HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History…
Loading...

Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee (edition 2006)

by Hattie Ellis (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
2057105,013 (3.5)None
"Sweetness and Light is the story of bees and honey from the Stone Age to the contemporary cutting edge; from Napalese honey hunters to urban hives on the rooftops of New York City. Honey is nature in a pot, gathered in by bees from many different environments - Zambian rain forests, midwestern prairies, Scottish moors, and thyme-covered Sicilian mountainsides, to name a few. But honey is much more than just a food, and bees are more than mere insects. The bee is the most studied creature on the planet next to man, and it and its products have been harnessed by doctors, philosophers, scientists, politicians, artists, writers, and architects throughout the ages as both metaphor and material." "Hattie Ellis interweaves social history, popular science, and traveler's tales into a buzzing chronological narrative. She explores the mysterious ways of bees, such as how they can make up to twenty-four thousand journeys to produce a single pound of honey, and she takes the lid off the hive to reveal as many as a hundred thousand bees living and working together in total discipline."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved… (more)
Member:KarenRennich
Title:Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee
Authors:Hattie Ellis (Author)
Info:Crown (2006), 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee by Hattie Ellis

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
3.5 ( )
  gumnut25 | Apr 21, 2020 |
If you want something complete;y different, try this travelogue through the centuries and the continents following man's obsession with honey and bees. The author, an American who mostly writes about food, has travelled the globe to find interesting and mysterious facts and stories about beekeepers and bees. ( )
  EBKA-Braintree | Jan 29, 2016 |
The title is misleading. Ellis uses "history" correctly (according to prescriptivist moi) to mean the written record of the honey bee, but since honey bees don't write, the book is more the history of human interaction with the honey bee.

Also, she's annoying. For instance: She describes a building in Paris that looks like honeycomb, la la, and then in the next paragraph is "recovering" from being booted from that building. So she ... trespassed? It's easy enough to ask permission to tour a site (this edifice was constructed with honeycomb principles) but ... she didn't bother? ( )
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
Just finished this last nite. It is a very good book about the history of bees from cave painting thru about 2000. I really liked this book and would like to buy it so I can underline and post it note the damn thing to death. Plus she has an awesome bibliography and references that make me want to go out and get MORE bee books.

My only complaint is the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the book is very thorough.. the last part seems hurried. Like she was running out of time for the due date with her publisher. Perhaps it could have been edited a bit better so that falling off wasn't so heavy handed, but then I would probably lose my favorite parts of the 1/2 half of the book. I liked Sweetness & Light very much and would like to re-read it. But I think I will read Robbing the Bees by Bishop first before I re-read this one. (well there is a silkworm book on my list and THEN robbing the bees)

Things I did not know. Like how honey is antimicrobial and when used in wound dressings creates hydrogrogen peroxide. It is one of the only effective treatments for MRSAs b'c it does not use antibiotics. Plus there was lots of talk about the symbolism of honeybees and how they were used at different times (virtue in victorian times, work ethic in the mormon church, etc). And there was a really cool description of a viewing hive that had a glass tube in the home so the bees could come down from the hive and visit and be watched while entertaining guests!! I SO want to know what that looked like.

This, of course, makes me want to have bees now more than ever. If only I owned this apt and could keep them on the roof!!! Talks with Amy while we were in ME make me think more seriously about getting bee tattoos on my feet. perhaps a skep on one side and a very detailed honeybee on the other. Bumblefeet Amy calls them and it makes me want to laugh! ( )
  purlewe | Apr 1, 2013 |
As an organic gardener, I am concerned with the health of the soil and the beneficial insects who pollinate crops and keep pests in check. “Colony Collapse Disorder”, the mysterious die-off of honeybee hive populations, has been in the news for the past few years. Who are these insects and how did they come to be so important? Hattie Ellis’ "Sweetness & Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee" promises to answer that question but does so only imperfectly.

She starts out well enough, tracing first the evolutionary history of the honeybee, and then its relationship to humans. I was surprised to learn that in those same caves with the prehistoric paintings of bison and horses, are prehistoric paintings of honeybees and the collection of wild honey. She goes on to describe the most recent speculations as to how honeybees moved from the wild to become part of the domestic landscape, the use of honey in ancient cuisines and then traces the historical arc of beekeeping from ancient times to modern day, including the introduction of the honeybee to North America by European colonists.

My problem with this wealth of information is Ms. Ellis’ Eurocentric focus. She might better have subtitled her book “The Mysterious History of the Honeybee in Europe, North America and New Zealand”, New Zealand having once been a British colony (Ms. Ellis is British). Other than a brief mention of Brazil in connection with killer bees and the Himalayas to illustrate her point that honeybees can withstand cold environments, she offers us no information on honeybees or beekeeping in Africa, Asia or South America.

I find it difficult to believe that Europeans were the only peoples to keep honeybees. Didn’t the Chinese invent just about everything? Why not beekeeping? And if wild honey is collected in the Himalayas by Nepalese, doesn’t it stand to reason that the more sophisticated civilizations on the Indian sub-continent would also have had a relationship of some kind with honey and honeybees?

"Sweetness & Light" is an excellent, but limited, history of honey and honeybees. It left me hungry for more information on these fascinating creatures and their relationships with their environment and humans. ( )
  OldRoses | Apr 29, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

"Sweetness and Light is the story of bees and honey from the Stone Age to the contemporary cutting edge; from Napalese honey hunters to urban hives on the rooftops of New York City. Honey is nature in a pot, gathered in by bees from many different environments - Zambian rain forests, midwestern prairies, Scottish moors, and thyme-covered Sicilian mountainsides, to name a few. But honey is much more than just a food, and bees are more than mere insects. The bee is the most studied creature on the planet next to man, and it and its products have been harnessed by doctors, philosophers, scientists, politicians, artists, writers, and architects throughout the ages as both metaphor and material." "Hattie Ellis interweaves social history, popular science, and traveler's tales into a buzzing chronological narrative. She explores the mysterious ways of bees, such as how they can make up to twenty-four thousand journeys to produce a single pound of honey, and she takes the lid off the hive to reveal as many as a hundred thousand bees living and working together in total discipline."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.5)
0.5
1
1.5
2 4
2.5 1
3 5
3.5 3
4 10
4.5 3
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 164,459,026 books! | Top bar: Always visible