This is a very real problem and one book that made me shudder with the possibility of being real.
Meet tough, smart and vibrant Peony, an ten year old farm girl who works in the Goulburn Valley of NSW, Australia. Peony works hard on the farm, manually removing bugs from crops as pesticides have been banned – however becoming a Bee is what she dreams of. Being a Bee is one of the most important roles in this futuristic society as the young and nimble need to do the job the bees once did – pollinating flowers.
Peony lives with her grandfather and sister but the community around them and the bond they all have is amazing and something to aspire due despite the poverty they live in. Peony’s mother wants more than farm life and takes Peony off to the city to earn real money. Despite her utter dislike for city life, huge disparity being rich and poor and still the utter disregard for the hard work of farmers, Peony learns about the importance of friendship, family and kind acts.
How to Bee brought a tear to my eye and although it may seem like a bleak outlook from the start it shows how strong the human spirit is and the need we all have to belong and live in harmony.
Perhaps if the big supermarkets and chemical companies read this story they would start to change how they see the world and start to think more about the impact we are having on the future.
There are some areas of the world where this form of pollination is already happening today – I’m not sure if we want this to spread to all areas of the world. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/humans-bees-china_us_570404b3e4b083f5c6092ba9?section=australia
So what can you do?
- Visit Bren MacDibble’s website: http://www.macdibble.com/
- Investigate ways you can get rid of bugs from your vegetables at home. We have used a simple soap and water spray. Oil and water spray and also an oil, soap and water spray. All do a great job and still leave the vegetables intact and chemical free! Can you make your own?
- Look at the different chemicals you spray around your house – how are they effecting the air quality?
- Where is your honey from? Buying from farmers who support no spray means the bee populations are healthier and happier.
- What other insects pollinate our fruits?
- How do stingless bees help us?
- Teacher notes: https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/childrens/childrens-fiction/How-to-Bee-Bren-MacDibble-9781760294335
- Read these books