Now that my whole (bee) world is open to the public through this journal, it is also open to my readers’ input. Receiving a comment, is one of the most exciting notifications I can get on my phone, because it means someone is not only reading my printed thoughts, but is also engaging with me, sharing their own views and thoughts. Similarly, it is heartwarming when close friends and family approach me with information they have come across or interactions with bees or relatives.
This book was exactly one of these instances, where my aunt and uncle had come across a highly reviewed book about bees: “BUZZ, the Nature and Necessity of Bees” by Thor Hanson. As I had not heard of the book before receiving it, I did not have a preconception of its content other than the synopsis at the back of the cover.
Having now completed the book in an extremely short period of time, I can’t recommend it enough. This book opens up the world of bees (not just honeybees) to anyone with curiosity for nature – and yes, their are pictures! 👍 Thor uses playful, simple examples of backyard exploration to demonstrate just how much one can experience and learn with a little curiosity and patient observation.
Using his own experiences meeting a variety of specialists, Thor guides the reader through the evolution of the bee (essentially a vegetarian wasp as he describes it), the anatomy of these amazing creatures and their relationship with humans. The book touches upon several species of bees and how they each form unique relationships with flowers in what is perhaps the strongest interspecies dependency on the planet.
Thor also invites the reader to consider what human diet would look like without bees by presenting a Big Mac minus all the bee-reliant ingredients; essentially two beef patties slightly dependant on bees) with the bun (no sesame seeds).
The book covers the big issue of declining numbers of bees in the globe due to viruses, mites, pesticides and habitat loss, finally explaining the USA-wide phenomenon now called Colony Collapse Disorder (whereby beekeepers may unexpectedly lose anything from 30%-90% of their colonies each year). With this picture in mind, he reminds us of the importance of protecting local bees, not just apis mellifera, by preserving their natural habitats and appreciating their unique role in ours and our planet’s lives.
A book not to be missed for anyone who loves nature and, of course, bees. 🐝
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