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All About the Bees!

May 20th marked the annual UN Bee Day, a day that is dedicated to raising awareness about our little insect helpers. Bee populations face many threats — not least from pesticides and modern farming practices — but recent years have seen an ever-increasing interest in bees and their keeping. Today, four months after Bee Day, we would like to introduce you to a selection of bee-related literature that is sure to both educate and inspire you.

— The Idle Beekeeper (Bill Anderson): As more and more individuals express an interest in beekeeping, a select few turn their curiosity into action by becoming amateur beekeepers. Anderson is one of them – an urban beekeeper who resides in London and wrote a book that draws on his experiences, serving as a guide to the art of idle beekeeping. The book goes into detail about low-effort practices and easily maintainable hives that support the local bee population, all while being engaging and often philosophical. After all, bees are not solely there to produce honey, but to support entire ecosystems. 

If you are interested in hearing more about Anderson’s experiences, do come along to the Golden Hare Books Festival! He will be speaking on Saturday, the 19th of October. For full details, visit the Golden Hare website. 

— Bee (Claire Preston): This book takes a different approach to the topic of bees in that it is an historical account of how they became such vital parts of our culture. We relate bees to productivity, to busyness and collaboration, but when did those associations take root? Even terms like royalty come to mind when we think of beehives and their hierarchical structures, another phenomenon that is explored in Bee. Meticulously researched and dotted with wonderful illustrations, this book is sure to answer most of your questions about our insect friends. 

— A Sting in the Tale (Dave Goulson): This book focuses on the bumblebee, fuzzy sibling to the honeybee. What do changing agricultural practices during the Second World War have to do with the decline of the British bumblebee? Why were bumblebees exported to New Zealand? And how on Earth did they get there? A Sting in the Tale is a fascinating read that will educate you about the importance of bumblebees to the survival of our native ecosystems, and it serves as a very convincing account of why we should not dismiss bumblebees simply because they appear a little more unstructured, and, well, bumbling than their honeybee relatives.