Just last year, bees made it onto the endangered species list for the first time. This is a major cause for alarm among ecologists, as the insects are integral to the human food supply and to many ecosystems. Furthermore, while urban beekeeping has become a new trend, it was recently reported that one-third of U.S. honeybees died last year. With an arising need for educating kids about the importance of bees in the global ecosystem, and with an aim toward conservation, publishers have a hive full of new fiction and nonfiction titles for young readers of all ages aimed at demonstrating the import of this essential insect.

Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book

By Britta Teckentrup (Doubleday, Jan. 31, hardcover, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-5247-1526-7)

This picture book makes use of die cuts to draw readers through the world of bees.

Explore My World: Honey Bees

By Jill Esbaum (National Geographic, Mar. 7, paperback, $4.99, ISBN 978-1-4263-2713-1)

A part of National Geographic’s Explore My World series, this book explains the role that honeybees play in the ecosystem alongside vibrant photographs.

Bee & Me

By Alison Jay (Candlewick, Mar. 14, hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-7636-9010-6)

Jay’s wordless picture book brings a personal note to the plight of the honeybee and offers a message of hope.

Bees: A Honeyed History

By Piotr Socha (Abrams, Mar. 28, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4197-2615-6)

This oversize nonfiction picture book illuminates the history of the bee, as well as its biology.

Please Please the Bees

By Gerald Kelley (Albert Whitman, Apr. 11, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-8075-5183-7)

In this picture book, a bear, eager for honey, does what he can to attract bees and keep them happy.

Give Bees a Chance

By Bethany Barton (Viking, Apr. 25, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-670-01694-5)

This nonfiction picture book shares plenty of bite-sized facts about bees of interest to very young readers.

Buzz, Bee!

By Jennifer Szymanski (National Geographic, May 9, paperback, $3.99, ISBN 978-1-4263-2780-3)

This early reader features facts, photos, and even activities to engage and educate kids about honeybees. 

What on Earth?: Bees

By Andrea Quigley, illus. by Paulina Morgan (QEB, Jun. 6, hardcover, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-68297-149-9)

This book takes a cross-disciplinary approach, examining links to culture, history, arts and crafts, to demonstrate the importance of bees everywhere on Earth.

Lift-the-Flap First Questions and Answers: Why Do We Need Bees?

By Emily Bone (Usborne, Aug. 1, board book, $14.99, ISBN 978-0-7945-4030-2)

In this interactive picture book, readers are posed questions about bees, and are invited to discover answers by lifting flaps.

Zinnia and the Bees

By Danielle Davis, illus. by Laura K. Horton (Capstone, Aug. 1, hardcover, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-62370-867-2)

This middle grade novel dabbles in magical realism, as a girl’s troubles are made worse when a honeybee hive makes a home in her hair. 

Thank You, Bees

By Toni Yuly (Candlewick, Sept. 12, hardcover, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-7636-9261-2)

This picture book demonstrates the interconnectedness of the natural world, including honeybees, with paper-torn collage art.

Bees in the City

By Andrea Cheng, illus. by Sarah McMenemy (Tilbury House, Nov. 7, hardcover, $17.95, ISBN 978-0-88448-520-9)

A boy helps find a solution for a homegrown beehive in peril, when he suggests raising the bees on his family’s Parisian rooftop.