From the city of Albuquerque, Carol is full of friends and her random 11-year-old life. She moves to her grandfather's New Mexico sheep ranch. She hates it. His grandpa has dementia and she, her little brother, and her parents, have to spend the whole summer trying to get him into better shape and if necessary, move him out. Her grandpa later tells her an old story, about a tree that gave all the villagers the power not to die. Carol then has time to rethink her assets and sees new and more exciting ways to spend time, through changes.
This book is named "Hour of the Bees" because when it rained after the drought, the tree and the rain stopped growing and falling after only one hour. This book teaches that you have have to not be afraid of dying, and live to your fullest.