The book was launched at Little Thurrock School in Essex, where the author had kept bees and worked them with the children. The previous head had converted an air-raid shelter for use as a bee house, and two colonies were kept in there. Here, the current head is seen receiving a copy of the book for the school library.
A model of a W.B.C. hive loaned to the author by a fellow beekeeper helps to illustrate the workings of a hive, and once the children have been reassured that there are no bees in it, they are keen to look closely.
The book’s illustrator, Chris Geaney, accompanies the author on some visits to schools, and the range and depth of questions posed by the children always surprises her. The original artwork was all done in watercolour, and Chris explains to the children how she set about the paintings.
A piece of brace comb is very light, but the children always handle it carefully and are fascinated by the mass of tiny hexagonal cells which are the bees’ home.
Les, one of the Rangers with Essex Country Parks, has spotted the potential for the book to be used in the education work carried out by the Ranger Service. Plans are underway to use the book for story telling within the theme of “minibeasts” and for drama activities to enhance the children’s understanding of bees.