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A World Without Bees Hardcover – 1 Jun 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Newspapers Ltd; 1st Edition edition (1 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852650922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852650929
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 18.3 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

surprisingly moving (Metro)

a highly enjoyable, polished, well-researched homage to the honeybee (Observer)

The success of A World Without Bees lies in its explanation of the challenges faced by the honeybee population and the intensiveness of commercial beekeeping (Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

'If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.' Albert Einstein --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Horne on 24 Jun 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this wonderful book in one very long sitting; I really could not stop once I started. Having grown up surrounded, in my immediate family, by the 1950's acute nature-awareness of the early Soil Association days of Bob Waller and Harold Horne et al, it was like deja vu to me.
The authors have been very disciplined in producing a really worthwhile book; it is almost perfectly objective, and therefore above cheap criticism. They have worked immensely hard to source a huge amount of sound material, and they have taken the trouble to understand it thoroughly before using it in their book. And the mystery at issue is no less than how terrifyingly detached from truth we are becoming, and how little we now understand our own misery and poverty of life in the midst of all our illusion of ease; how deprived of reality we have already become.
Read it! In the morning, the evening, on the train, in the bath, but read it. It is more real than most other stuff you will find on printed paper or glowing on a monitor any day of the year.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Shepherd on 25 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
If climate change doesn't get you, the disappearance of the honeybee will - this is the rather gloomy message of Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum's well researched and engagingly written new book on Colony Collapse Disorder - a honeybee `plague' which has already killed millions of bees worldwide. Some 90 commercial crops owe their continued existence to the pollination services provided free of charge by the honeybee so its fair to say that A World Without Bees is an important book. For it to succeed in its mission it has to put the fear of God into us without losing us to jargon. It does so admirably, taking us through the rather complicated but interesting world of honeybee health, politics and economics and delivering us to a conclusion which lays the blame firmly on our own shoulders. Time to start talking about bee rights? Could be.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Williams TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
Alison Benjamin is a journalist who, together with her partner Brian McCallum, is also (like me) an amateur beekeeper. (I see that she has also written an introductory book on beekeeping.) Over the last year or two, fueled by the crisis that is hitting honey bee populations, particularly in the USA but also in the UK and Europe, public interest in honey bees has soared. This book feeds off that interest, and does so very well. It is written in a popular journalistic style that can be appreciated by anyone who is interested in the subject, which should be all of us. No background knowledge of bees or beekeeping is required. The authors themselves are neither scientists nor professional beekeepers, but have done their homework thoroughly, consulting a wide variety of professionals. They deal with a number of hazards facing today's bees, and a number of suggestions for alleviating (I doubt whether they would go so far as to say solving) the problem. For example, the role of other pollenating insects is explored briefly. There are no facile statements of the problem, and no proposed silver bullet; just a thorough exploration of the issues from a variety of angles. The first edition of this book came out in 2008, just two years after Colony Collapse Disorder was first identified in the USA, and it has been updated for 2009, so is very up-to-date as I write this review. Anyone interested in green issues, beekeeper or not, will learn a lot from it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By blossom on 29 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
In 2008 Society Guardian editor Alison Benjamin and her Geography teacher partner Brian McCallum, who keep bees as a hobby, wrote the book A World Without Bees.

A highly fluid text, the shocking truth on bees, their health and the commercial beekeeping occupation is easily read. Benjamin and McCallum cover all corners of the beekeeping globe, and all the problems, innovations, opinions and possible solutions to the flight of the bee from their homes in the latest epidemic - Colony Collapse Disorder.

In the book, the writers show the ancient and continuing importance of bees to humans, exemplified in their inclusion of such prominent people's words on the fuzzy fellows and cultures, such as Aristotle, the Egyptians, Pliny the Elder, the Aztecs, Anglo-Saxon feudal lords, medieval Russia and Britain, Christianity and the Pilgrim Fathers to name but a few.

The co-authors also show that the bee and its hierarchy have been used to justify and explain feudalism, parliamentary rule, the French Revolution and industrialisation. (The last being one reason why we've chosen to start a project on trying to save bees since it is the symbol of Manchester, where industrialisation began, and where you can see bees in our neo-Gothic town hall and on our bollards.)

But they also get down to the nitty-gritty, interviewing scientists and beekeepers from all over the world and all walks of life, looking at the evidence and trying to evaluate what is happening. We start in California's almond orchards that stretch millions of miles across (and today happens to be Almond Day in the USA, coincidentally).
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