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Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553382667, Paperback)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 whose sought-after curative powers were detailed in ancient texts . . . and are being rediscovered by modern medical science.
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. This is natural history to be treasured, a sweet tribute that buzzes with life.
From the Hardcover edition.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:15 -0400)
"In Letters from the Hive, Professor 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 bloom, where the age-old sexual dance between flowers and bees makes possible life on earth as we know it. Hailed for their hard work, harmonious society, and (mistakenly) for their celibacy, bees have a link to our species that goes beyond biology. Letters from the Hive explores that link, looking at the role bees have played in human culture and mythology, in art, literature, religion, medicine, and the culinary arts. From traditional honey hunters in Malaysia to an amateur beekeeper on a Paris rooftop, our species continues to love and honor the honey bee."--BOOK JACKET.
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