The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion

The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion You ll never think of bees, their keepers, or the fruits and nuts of their laborsthe same way again Trevor Corson, author of The Secret Life of LobstersAward winning journalist Hannah Nordhaus tells the remarkable story of John Miller, one of America s foremost migratory beekeepers, and the myriad and mysterious epidemics threatening American honeybee populations In luminous, razor sharp prose, Nordhaus explores the vital role that honeybees play in American agribusiness, the maintenance of our food chain, and the very future of the nation With an intimate focus and incisive reporting, in a book perfect for fans of Eric Schlosser s Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan s The Botany of Desire,and John McPhee s Oranges, Nordhaus s stunning expos illuminates one the most critical issues facing the world today,offering insight, information, and, ultimately, hope It is always amazing to me that vast number of other worlds that are out there We all get so engrossed in our own worlds that we often do not pay attention to the vast and intricate and interlocking other worlds that spin simultaneously around us As I enjoy honey on my toast, I am now aware of a whole world of bees, their keepers, and the mass production of honey in the modern world Hannah Nordhaus s portrayal of real world people is fascinating and incredibly well written.If you want a gli It is always amazing to me that vast number of other worlds that are out there We all get so engrossed in our own worlds that we often do not pay attention to the vast and intricate and interlocking other worlds that spin simultaneously around us As I enjoy honey on my toast, I am now aware of a whole world of bees, their keepers, and the mass production of honey in the modern world Hannah Nordhaus s portrayal of real world people is fascinating and incredibly well written.If you want a glimpse into another world that is so important and close to our everyday lives, I really recommend that you delve into this book This was, without doubt a very enjoyable book to read, even though it wasn t much of a science book If you want to findabout bees themselves, read The Buzz About Bees, which I think is unbeaten as an exploration of the nature of bees Here you won t really even get a feel for what a superorganism is, or how individual bees really aren t animals in their own right However what you will find a lot about is beekeepers and their complication ridden business.I was amazed at the complexity of This was, without doubt a very enjoyable book to read, even though it wasn t much of a science book If you want to findabout bees themselves, read The Buzz About Bees, which I think is unbeaten as an exploration of the nature of bees Here you won t really even get a feel for what a superorganism is, or how individual bees really aren t animals in their own right However what you will find a lot about is beekeepers and their complication ridden business.I was amazed at the complexity of industrial scale beekeeping in the US how, for example, the bee people are paid large sums by almond growers to transport their hives into the almond groves to perform the pollination, then have to move out again swiftly as there is no food at all for the bees once the blossoms have gone This whole idea of driving thousands of hives across America is one I simply hadn t realized existed.Similarly it was fascinating to read about all the difficulties industrial beekeepers have faced Like most people I was vaguely aware of the disappearing bees when Colony Collapse Disorder struck, but not just how delicate bees were and how afflicted by other disasters, particular a nasty mite that destroys them wholesale.Equally, along with that vague awareness I thought bees were in danger of disappearing and they would if left to their own devices but so effective is the industrial process that bee numbers are being kept up by setting up new colonies with remarkable rapidity.This is, without doubt a very readable book, though I do find Hannah Nordhaus s writing style a little self consciously arty There are bits of science that you ll find out along the way, but it s muchabout the industry and its ups and downs, something that s fascinating in its own right Recommended.Review first published on www.popularscience.co.uk and reproduced with permission This is Nonfiction Environmental Science about the plight of bees and the things beekeeper s do to keep them alive First, let me just say, I listened to the audio and I didn t care for the narrator at all She had a nonchalance to her voice and absolutely NO passion for the subject It felt like the book was just words to her Other than that, this was interesting to see the lengths that beekeepers go to in order to take care of their bees and to try to turn a profit The profit part, by no mea This is Nonfiction Environmental Science about the plight of bees and the things beekeeper s do to keep them alive First, let me just say, I listened to the audio and I didn t care for the narrator at all She had a nonchalance to her voice and absolutely NO passion for the subject It felt like the book was just words to her Other than that, this was interesting to see the lengths that beekeepers go to in order to take care of their bees and to try to turn a profit The profit part, by no means, sounds like a sure thing But with these beekeepers, it isn t always about the money, but the love and dedication they have for the bees and the profession The age of mass production has not been kind to bees.Before humans intervened, before the days of agribusiness, bees left to their own devices had hard, short, and sometimes violent and vicious lives Since we ve started helping them, their lives are worse And we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.This fascinating book looks at the lives of bees and at one cantankerous commercial beekeeper, John Miller It is no small irony that someone who isn t fond of death, who takes it personally is invol The age of mass production has not been kind to bees.Before humans intervened, before the days of agribusiness, bees left to their own devices had hard, short, and sometimes violent and vicious lives Since we ve started helping them, their lives are worse And we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.This fascinating book looks at the lives of bees and at one cantankerous commercial beekeeper, John Miller It is no small irony that someone who isn t fond of death, who takes it personally is involved in death everyday it is part of the business.Like many, I had heard of CDC, Colony Collapse Disorder, that has wreaked havoc among bees and their keepers What I didn t realize that CDC is only a part of the problem, that bees are susceptible to a whole host of fatal and really nasty diseases And the solutions of dosing the bees with drugs, forcing them into unnaturally early springs, transporting them around the country, feeding them with cheap corn syrup instead of their own honey these things are not making the situation better Neither is monocropping.The politics of beekeeping is really eye opening Beekeepers are a dying breed, and agriculture as it is practiced today couldn t exist without them You don t have to be especially interested in bees to find this book very informative If you eat, their lives affect your lifethan you probably know.There were a couple of places in the book where the writing seemed a touch dry to me Statements like in the wild, honey bees have disappeared entirely made me wish for footnotes and a bibliography, although the statement was explained later in the book As was bees began bringing that nectar home to evaporate into honey Even in my ignorance, I knew that honey isn t just evaporated nectar, oh no, not anything that straightforward, burp.The next time you are spreading that big ol glop of honey on your English muffin, give thanks for the dozen bees who together spent their whole lives making just a teaspoon of the stuff

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