Winter really is the only break for beekeepers. Even then, there is preparation for the coming spring. But now and then the beekeeper gets a chance to sit down and read a little. The books described below are readily available at many public libraries. Hopefully you can find one to hunker down with during cold days while the bees are snug in their hives.

The following excerpt was taken from another blog on Word Press, “Friends of Montclair Library. Find the original post in its entirety here: https://montclairfriends.org/2016/07/12/the-buzz-about-bees/

The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus (638.13097 NORDHAUS) – Recounts the experiences of John Miller, one of the foremost migratory beekeepers, who, despite mysterious epidemics that threaten American honey populations–and the nation’s agribusiness–forges on and moves ahead in a new natural world.

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey, the Sweet Liquid Gold That Seduced the World by Holley Bishop (638.16 BISHOP) – A comprehensive exploration of the life of bees and the process by which they make honey follows the daily life of a Florida panhandle beekeeper, traces each step of a bee’s honey-making process and offers insight into the product’s key role in business, food and culture.

Letters From the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind by Stephen Buchmann with Banning Repplier (638.1 BUCHMANN) – A glimpse inside the world of the honeybee records the traditional practices of beekeeping around the world, the contribution of bees to the pollination of plants and the culinary and medicinal uses of honey.

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen (638.15 JACOBSEN) – Traces the significant 2007 and 2008 reductions in honeybee populations, identifying the causes of Colony Collapse Disorder to explain the link between bee pollination and industrial agriculture and predict dangerous reductions in food output.

A Book of Bees…and How to Keep Them by Sue Hubbell (638.1 HUBBELL) – Chronicles a year in the lives of beekeeper and bees, describing and explaining the activities of both and the rewards of having bees of one’s own.

Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley (595.79915 SEELEY) – Honeybees make decisions collectively—and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate and consensus building. These incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making.

Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation by Tammy Horn (638.10973 HORN) – Explores the connection between the honeybee and the cultural, national and economic development of the United States. “During every major period in the country’s history, bees and beekeepers have represented order and stability in a country without a national religion, political party or language.” (GoodReads)

Sweetness & Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee by Hattie Ellis (595.799 ELLIS) – Integrating popular science and social history, an intriguing global history of honeybees examines the hive society of the bee, as well as the influence of bees and honey on diverse cultures around the world and throughout history. The story of bees and honey from the Stone Age to the contemporary cutting edge; from Napalese honey hunters to urban hives on the rooftops of New York City.

The Queen Must Die and Other Affairs of Bees and Men by William Longgood (638.1 Longgood) – “Longgood’s quiet little thirty-year-old book…is a kind of meditation on beeness: an exploration of the motivations, desires and attitudes of the simple honeybee as she goes about her business.” – Stephen on GoodReads