Read: The Buzz About Bees

The cover of the book titled "The Buzz about Bees" by Jurgen Tautz

This book seems to be a staple amongst those brave enough to take the first step into gaining more (technical) knowledge about bees. I was lucky enough to know a beekeeper who owned it and was willing to lend it to me to read.

At first I felt a little cheated, felt that the first few chapters contained knowledge that I had already through my own curiosity in bees. I was wondering whether it was the right decision to start reading it, considering that I would now have to finish it, regardless of my opinion of it! So, I reluctantly pressed on…thankfully.

The chapters got progressively more complicated with some focusing on special areas such as the bee’s visual system, larvae development (with pictures!), mating, DNA breakdown and finally, a significant amount of questions still left unanswered. There was a fantastic chapter explaining why bees are considered a ‘super-organism’ and how their colony make-up is so clearly comparable to our own bodies, where each bee can be represented by a cell and organs. Understanding and appreciating how they operate and why, helped me empathise even more and relate to a much higher level with bees, and for that, I have this book to thank.

In summary, this is indeed a great book for someone new to the ‘technical’ side of bees to dive into. Its waters are just the right depth for anyone with shallow understanding of bees to start swimming and gaining more knowledge.

9 responses to “Read: The Buzz About Bees”

  1. Definitely on my reading list. Thanks for your review. Beautifully written. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is always enlightening to read books about a subject you are involved in. You did well that you persevered because even though you already knew a good handful of the information presented in the book, you still managed to learn some more new 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a fan of nerdy and technical proportions at times. It’s also nice to know what’s in a beekeeping book past the basics. There are soooo many books with the basics. I know this is unavoidable because beekeeping is a big crowd for beginners. But sometimes it’s nice to have more. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, there are a lot of books aimed at beginners and even more aimed at telling them how to keep honeybees. I find there are less books that focus on the bees themselves, and even less books that focus on bees other than honeybees. Its nice to see my reviews are providing some insight 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s interesting Katkoot. What would you like to see in a book that focuses more on bees?


      2. Hi Jonathan,

        I keep bees because I love them, therefore I am interested in them and their lives; not what I can get out of them. I, personally, would like to see more (reader-friendly) books on what the bees would naturally need to sustain a healthy colony rather than what beekeepers can (artificially) give them. How do they interact with their environment/dangers in the absence of humans? How (generally) human activity and the shaping of the environment indirectly affects them, for example.

        And most of all, being a bit geeky, I would like to see more on how they perceive our world, how their senses operate, to learn more on how they choose their diet, how their democratic decisions are made, etc.

        A lot of information to take in, but there is a lot of information out here to begin with! 😊
        Katkoot x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I can tell you have put a lot if thought into the matter and I completely agree. I must admit though that I do harvest honey and rely on bees for my income.
        But! I absolutely refuse to take all of their honey and feed them a replacement, much less one of inferior quality.
        My ultimate goal however is to get to a point financially at which I am creating passive income rather than relying on my bees. Ideally, I want to keep bees for the environmental benefits to their ecosystem.
        I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, thanks!


      4. Hi Jonathan,

        I apologise, I may have come across a bit harsh on those making a living through beekeeping, but that was not my intention – I was referring to those beekeepers we may know who relentlessly look for substitutes to honey that they can give bees while they take their real stuff for themselves. Although I keep bees as a hobby, I appreciate how difficult it is for those relying on honey income, especially the few, like yourself, who also care and support bees with empathy and respect.

        I have read your article on your views on feeding and I agree entirely, my grandfather used to keep bees in the same way – never fed them anything but their own honey reserves and always had lots of honey harvested. Luckily, I believe beekeepers like us are increasing in number, albeit slowly, and people like yourself able to educate others are key to what happens in the future.

        Katkoot x


      5. Thanks Katkoot. But I understood exactly what you meant and didn’t take any offense. There’s always someone to give something a bad name. Your grandfather sounds cool. My great grandfather did the same.
        Thanks for clarifying your intentions though. I hope your bees are doing really well. And yes, I agree that there are more and more beekeepers like you and I. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

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