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The Bees by Laline Paull
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The Bees (2014)

by Laline Paull

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,0849511,556 (3.8)169
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» See also 169 mentions

English (93)  Italian (1)  All languages (94)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
For the first 100 pages or so, I wasn't sure if this was merely a writing exercise, something tricksy without real substance, but there was an aggregation of action and a genuine through-line that made the ending of the book a more satisfying payoff than many other novels I've read recently.

I really enjoyed this. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
I love books that are a little off beat, and this one certainly is. Epic drama, betrayal, love, loss, madness, self-sacrifice, intrigue - all in a bee hive. Terrific. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
The inner workings of a bee colony are fascinating, so the fact that this novel completely misrepresents how a colony of bees behave and function was really disappointing. The author is a talented writer, but in the end, I could not suspend disbelief and was very disappointed in the far less interesting imagining of life within the hive she presented. ( )
  jtdancer | Jun 30, 2018 |
A story of Flora 717 the sanitation worker bee tells the story of life in a hive. I read this for one reason; I wanted to read something for a challenge that was about something I feared (phobia) and I have pretty big fear of bees. I had hoped the book would be horror and I think it has a tag for horror but it really wasn't very scary but then I am not a bee.

I think, mostly the depiction of hive life was accurate including the dangers in the environment the natural enemies and the man made enemies like poisons, buildings and constructs. From reading mostly Wiki article, most of what is here is factual with some creative license in a few areas.

I enjoyed the book but it really never "grabbed me" but still I did enjoy learning about bee life and the story of the potential uprisings in the hive, the misuse of power also could be a allegory for life. The story is anthropomorphic and is about differences and racial identity. The parts about caste and crushes on the males is more a reflection of human society. The book also touches on the hive collapse disease which is not fully understood but of real concern. There is a bit of Orwellian, a bit of Handmaid's Tale and a bit of the Hindu Caste in this tale set in a bee hive in a farmer's field.

The author writes plays and according to author information. She hopes to make this a play. I could see it as a ballet or dance performance. ( )
  Kristelh | May 5, 2018 |
Life in a beehive as seen by Flora 717.

Fun way to learn about bees. I was a bit thrown off course as I had a vague idea it was a murder mystery along the lines of "Three Bags Full". Still, despite a couple of longeurs it was interesting and seemed to be informative, though I would have appreciated an author's note on just how factually based it was. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Apr 26, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Paull, Lalineprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cassidy, OrlaghNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The bee's life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water. — Karl von Frisch
Dedication
For Adrian
First words
The old orchard stood besieged.
Quotations
Accept. Obey. Serve.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
Born into the lowest class of her society, Flora 717 is a sanitation bee, only fit to clean her orchard hive. Living to accept, obey, and serve, she is prepared to sacrifice everything for her beloved holy mother, the Queen. But Flora is not like other bees. Despite her ugliness she has talents that are not typical of her kin. While mutant bees are usually instantly destroyed, Flora is removed from sanitation duty and is allowed to feed the newborns, before becoming a forager, collecting pollen on the wing. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers secrets both sublime and ominous. But enemies are everywhere, from the fearsome fertility police to the high priestesses who jealously guard the Hive Mind. And when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all her instinct to serve is overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce love that will lead to the unthinkable.
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A member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, Flora 717, due to her courage and strength, finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum where she discovers secrets about the hive that cause her to challenge authority and perform unthinkable acts.

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