The authors intersperse information about the intricate social structure of the bee world and the problems faced by beesranging from the ubiquitous Varroa destructor to overuse of pesticides and an ever-shrinking natural landscapewith conversations and interviews with beekeepers and bee experts from across the world, balancing the views of those who see bees as simply a valuable source of income with the views of those who see bees as undervalued, misunderstood creatures that need our help to survive. The end result is a fascinating, accessible overview of a species that is crucial to our survival."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-08
- Reviewer: Staff
In light of disastrous declines in bee populations in the early 21st century, this book uses the bee and its relationship with humans to ask whether humans are a part of nature or only seek mastery of it. The authors consider the bee, the production of honey, and the ways people around the world partake in this process. The book, based on Imhoof's 2013 documentary of the same name, does discuss how bees fly and the secret of their amazing navigational skills, but the main focus is on interactions between humans and bees. The authors interview large-scale operators, beekeepers, breeders, and scientists. Readers meet John Miller, who owns 15,000 bee colonies, which he transports across much of the U.S. from North Dakota to California .depending on the season, to pollinate crops for profit. In China, Zhang Zhao Su works as a human pollinator because there are no bees left in northern China to pollinate fruit trees due to the use of pesticides. Enhanced by beautiful color photographs of bees, this examination of the troubled relationship between humans and bees is a fascinating and educational read for anyone interested in the fate of both species. (Oct.)