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Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey—The…

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey—The Sweet Liquid Gold that… (edition 2006)

by Holley Bishop

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Title:Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey—The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World
Authors:Holley Bishop
Info:Free Press (2006), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:tupelo, beekeeping, honey

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Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World by Holley Bishop



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Very interesting look at the Florida tupelo honey business and history. Some slow moments, but good overall. Had to go get some tupelo honey. Wonderful flavor, quite unique. Gave to Mama and Tim. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
I loved this book. I learned so much! For instance, beeswax- where do you think it comes from? Besides from bees, I mean. They secrete little flakes of beeswax, eight at a time, from their wax glands after a debauch on nectar and a nice long rest. The whole book was full of fun and fascinating information about bees and bee-keeping. Bishop's voice is warm and approachable but not the least bit blog-like. I enjoyed meeting the beekeepers to whom she introduced me.

The only real problem with this book is that it was impossible for me to read without eating a LOT of honey during the reading. And today I bought some bee pollen. Of course I did.

Highly recommended. 4.5 stars. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Holley Bishop’s rural porn Robbing the Bees is especially seductive, because it’s the sub-genre wherein the author acts out the reader’s fantasies by flinging themselves inexpertly into a rustic pursuit (chickens, sheep, oranges); in this case, bees. It’s three stories in one: a cheerful romp through the history of beekeeping, a year in the life of a Florida tupelo-honey producer—quirky, rustic, passionate—and the author’s account of becoming a beekeeper herself, making all the mistakes you would expect. The reader can easily picture themselves doing the same—tending their hives, harvesting honey—except the actual life of an apiarist that Bishop describes punctures the fantasy by being hot, hard, and occasionally painful work, a note of realism cutting through the Arcadian hum. ( )
  adzebill | Nov 17, 2012 |
My dad kept bees when I was a child, and I have nostalgic memories of summer hours spent sitting by the hive, watching the workers coming and going. This book gave me a fascinating look at the history of man's relationship with bees. It discusses bee research, beekeeping, ancient and modern uses for honey and wax, bee behavior, etc., in the framework of narrative of one year with a "typical" beekeeper in Florida.

I kept blurting out fascinating facts I had learned to my family, until my daughter finally told me I need to "get a life." But what better life than reading great books and learning?! I highly recommend this book! ( )
1 vote glade1 | Jul 12, 2012 |
This is not a book about raising bees, but a history of bees and beekeeping throughout history. A few years after Holley Bishop started keeping bees, she decided she wanted to write a book as a sort of tribute to bees. Because she considered herself only a hobbyist, she tried to find a professional who had more experience than she did. Of the 20 people she asked, only one was willing to have her visit and take time away from his work to explain and show her various aspects of beekeeping. That along with what must have been a massive amount of research has produced a very readable, detailed book about bees. She intersperses information about how a present day beekeeping operation works with historical information/stories. ( )
1 vote dudes22 | Jan 27, 2012 |
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Until six years ago, I had no acquaintance with bees or honey.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743250222, Paperback)

Holley Bishop loves bees. No, more than that: she idolizes them. She marvels at their native abilities and the momentous role these misunderstood and unjustly feared creatures have played in the development of human history. And with her book, Robbing the Bees, she succeeds in making the reader love bees, too. Take this nifty bit of information, one of countless fascinating factoids offered by Bishop in her celebration of all things bee-related: "Because of bees' starring role in the drama of pollination, we humans are indebted to them, directly and indirectly, for a third of our food supply. Visiting bees are required for the commercial production of more than a hundred of our most important crops including alfalfa, garlic, apples, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus, melons, onion, almonds, turnips, parsley, sunflower, cranberries, and clover." Or how about this: "For the past decade, the American military has been testing [bees'] potential as special agents in the war on drugs and terrorism. Bees are as sensitive to odor as dogs and can be trained to buzz in on drugs, explosives, landmines, and chemical weapons." Beat that as a winning opening gambit at a cocktail party. And that ain't all. Bishop charts the evolution of honey and beeswax harvesting through the ages, gives us an up-close look inside working beehives from ancient Egypt to the present day, interviews beekeepers, quotes bee chroniclers past and present (from Charles Darwin to contemporary Florida beekeeper Donald Smiley), reveals her rather clumsy foray into beekeeping in candid detail, studies bees' impact on religion and history, and provides a selection of innovative recipes calling for honey. Through it all, Bishop never loses sight of the star if the show--the humble honey bee--or the crucial but largely unrewarded role they continue to play on our planet. And she does it with snappy prose and keen humor. Dogs be warned: if Bishop has her way, bees will be the it pet of the future, or at least less likely to die at the end of a folded newspaper next time one buzzes in through an open window. --Kim Hughes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A comprehensive biography, history, celebration and love letter to bees and their magical produce. The author follows beekeeper Donald Smiley on his daily tasks then explores the lively science, culture and folklore that surround each step of the process and each stage of the lives of the bees and their honey.… (more)

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