About the Book


The plot centers on a seventh-grade science competition and a group of friends who face personal as well as classroom challenges as they attempt to raise honeybees on a hotel roof in New York City. Information about the ecological role of bees in the food chain and the mysteries of a potentially devastating syndrome called “Colony Collapse Disorder” is woven into the various adventures and discoveries of “The Bee Team.”





Editorial Reviews

“Honey bees are endlessly fascinating creatures, with complex social organization, symbolic dance language, and altruistic behavior. Recent declines in honey bee populations worldwide have also raised our awareness of how important they are for pollinating our agricultural crops and maintaining a healthy and balanced environment. “Bees on the Roof is a wonderful introduction into the world of bees, and the beekeepers who care for them. As anyone who has kept bees knows, caring for these complex creatures is both extremely challenging and rewarding. Indeed, what starts as a “simple” science project for Sam and his friends turns into a life-changing journey, and their experiences with their colonies of honey bees help them learn about themselves, each other, their families, their community, and their world.”

— Christina Grozinger, Distinguished Professor of Entomology and Director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Pennsylvania State University

Bees on the Roof is a sweet coming of age story. The book explores issues of family dynamics, friendships and first loves while sending an eco-friendly message. It provides fascinating information on bees and how bee colony collapse impacts all of our lives. A great read for tweens.”

— Melanie Jacobs, Teen Librarian, Enoch Pratt Free Library


“Sam and his friends discover that honeybees are incredibly cool animals, that nature is unbelievably interesting, and that the mysterious collapse of bee colonies worldwide is one of the most intriguing—and compelling—mysteries in science.  As a naturalist, I like how Shell seamlessly weaves the science of bees and beekeeping into the plot, but I love how Sam and his friends discover a central truth: that nature heals, that connecting to nature makes us better people.”

— Mike Weilbacher, Executive Director, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia

“Robbie Shell has done a fantastic job presenting information about honeybees and their struggles in an engaging way that kids can understand. Much like in a bee hive, the book’s characters work together through thick and thin towards a common goal. They demonstrate that each person’s action can make a difference. This book will inspire and empower budding young environmentalists to stay involved in ecology issues. I love how it demonstrates that everyone can do their small part to help the planet, even if they live in an urban cityscape.”

— Debra Tomaszewski, Founder and Executive Director, Planet Bee Foundation

“What a honey of a tale!  Shell uses the world of teens – swarming with bullies, a science fair competition, friendship, loss, and first love – to teach readers about the crucial role of honeybees in our environment and a mysterious illness that is now threatening their very survival.”

— Jim Bobb, Chairman Emeritus, Eastern Apicultural Society of North America

“A super fun and interesting story that is full of fascinating facts about honey bees and beekeeping! Readers will enjoy following the adventures of The Bee Team as they embark on this journey of learning and discovery.”

— Adam Schreiber, former president of The Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild, backyard beekeeper and father to two budding beekeepers

“Bees on the Roof” is available for purchase at Amazon and Tumblehome Learning.

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