Welcome to Beezotted, where we share our love of Australian native stingless bees. This website contains information on the services we provide to help you purchase or care for your own hive, and Beezotted workshops. There is also a resource section including tips for bee care.
The Beezotted team are over the moon! Matthew Middleton’s book Princess Bee and the Boy, illustrated by Jade De Baeque, has won a prestigious international 2023 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, taking out a Bronze in the environmental issues category.
We are thrilled and proud to receive this international honour, as we missed the cut-off date to enter for any Australian book awards.
The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are based in the US. According to the website, the awards are designed to “bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and are dedicated to supporting childhood literacy and life-long reading”.
Hurray for Princess Bee and the Boy – spreading the message to care for our native bees throughout the world!
For many years Matthew has performed this story live at Beezotted workshops and performances, to the delight of every audience – from littlies at day care centres to farmers at community halls. Artist Jade De Baecque has helped turn this timeless story of love, daring, and Australian native bees into a magic picture book. We are so excited to share it with you! Please visit our online shop or click on the link below. Book review follows.
The buzz about native stingless bees
Almost every day we get calls or emails from people all over Australia asking about native bees. Most people just want to keep their gardens and crops happy and pollinated, whether it be their back garden, school garden, community garden or macadamia crop. We hope you enjoy browsing this website, and feel free to contact us for more information.
LINKS for more info: For more comprehensive native bee information go to the Aussie Bee website – home page of the Australian Native Bee Research Centre. Two other excellent sites are those of entomologist and pioneer native bee keeper Tim Heard, and scientist Megan Halcroft.
Book review for Princess Bee and the Boy
Review by Lyn Thomson for the CROSS-POLLINATOR, Newsletter of the Australian Native Bee Association, Issue 40, February 2023
“Princess Bee and the Boy” by Matthew Middleton, Illustrations by Jade De Baecque 2022, ISBN: 9780646856254 Paperback edition Published by: Beezotted $20. Buy at https://beezotted.com.au/shop/books/ princess-bee-and-the-boy/
The community leaders of Kalumburu have given their blessing and consent for Matthew to share this story.
What first struck me when I received the book were the beautiful illustrations. Then when I began to read, I was just as enamoured with the words and descriptions. Such as, “His mouth exploded with the rich sweetness of honey. The warmth of it trickled inside him.”
The book follows the story of a boy exploring nature and what he discovers. However, it also tells the story of his fixation or addiction to sweet native bee honey. Matthew describes the boy’s addiction in a way that is both factual and yet with touches of whimsy; by using nature and the animals to describe despair in a way that does not frighten children.
The use of onomatopoeia is scattered brilliantly throughout the book. Children love hearing and practicing the sounds, which is great for interactive learning. The use of the Bold sentences to highlight changes, made the changes instantly visual. For example, “All except one.” AND as any good story has, along came a hero, The Princess Bee!
The story of pollination is told through the Queen Bee and the “meeting at the beach of all the birds and animals of land, and all the creatures of the sea,” demonstrating the importance of working together. I often wonder is it where the land ends or the ocean begins. This story expresses there is no end; it is one.
The description of the making of the first digeridoo is also a great touch to the story. There are many delightful stories within the story. Is there an underlying story within the book? I believe there is. The boy is a symbol for humanity’s greed and how it can destroy everything; but by working together and teaching others we can overcome catastrophes. They say there are the ten essential moral values that build character and instil positive behaviour in kids, respect, honesty, compassion, hard work, kindness, gratitude, sharing, and cooperation. I believe that this story demonstrates most of those moral values.
This is not just a book for children, some of my Coraki book club members also read the book and found it just as delightful as I did. Mathew has achieved turning an oral story into a delightful book; his love and knowledge of Australian Native Bees shines throughout the story.