Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

By Author / Illustrator

Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann


Non Fiction

Age range(s)



Pushkin Children's Books








Take to the sky with Apis, a busy honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life! Follow the extraordinary life cycle of a worker honeybee as she stores honey, feeds her queen, defends the live from invaders and finally takes flight in search of nectar. Candace Fleming's beautiful text and Eric Rohmann's glorious illustrations combine to bring the incredible world of the honeybee to life in your hands.

'A fascinating up-close view of the stages of a honeybee's life... The drama and suspense are positively riveting' New York Times.



Combining poetic language, storytelling and factual information, Honeybee is a delightful read, following the life of a bee from emerging from her waxed cell to the end of her life. With the scientific name Apis mellifera, the author names this new bee Apis as she emerges into a 'teeming, trembling flurry'.

Everyone knows that bees fly, bussing around busily, but the author skilfully builds tension within this life story, ending each page with the expectation that Apis will fly off on the following spread. In truth, each new spread explores one of the many activities honey bees perform within nest-cleaning, nursing, queen tending…the list goes on as the reader learns of all the tasks which must be completed until, on the twenty-fifth day of her life, Apis leaps from the nest and flies.

The illustrations are stunning. Those depicting life within the confines of the nest are in darker hues with golden highlights contrasting with a spectacular double gatefold spread showing Apis's first flight over a meadow peppered with the yellows and pinks of wildflowers. Although Apis dies at the end, the lifecycle continues with a new honeybee shown chewing their way from its cell. A labelled diagram of a honeybee and pages of additional information are included at the end of the book.

This is a real beauty of a book, certain to engage and inspire!

40 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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