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The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us

Popular Science

By: Bee Wilson

320 pages, Illus

John Murray

Paperback | Sep 2005 | #155304 | ISBN: 0719565987
Availability: Usually dispatched within 7 days Details
NHBS Price: £9.99 $12/€11 approx

About this book

Ever since men first hunted for honeycomb in rocks and daubed pictures of it on cave walls, the honeybee has been seen as one of the wonders of nature: social, industrious, beautiful, terrifying. No other creature has inspired in humans an identification so passionate, persistent or fantastical. In this gem of a book, award-winning writer Bee Wilson explores the magical world of the honeybee. From the hive to honey, from beekeepers to honeymooners, via Aristotle, Shakespeare, Napoleon and Sherlock Holmes, here is a book that delights and surprises at every turn. And there is even a recipe or two.

'A light and delicious book, in an exceptionally pretty honey-coloured jacket gilded with bees, and it is written with sparkle and charm ... some of her best writing is about the deliciousness of honey, and it is hard to read her chapter of recipes without drooling.' -- The Tablet 20040925 'Bee Wilson's little book is a small hive of treasure. It is a sweet celebration of our appreciation of the honeybee' -- Dumfries and Galloway Standard 20040910 'Wonderfully entertaining reading.' -- The Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society 20041101 'A fascinating tribute to the bee' -- Woman & Home 20041101 'This biography is immensely detailed, intelligent, generous, sympathetic, and often entertaining...Betjeman fans...will delight in Hillier's monumental work' -- Literary Review 20041001 'This biography is immensely detailed, intelligent, generous, sympathetic, and often entertaining...Betjeman fans...will delight in Hillier's monumental work' -- Literary Review 20041001 'A charming, fascinating pot-pourri of all things beelike' -- Bookseller 20041129 'Wilson presents the history of the honeybee in this engaging and anecdote-filled account' -- Publishing News 20050520 'Beautifully produced and well-researched ...leaving readers to marvel'. -- Good Book Guide 20050520 'Bee Wilson conveys a real sense of the relationship between bees and us, and her short, punchy chapters are witty and fascinating' -- Easy Living 20051001 'This is the Christmas book with a real sting.' -- Saga 20051106 'Can hardly be bettered.' -- Guardian 20040918 'Fascinating, careful, witty and intelligent ! Riveting ! Almost any paragraph chosen at random is entertaining' -- Prue Leith, New Statesman 20040918 'Richly informative and beautifully written' -- The Times 20040918 'Erudite and elegant ... Bee Wilson writes fluently and engagingly and she manages to present a great deal of curious information in a form as easy to swallow as a spoonful of the finest Attic honey ... The book is also exceptionally pleasing to look at and hold.' -- Tom Fort, Sunday Telegraph 20040829 'Entertaining and thoroughly worthwhile' -- Sunday Times 20040905 'Fascinating' -- Humphrey Carpenter, Sunday Times 20041128 'Erudite, informative, accurate and a delight to read.' -- The Times Literary Supplement 20050304 'Wilson has a fine eye for character sketches' -- The Times 20050917 'For a moment you may feel, as I did, that part of Wilson's research for this book involved turning into a bee for a few days ... Amazing.' -- Nick Lezard -- Guardian 20050917 'There are delights and surprises on virtually every page of this gem of a book' -- Sunday Telegraph 20050911 'Wilson's sprightly hymn to the honeybee ! conveys ! the marvel, complexity and ultimate unknowability that has made the beehive such a fascination -- Independent 20050911 'She manages to present a great deal of information in a form as easy to swallow as a spoonful ofhoney.' -- Tom Fort, Sunday Telegraph 20040829 'Buzzes with info and has the prettiest dust-jacket of the third millennium' -- Barry Humphries, Sunday Telegraph 20041128 'Endlessly fascinating' -- Mail on Sunday 20041128 'A riveting read ...this beguiling book is more a history of ideas than an actual study ...buzzing with fascinating facts' -- BBC Gardener's World Magazine 20041128 'Bee Wilson recounts all the weird and wonderful things people have believed about bees' -- History Today 20041128 'Juicy reading ...worth buying for the illustration on p. 204 alone' -- The Spectator 20041128 'Bee Wilson ...connects readers' imaginations with their salivary glands' -- New Statesman 20041128 'A brilliant examination of a natural phenomenon we all take for granted' -- Sunday Express 20041128 'Delightful' -- Economist 20041128 'Fascinating and readable. Wilson writes with flair and wit about everything from Pliny to pollination; her love of honey in all its sheer sensuousness shines through' -- Scotsman 20041128 'Can hardly be bettered ...Principally a writer on food, Wilson none the less knows a lot about keeping honeybees, and also about their biology and natural history, waxworks and candles, and the changing shape of the beehive' -- The Guardian 20041128 'Beautifully written and absorbing' -- New Statesman 20041128

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Bee Wilson is a food writer and historian. For five years she was the food critic of the New Statesman and now writes a weekly food column for the Sunday Telegraph. In 2002 she was named Radio 4 food writer of the year. She is currently a research fellow in the History of Ideas at St John's College, Cambridge. She is married, with two children.

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