Letters From the Hive

Letters From the Hive

An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind

Book - 2005
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They work hard, are devoted to family, love sex, and know the importance of a good piece of real estate. Honey bees, and the daily workings of their close-knit colonies, are one of nature's great miracles. And they produce one of nature's greatest edible bounties: honey. More than just a palate pleaser, honey was once an offering to the gods, a preservative, and a medicine whose sought-after curative powers were detailed in ancient texts . . . and are being rediscovered by modern medical science.

In Letters from the Hive , Prof. Stephen Buchmann takes us into the hive--nursery, honey factory, queen's inner sanctum--and out to the world of backyard gardens, open fields, and deserts in full bloom, where the age-old sexual dance between flowers and bees makes life on earth as we know it possible. Hailed for their hard work, harmonious society, and, mistakenly, for their celibacy, bees have a link to our species that goes beyond biology. In Letters from the Hive , Buchmann explores the fascinating role of bees in human culture and mythology, following the "honey hunters" of native cultures in Malaysia, the Himalayas, and the Australian Outback as they risk life and limb to locate a treasure as valuable as any gold.

To contemplate a world without bees is to imagine a desolate place, culturally and biologically, and Buchmann shows how with each acre of land sacrificed to plow, parking lot, or shopping mall, we inch closer to what could become a chilling reality. He also offers honey-based recipes, cooking tips, and home remedies--further evidence of the gifts these creatures have bestowed on us.

Told with wit, wisdom, and affection, and rich with anecdote and science, Letters from the Hive is nature writing at its best. This is natural history to be treasured, a sweet tribute that buzzes with life.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2005.
ISBN: 9780553382662
9780553803754
0553803751
Branch Call Number: 638.1 BUC
Characteristics: viii, 275 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Repplier, Banning

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FindingJane Mar 16, 2016

This book is helpful, informative and easy to follow. It’s also a fascinating tale of mankind’s relationship with one of the most industrious creatures with whom we share this planet. We rely on bees to provide us with the majority of the food we eat—and I’m not just talking about honey.

This book is a loving tribute to these industrious insects. Filled with history, descriptions of different kinds of bees, types of honey, help about forming a home for bees, how to use honey in medicine and recipes, et al, “Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive” is a terrific introduction to the world of these busy, busy insects.

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