Guide Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind

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Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Letters from the Hive by Stephen Buchmann. They work hard, are devoted to family, love sex, and know the importance of a good piece of real estate. Honey bees, and the daily workings of their close-knit colonies, are one of nature's great miracles. And they produce one of nature's greatest edible bounties: honey. More than just a palate pleaser, honey was once an offering to the gods, a preservative, and a medicine They work hard, are devoted to family, love sex, and know the importance of a good piece of real estate.

Honey, you're the bee's knees

More than just a palate pleaser, honey was once an offering to the gods, a preservative, and a medicine whose sought-after curative powers were detailed in ancient texts. In Letters from the Hive , Prof. Stephen Buchmann takes us into the hive--nursery, honey factory, queen's inner sanctum--and out to the world of backyard gardens, open fields, and deserts in full bloom, where the age-old sexual dance between flowers and bees makes life on earth as we know it possible. Hailed for their hard work, harmonious society, and, mistakenly, for their celibacy, bees have a link to our species that goes beyond biology.

In Letters from the Hive , Buchmann explores the fascinating role of bees in human culture and mythology, following the "honey hunters" of native cultures in Malaysia, the Himalayas, and the Australian Outback as they risk life and limb to locate a treasure as valuable as any gold. To contemplate a world without bees is to imagine a desolate place, culturally and biologically, and Buchmann shows how with each acre of land sacrificed to plow, parking lot, or shopping mall, we inch closer to what could become a chilling reality.

He also offers honey-based recipes, cooking tips, and home remedies--further evidence of the gifts these creatures have bestowed on us. Told with wit, wisdom, and affection, and rich with anecdote and science, Letters from the Hive is nature writing at its best.


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This is natural history to be treasured, a sweet tribute that buzzes with life. From the Hardcover edition. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published May 30th by Bantam first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 6.

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Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Letters from the Hive , please sign up. Is this specifically about American forms of beekeeping or does it give a world wide perspective?

Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive

Living in Europe so it would be beneficial to know whether it is relevant for the EU bee-lover! See 1 question about Letters from the Hive…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. With a book like this, a genuine passion for the subject really makes the read much more enjoyable. And Buchmann is obviously, emphatically and professionally- he's an entomologist passionate about the subjects of bees, beekeeping, and honey.

Where this book shines above others that I've read on the subject is the current anthropological studies of beekeeping and honey hunting. It's truly fascinating, and I don't remember ever having read the same depth of information on that subject elsewhere With a book like this, a genuine passion for the subject really makes the read much more enjoyable. It's truly fascinating, and I don't remember ever having read the same depth of information on that subject elsewhere.

The notes on different types of honey were also very interesting. But some things are unsatisfyingly brief mythology and folklore, for example and the entire work can might get a little repetitive for readers who aren't in love with honey. But I am. Mar 28, Zena Casteel rated it liked it. Interesting and informative, touching upon a wide range of topics from history, religion, entomology and medical science to gourmet cooking and beekeeping practices.

This book is certain to provide food in this case, honey for thought. It is a bit disorganized, but in some ways that adds to the books charm. Overall, a fun read. Non-Fiction A delightful, in-depth book From bees in the earliest civilizations, to myths and folklore about bees, following honey hunters of native cultures who use old traditional methods of gathering honey I enjoyed the section on the interaction between bees and flowers.

The detailed "Inside The Hive" info was fascinating as well. I learned that there are many flavors of honey, depending upon which flowers the bee Non-Fiction A delightful, in-depth book I learned that there are many flavors of honey, depending upon which flowers the bee gathers nectar from. View 1 comment.


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Nov 22, Simone K rated it really liked it. Letters from the Hive is a lovely book with much knowledge. My favorite parts were when Stephen Buchmann described honey hunts in other areas of the world. I learned a lot about how other cultures use honey and its place in history. It's definitely worth a read for anyone interested in honey bees. Shortly after reading Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive, a book for young adults by the same author, I discovered the original adult version. Both are enjoyable.

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The adult version contains the same information about the honey and bees themselves, but with additional commentary on related species and sexual topics. Who would imagine an Australian hammer orchid would deceive a Thynnid wasp by displaying what looks and smells like a Thynnid female amongst their petals? Unable to fly off and mate wi Shortly after reading Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive, a book for young adults by the same author, I discovered the original adult version.

Much information is common to both versions. Both volumes contain a useful compendium of different types of honey, from the popular orange and clover to the esoteric Tasmanian leatherwood honey. Beekeeping and honey use throughout the world in ancient and modern times are also covered. The author tells of his personal experiences as witness to many hunts. The adult book contains additional information about people interacting with bees and honey. Bees appear frequently in Mayan art and have spiritual significance.

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Shamans perform ceremonies to honor the bees and to ensure a successful honey hunt. In modern times, despite deforestation and urbanization, such traditions continue, though on a reduced scale. The author also reveals more about his relationship with bees as a nature-lover, scientist, and beekeeper. The reader will also find more recipes in the adult book, including the honey cake lebkuchen that was discussed extensively but not revealed in the young adult edition.

Logically enough, an informative section on mead honey wine , including how to make it, appears in the adult version. I also preferred the layout of the original adult edition. Anyone who is interested in bees, honey, and beekeeping today and throughout history will appreciate the simple and entertaining presentation of facts and personal experiences in this book. Jul 15, Bethany rated it it was ok. The book is much more focused on the author's obsession with honey. We have Pooh bear for that.

Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive - Stephen L. Buchmann - Google книги

Is this a book about bees or a coming of age novel?? Since I never wore clumsy bee gloves, I was able to thrust my right forefinger deep into the comb and drag it across the frame, rupturing more than a hundred cells and releasing the glistening honey which would stream out in thick little rivulets with the bees in hot pursuit.

Withdrawing my finger, I would savor my prize, for there is nothing in the world like the tase of warm, fresh honey straigt from the comb. Jan 06, Florence Millo rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction. Letters from the Hive I found this charming book very interesting and informative. For example, I had no idea there were many prehistoric cave paintings depicting ancient honey hunting.