The Bee is not Afraid of Me

Are we losing 1 percent of the world’s insect population each year?  This suspected insect apocalypse is complicated.  We don’t have a simple answer, but suspect that pesticides, habitat loss and climate change are involved.

Many insects don’t have a good rap.  Have you got an aversion to creepy crawlies?  Unless they are majestic moths, fairy-like dragonflies or beautiful butterflies, we often wish them away.  Mosquitoes carrying malaria accidentally kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.  But mosquitoes are also important pollinators as well as food for other creatures.  And without pollinating insects, flowering plants and crops can’t flourish and whole ecosystems suffer.  And that includes us.

It might sound lazy, but simply cutting the grass less often can help boost local insect numbers, increase biodiversity and even reduce pests.  So there are plenty of little things we can do to help boost their numbers.  Being sympathetic and connected rather than alienated by their insect oddities can be an important step too.

How we think and feel about insects begins when we are young.  So having a children’s poetry anthology dedicated to the beauty, fun and fascination of these six-legged creatures is rather special.

The Bee is not Afraid of Me: A Book of Insect Poems published by The Emma Press, includes two Science Rhymes.   Ask a katydid (p12) and True bugs are suckers (p15).  Pyrophorus Noctilucus by Kate O’Neill (p34) delights as it informs us about the talents of this click beetle.  And Yoga for insects by Myles McLeod has plenty of word-play giggles while naming various parts of insect biology.  Poems are interspersed with snippets of apt facts making this book engaging, enriching and enjoyable.

I was delighted to receive these lovely words (and link) from one of the book’s editors, primary science educator Fran Long:

“I wanted to write and thank you for your fabulous contribution to, ‘The Bee is not Afraid of Me’.  It is exciting to see my initial idea for the book become reality.  

I must admit I didn’t know about the katydid prior to reading your lovely poem.  However, the other day a friend sent me a link to some wonderful footage (1 min 44 secs in)!

This species of katydid looks like a snow pea!

Your poem on true bugs is fantastic for addressing misconceptions about bugs and hugely informative.”

The phrase, The Bee is not Afraid of Me, began as the first line of a nature poem by Emily Dickinson (published in 1924).  Now, it is the proud name of an innovative insect anthology being launched on Friday 6th March in UK.