Books | The History of Bees

The best laid plans of mice and men… The end of dissertation time has turned into the beginning of September, but there is no time like the present to take on the challenge I set myself at the beginning of the year. Read 12 books in 12 months. I haven’t made a tally of the number of books I have read so far, but have a feeling I have physically read about 6 books and listened to 3 audio books – I’m slowly making my way through the Narnia series again.

This book was recommended to me by my housemate after she learned that my father keeps bees – in fact she thought it was so good that she gave me her copy of the book to ensure I read it… And what a read it was!! I cannot recommend it enough, a confidently blended narrative filled with stories that bring facts about bees to life in a thrilling and culturally sensitive way. It reads like a loveletter to bees, while also showing how we as people are intertwined with these magnificent creatures. Okay, I might be slightly biased here – being the daughter of a beekeeper and all…

The story follows three people at different times and in different places. William, a biologist and seed merchant, living in England in 1851. George, a beekeeper, in the United States in 2007. And Tao, a hand pollinator, in China in 2098. By confining their stories to separate chapters author Maja Lunde creates parallels and connections between the three narrators, all the while cleverly also evoking a sense of the history of human’s relation with bees.

I really enjoyed reading fiction again, especially invigorating feeling of my brain conjuring images to go with the events in the book. It felt good too that it took me relatively little time to read the 337 pages that the book is comprised of – a weeks worth of intense reading spread out over a couple of months. There was a moment towards the end I got a little frustrated, but practiced some CBT and got myself in the right headspace. Now I’ll try to get the three blogposts I have had lined up for the past couple of months finished and choose my next read. A visit to Oxford a month or so ago has left me with even more options 😉

Cover of Maja Lunde’s book The History of Bees ©Scribner

Lunde, Maja. The History of Bees. London: Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster UK Ltd., 2017.

Featured photo by Pixabay on

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