Honey has been an important food for people for thousands of years. Their desire for it led to the, domestication of bees, through crafting artificial beehives and manipulating the bees' food sources. But quite apart from the harvests of honey and wax, the life-giving role of bees in pollinating many plants that people rely on for food, has made them the stuff of legend, mystery, worship and, nowadays, also controversy.
Although some people believe that our reliance on bees for the cultivation of food crops is much exaggerated (as some major staples like rice, wheat and even potatoes don't need them), there is no doubt that there are many crops whose very survival depends on bees. And that is why the recent, somewhat mysterious decline in bee populations around the world is so concerning to people who worry about the future of our natural environment.
Anyone interested in growing food, who wants to find out what a beehive or two will give them, even on such a small scale as the suburban backyard or the terrace-house garden, will find the Bee Book an indispensable introduction to keeping bees.