Bistro Book Club

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive by Stephen Buchmann

9/29/2010 3:18:09 PM Andrea F., 17
Buchmann, Stephen
Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive Delacorte Press 2010

It’s refreshing to see some nonfiction for young adults available, especially a book about a subject as interesting as bees. Most of us can remember learning about the structure of a bee hive at some point of our elementary school years but we haven’t really gone past that. Now is the time to do so. Not too detailed, but more advanced than any children’s books about bees, it works for middle schoolers and teens. The author tends to come off as condescending in the first chapter or so but after that he changes into a more likable personality so even an older teen can enjoy it. This book is not just about the science of bees, but about their impact on the course of human history, art, literature, medicine, and religion. I found myself munching on a slice of toast with honey drizzled over it as I read about honey hunts in Nepal, Australia, and Malaysia. I licked the honey off of my fingers as I read how the Aztecs were so devoted to their bees that no beekeeper was allowed near a dead body lest the taint of death on the beekeeper upset the highly sensitive bees. A quick read of a fascinating history of people and bees, with a little bit of sweetness dabbed here and there of recipes and funny personal stories of the author’s own experiences with bees. 4 out of 5 stars. 4 Better than most

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