Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey, the Sweet Liquid that Seduced the World

30 Apr

Part dissertation, part anecdotes, this book could be much more than it is. Bishop tells the story of how she fell into honey producing and beekeeping. The historical sections of the book are superbly researched, telling the tale of beekeeping from the earliest days in Ancient Egypt and Greece to the modern era. This history is interesting, but predictably dry. The anecdotes should provide the levity, humor, and driving interest to keep the book going. Unfortunately, this is not what we get from Bishop. While a few anecdotes are interesting, mostly concerning her own early efforts at beekeeping, including amusing mistakes, far too much time is devoted to the minutiae of the work of veteran beekeeper Donald Smiley. These episodes might be beneficial for anyone interested in beekeeping, but they are too long and, as they have no real point to make, purposeless. Perhaps condensing these stories, focusing more on her own efforts, or even exploring what she learned from following Smiley around, rather than simply logging what he did and how, would have made this book a far more interesting read.

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Posted by on April 30, 2013 in Book Reviews


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