Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey - the Sweet Liquid Gold That Seduced the World

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey - the Sweet Liquid Gold That Seduced the World

by Holley Bishop
4.4 9

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

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

Honey has been waiting almost ten million years for a good biography. Bees have been making this prized food — for centuries the world's only sweetener — for millennia, but we humans started recording our fascination with it only in the past few thousand years. Part history, part love letter, Robbing the Bees is a celebration of bees and their magical produce, revealing the varied roles of bees and honey in nature, world civilization, business, and gastronomy.

To help navigate the worlds and cultures of honey, Bishop — beekeeper, writer, and honey aficionado — apprentices herself to Donald Smiley, a professional beekeeper who harvests tupelo honey in the Florida panhandle. She intersperses the lively lore and science of honey with lyrical reflections on her own and Smiley's beekeeping experiences. Its passionate research, rich detail, and fascinating anecdote and illustrations make Holley Bishop's Robbing the Bees a sumptuous look at the oldest, most delectable food in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743250221
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 01/10/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 413,848
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.43(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Holley Bishop, a beekeeper for six years, has spent thousands of hours observing bees, harvesting honey, and amassing a collection of related books, gadgets, and stories. A graduate of Brown University, she completed a degree at the Columbia University School of Journalism and has worked in book publishing and written for numerous magazines.

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Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey - the Sweet Liquid Gold That Seduced the World 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
choosyreader More than 1 year ago
Robbing the Bees by Holley Bishop is poetic and lyrical and also packed with fascinating fact and personal experience detail. She did extensive research and her charming book is a wonderful blend of natural and cultural history along with a journaling of her own first hand experiences unveiling the mysterious honeybee. Infused with Bishop's dry wit, this book is a delightful read!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Make the next chapter! I normally dont comment very often, but i want to see the next chapter!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Bishop presents an entertaining history of bees and beekeeping, and gives us an absolutely fascinting tour into the relationship between humans and bees, both ancient and modern. What she misses are her science references: On page 142, Bishop recounts the removal of a stinger: '...he grabbed the whole sac, which simply squeezed in more venom.' This is not true. It is an oft-repeated piece of conventional wisdom, but in 1996, entomologists at UC Riverside published an article in The Lancet (348:301-302), with the conclusion that rather than removal method, speed is of the essence. Visscher and Vetter wrote of their conclusion: 'The method of removal is irrelevant, but even slight delays in removal caused by concerns over performing it correctly (or getting out a knife blade or credit card) are likely to increase the dose of venom received. The advice should be changed to simply emphasize that the sting should be removed, and as quickly as possible.' On page 276, Bishop writes about royal jelly '...worker bees secrete and feed exclusively to a select few fertilized eggs, one of which, on this special diet, will grow into a queen.' This is patently incorrect. Royal jelly, as all beekeepers know, is fed to all the brood by nursery bees for the first 2-3 days of the brood's development. After this time, most brood who are not destined to be queens will receive pollen as food, whereas queens are fed the jelly all their lives. It is rather stunning that an author who keeps bees herself and obviouly spent considerable efforts in researching her book can make such a glaring error in bee knowledge. This was quite a blow to me at this point in the book as I have enjoyed the book very much, and to run into such a blatantly uninformed statement from the author caused me major disappointment. Otherwise, this is quite a good, absorbing read.