The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us Hardcover – 13 Sep 2004
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Richly informative and beautifully written (The Times)
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)
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)
She manages to present a great deal of information in a form as easy to swallow as a spoonful of honey. (Tom Fort, Sunday Telegraph)
Entertaining and thoroughly worthwhile (The Sunday Times)
Wonderfully entertaining reading. (The Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society)
Can hardly be bettered. (Guardian)
A fascinating tribute to the bee (Woman & Home)
Fascinating, careful, witty and intelligent ... Almost any paragraph chosen at random is entertaining (Prue Leith, New Statesman)
Wilson presents the history of the honeybee in this engaging and anecdote-filled account (Publishing News)
A gem of a book. (The Bookseller)
Fascinating (Humphrey Carpenter, Sunday Times)
Buzzes with info and has the prettiest dust-jacket of the third millennium (Barry Humphries, Sunday Telegraph)
A charming, fascinating pot-pourri of all things beelike (Bookseller)
'Bee Wilson conveys a real sense of the relationship between bees and us, and her short, punchy chapters are witty and fascinating' (Easy Living)
Endlessly fascinating (Mail on Sunday)
Erudite, informative, accurate and a delight to read. (Times Literary Supplement)
'This is the Christmas book with a real sting.' (Saga)
'Beautifully produced and well-researched ...leaving readers to marvel'. (Good Book Guide)
This biography is immensely detailed, intelligent, generous, sympathetic, and often entertaining...Betjeman fans...will delight in Hillier's monumental work (Literary Review)
'Wilson has a fine eye for character sketches.' (The Times)
'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)
'There are delights and surprises on virtually every page of this gem of a book' (Sunday Telegraph)
'Wilson's sprightly hymn to the honeybee ... conveys ... the marvel, complexity and ultimate unknowability that has made the beehive such a fascination' (Independent)
'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)
'Bee Wilson recounts all the weird and wonderful things people have believed about bees.' (History Today)
'Juicy reading ... worth buying for the illustration on p. 204 alone.' (The Spectator)
'Bee Wilson... connects readers' imaginations with their salivary glands.' (New Statesman)
'A brilliant examination of a natural phenomenon we all take for granted' (Sunday Express)
'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)
'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' (Tom Fort, Sunday Telegraph)
'Beautifully written and absorbing' (New Statesman)
'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)
With a cast of characters from Alexander the Great to Mohammed Ali, this is the story of the inspiring and passionate relationship between bees, their hive and the human worldSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The title is an indicator - how we've related to bees, their habits and their delicious product has a long history. Bees are the one social animal we've had a deep relationship with. They've provided templates to explain or guide human society - although we've been almost always wrong in how their society forms and operates. Early civilisations viewed them as warrior monarchies, ruled by a "king" driving, or being supported by, a soldier caste. Wilson examines six areas where humans have dealt with bees as their counterparts: work, sex, politics, food and drink, life and death. In their most intimate relationship, she adds the beekeeper as her conclusion.
Wilson explains how early commentators viewed the drone-worker relationship as symbolic of human society. Even today's leading British entomologist, Francis Ratnieks, compares the partitioning of roles to "the efficiency of the modern supermarket". The hive is actually superior in that it needs no central management to control events. The constant activity, however, has led many societies to adopt the hive as a symbol of "industriousness".Read more ›
Indeed, I thought it would read more as an engaging documentary as opposed to a univeristy dissertation full of serious little facts.
I may be more drawn to beliefs about the bees as in religious (Minoan art reverred the bees, I personally believe bees were associated with the feminine ascred for a long time, shamanism, and bee behaviour rather than the history of anything related to honey-making.
In depth information covering all aspects of how bees have affected human archaeology etc.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book arrived in perfect condition, not read yet but looking forward to it.Published 8 months ago by Ivan Gee
I was recommended to get this book and am waiting to read it. Looks brilliant and just what I ordered.Published on 12 Aug. 2012 by Mags
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