dance? Or that they have an amazing sense of smell to help them find the best flowers? In The Secret Life of Bees, Buzzwing shares with you all the details of her life as a bee, in and out of the hive, starting with the day she was born.” (Catalogue)
The book of bees / Socha, Piotr
“How do bees communicate? What does a beekeeper do? Did you know that Napoleon loved bees? Who survived being stung by 2,443 bees? This book answers all these questions and many more, tracking the history of bees from the time of the dinosaurs to their current plight.” (Catalogue)
Sunflower shoots and muddy boots : a child’s guide to gardening / Halligan, Katherine
“Packed with brilliant indoor and outdoor gardening activities, this is the perfect introduction to growing plants for little children and grown-ups to enjoy together.” (Catalogue)
Give bees a chance / Barton, Bethany
“In this nonfiction picture book an enthusiastic bee-loving narrator tries to convince a bee-phobic friend that our fuzzy, flying neighbours are our friends– we should all give bees a chance!” (Catalogue)
Why do we need bees? / Daynes, Katie
“Why do we need bees? How do they make honey? And who’s who in a beehive? Children can find the answers to these questions and many more in this informative lift-the-flap book. With colourful illustrations, simple text and chunky flaps to lift, young children can discover lots of amazing facts about bees and why they need our help.” (Catalogue)
The very clever bee / Marshall, Felicity
“A non-fiction illustrated book about bees, their life-cycle, pollination, and benefits for humans. Written for children 6 years and upwards.” (Catalogue)
How to bee / MacDibble, Bren
“Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony’s mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony’s grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe. How To Bee is a beautiful and fierce novel for younger readers, and the voice of Peony will stay with you long after you read the last page.” (Catalogue)


BEE BOOKS FOR ADULTSHoneybee on Google Android 12.0

The bee friendly garden : easy ways to help the bees and make your garden grow / Purdie, Doug
“A grower’s handbook to attracting bees and other beneficial insects. The Bee Friendly Garden is a guide for all gardeners great and small to encouraging bees and other good bugs to your green space…Includes: – How bees forage and why your garden needs them – A comprehensive plant guide to bee friendly plants – Simple changes anybody can make – Ideas for gardens of all sizes – Natural pest control and companion planting advice.” (Catalogue)


Planting for honeybees : the grower’s guide to creating a buzz / Lewis, Sarah Wyndham
“Our gardens would be unrecognizable without the gentle buzz of the humble honeybee. Yet in recent years bee populations have suffered from th loss of green spaces and need our help. Planting for Honeybees is a charmingly illustrated, practical guide on how to help attract these delightful pollinators – whether you only have a city window ledge or a whole country garden. With advice on the blooms to grow, and when and where to plant them, this book reveals the tips and tricks to creating a buzz and a better future for our apian friends.” (Catalogue)

The history of bees / Lunde, Maja
“In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees–and to their children and one another–against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis. England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive–one that will give both him and his children honor and fame. United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation. China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him. Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity” (Catalogue)

The beekeeper of Aleppo / Lefteri, Christy
“Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.” (Catalogue)

How DO Things Work?

Kia ora!  Have you ever looked at a machine and wondered how it works?  Or wondered how things in space work?  What about inside your body?  There are so many questions about the world!

Well, the good news is we have lots of kids books that explain and describe the inner workings of all sorts of interesting topics.  You name it, we’ve got a book to tell you how it works.  To get you started, we’ve selected a few interesting books for you to choose from.  But there are plenty more available to satisfy your curiosity.

Motorbikes / Oxlade, Chris

Find out all of the workings of some of the most amazing motorcycles.  This easy to read book breaks down many of the parts and what they do, with bright, clear illustrations.

What’s inside a black hole? : deep space objects and mysteries / Solway, Andrew

“This astronomy series looks at different aspects of the universe we live in.” (Catalogue)

Inside the bees’ hive / Ang, Karen

“Hundreds of buzzing worker honeybees build a yellow structure called a comb inside a tree trunk. The comb is made up of many small, six-sided rooms that the bees make out of wax. These rooms, called cells, will be used to hold baby bees and sweet, gooey honey. Welcome to the bees’ hive! ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Spacecraft / West, David

“Learn all about spacecraft, from the first space capsules to space planes and space shuttles.  Find out something amazing about each vehicle and then turn the page to see it sliced in two where its innermost secrets will be revealed.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What’s eating you? : parasites – the inside story / Davies, Nicola

“There is one group of creatures who live on or in the bodies of other animals – in skin, hair, fur, feathers, blood, guts, livers, hearts and lungs. They are parasites. Uncover the secrets of their amazing life-cycles and dare yourself not to scratch or groan as you read.” (Catalogue)

Aircraft / Graham, Ian

Find out how all kinds of aircraft work and how they are laid out inside.  Lots of clear illustrations and information on different types of aircraft.

See inside weather and climate / Daynes, Katie

Filled with facts from how hurricanes and floods happen to how global warming is affecting the Earth’s climates. This is a lift-the-flap book that introduces readers to the science of weather. The work is filled with facts from how hurricanes and floods happen to how global warming is affecting the Earth’s climates.” (Catalogue)

How cities work : explore the city inside, outside and underground / Hancock, James Gulliver

“From the sewers to the skyscrapers, this book takes young readers to the heart of the city.  Get ready to explore the city in a whole new way. This innovative book for younger readers is packed with city facts, loads of flaps to lift, and unfolding pages to see inside buildings and under the streets.  Discover where people live and peek behind closed doors to see what’s going on in houses and apartments, or why not find out about what goes on underneath the streets you walk on every day? (Adapted from Catalogue)

Running the country : a look inside New Zealand’s government / Gill, Maria

“What does the government do to keep New Zealand running smoothly? How does parliament work and what is the job of the MPs? From the Bill of Rights to the way we vote, from parliamentary headquarters to the local council — and everything in between — Maria Gill explains our system of government. You will discover facts about laws, our currency, voting at the elections and the role of the media. There are fascinating profiles of New Zealand leaders, illustrated by cartoonist Malcolm Evans, along with photographs, amazing statistics and useful ‘google this’ Internet links to find out more.” (Catalogue)

The fantastic body : what makes you tick & how you get sick / Bennett, Howard J

“Jam-packed with fun facts, cool diagrams, and gross stories, and written by a successful, practicing pediatrician, this fun and comprehensive reference book with DIY projects is ideal for kids who want to know more about the mysterious stuff going on inside their bodies.” (Catalogue)

How computers work / Hubbard, Ben

“Ever wonder what goes on inside your computer? Take a look into how processors, networks and more are all connected.” (Catalogue)

Inside of a dog : what dogs see, smell, and know / Horowitz, Alexandra

“From an animal behaviorist and dog enthusiast comes an adorable guide to understanding how our canine friends see the world. Want to know what dogs are thinking? What they feel, and what they can spell with that great big nose of theirs? Here’s your chance to experience the world nose first, from two feet off the ground. What do dogs know, and how do they think? The answers will surprise and delight you as dog owner and scientist Alexandra Horowitz explains how our four-legged friends perceive their daily worlds, each other, and us. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Make a Bee Hotel at Johnsonville Library

To celebrate Bee Aware Month come along to the library and have a go at making your own Bee Hotel.

Johnsonville Library – Thursday 5th September – 3.30 – 4.30pm

Please bring an empty, clean 425g tin can.  All other materials will be supplied.

Spaces are limited so secure a spot by registering at the desk or contact the library on ph:477 6151.

Suitable for school age and up.

Kids’ Club Review by Meredith: How to bee

How to beeHow to bee, Bren MacDibble

I really loved this book. It is about a girl called Peony who really wants to be a bee. It is in the future and all the bees are extinct, so they have to use people. Peony lives in a shed on the farm run by the Foreman. Peony’s mother works in the city and wants Peony to come with her. One day Peony is taken to the city. Can she escape?

In the first 2 chapters I had trouble understanding how she talks and some bits were a bit scary.
I would advise 9+to anyone who wants to read it. Peony is a brave character and in reading the book she makes you feel braver.

The book is a mix of Adventure, Love and Friendship.

5 stars

Reviewed by Meredith from Central City and St Mark’s Church School , 9 years old

Kids’ Club Review by Aoi: The book of bees

The book of beesThe book of bees, by Piotr Socha

This book is all about bees. The book tells that not only do bees provide with honey, but they also help us to grow lots of other delicious foods. Without bees to carry their pollen, some plants couldn’t make fruits or seeds. Apples, Pears, Plums, Cherries and Watermelons.

I think this book is very well written and lovely. I really like this book.

5 stars

Reviewed by Aoi from Karori and Thorndon School , 7 years old

New Kids Fiction to get you through these colder winter days!

With winter settling in what better time to rug up with a warm blanket, a cup of milo and some of these new Kids Fiction books from your local library!

Hour of the BeesImage courtesy of Syndetics by Lindsay Eagar

This novel 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 Alzheimer’s. Bees seem to be following her around, but the drought means this is impossible. She must be imagining things. Yet when her grandfather chooses her as the subject for his stories – tales of a magical healing tree, a lake, and the grandmother she never knew – Carol sees glimmers of something special in what her parents dismiss as Serge’s madness. As she rethinks her roots and what she thought she knew about her family, Carol comes to the realization that Serge’s past is quickly catching up with her present.

 

 

How to Capture an Invisible Cat by Paul TobinImage courtesy of Syndetics

Every Friday the 13th, 6th grade genius and inventor extraordinaire Nate Bannister does three not-so-smart things to keep life interesting. This time, he taught a caterpillar math, mailed a love letter, and super-sized his cat Proton before turning him invisible.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsTeresa by Deborah Abela

Teresa and her family survived the bombing of their home and went hungry during the long siege of their island during the war. Life in peace time is still hard. Her parents want a better life, and so apply to migrate to Australia to find it. But after the long voyage to Sydney, there are more testing times ahead for Teresa as she tries to learn Australian ways, avoid the bullies and do well at school. She is not about to let anything stop her from making her family and her nanna back in Malta proud of her.

 

 

Image courtesy of SyndeticsThe Secrets we Keep by Nova Weetman

Clem Timmins has lost everything – her clothes, her possessions, her house and her mum. Now living in a tiny flat with her dad, Clem has to start a new school and make new friends. On her first day, Clem tells Ellie that her mum died in a house fire and immediately regrets it when Ellie latches on and confides that her own mother is dying of cancer. When Clem receives a letter she doesn’t want to read, it becomes clear she can’t run from her past forever, especially when the truth appears right in front of her face.

 

 

Wicked’s WayImage courtesy of Syndetics by Anna Fienberg

Will could walk a tightrope and juggle bananas as he went. ‘One day you’ll be the star of a circus,’ his mother told him. ‘But until then, you must be a secret.’ For each year pirates came to the islands to steal young boys for their crew. And if that happened to you, well, you may as well kiss your life goodbye. So what’s a young lad to do when his mother disappears and pirates arrive at his door?..Will takes courage from a crazy truth-telling parrot, and his mother’s advice: ‘Keep putting one foot in front of the other and your eyes on the prize.’ But will this be enough to survive the perils at sea? And will that infuriatingly polite boy called Horrendo finally tip the balance?..A high-seas pirate adventure about scoundrels and blaggards, devilish treachery, and finding the most precious treasure of all…