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

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Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey. The Sweet Liquid Gold That Seduced the World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:


Honey has been waiting almost ten million years for a good biography, writes Holley Bishop. Bees have been making this food on Earth for hundreds of millennia, but we humans started recording our fascination with it only in the past few thousand years: painting bees and hives on cave and temple walls and papyrus scrolls, revering them in poetry and art, even worshipping these amazing little insects as gods. From the temples of the Nile to the hives behind the author's own house, people have had a long, rapturous love affair with the beehive and the seductive, addictive honey it produces. Combining passionate research, rich detail, and fascinating anecdote, Holley Bishop's Robbing the Bees is an in-depth, sumptuous look at the oldest, most delectable food in the world.

Part biography, part history, Robbing the Bees is also a celebration, a love letter to bees and their magical produce. Honey has played significant and varied roles in civilization: it is so sweet that bacteria can't survive in it, so it was our first food preservative and all-purpose wound salve. Honey wine, or mead, was the intoxicant of choice long before beer or wine existed. Hindus believe honey leads to a long life; Mohammed looked to honey as a remedy for all illness. Virgil; Aristotle; Pythagoras; Gregor Mendel; Sylvia Plath's father, Otto; and Sir Edmund Hillary are among the famous beekeepers and connoisseurs who have figured in honey's past and shaped its present.

To help navigate the worlds and cultures of honey, Holley Bishop (beekeeper, writer, and honey aficionado) apprentices herself to a modern guide and expert, professional beekeeper Donald Smiley, who harvests tupelo honey fromhundreds of hives in the remote town of Wewahitchka, Florida. Bishop chronicles Smiley's day-to-day business as he robs his bees in the steamy Florida panhandle and provides an engaging exploration of the lively science, culture, and lore that surround each step of the beekeeping process and each stage of bees' lives.

Interspersed throughout the narrative are the author's lyrical reflections on her own beekeeping experiences, the business and gastronomical world of honey, the myriad varieties of honey (as distinct as the provenance of wine), as well as illustrations, historical quotes, and recipes: ancient, contemporary, and some of the author's own creations.

Synopsis:

To navigate her narrative on honey, Bishop follows beekeeper Donald Smiley on his daily tasks in the steamy Florida panhandle. Combing passionate research, rich detail, and fascinating anecdotes, this is a sumptuous look at the oldest and most delectable food in the world.

Synopsis:

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, andlt;iandgt;Robbing the Beesandlt;/iandgt; is a celebration of bees and their magical produce, revealing the varied roles of bees and honey in nature, world civilization, business, and gastronomy. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; 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 andlt;iandgt;Robbing the Beesandlt;/iandgt; a sumptuous look at the oldest, most delectable food in the world.

About the Author

andlt;Bandgt;Holley Bishop,andlt;/Bandgt; 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.

Table of Contents

Contents

introductions

1 Swamp Cache

2 The Bee Master

FEAR

3 Robbing the Bees

RESPECT

4 Pollination

5 The Sting

ARROGANCE

6 Food, Wine, and Fishing

TIME

7 Liquid Currency

8 Wax

9 Medicine Ball

GRATITUDE

10 Some Honey Recipes, Old and New

illustration credits

a final note

acknowledgments

index

A Conversation with Holley Bishop

A Few Final Words from Donald Smiley

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

LittleBirdy, September 3, 2011 (view all comments by LittleBirdy)
If you don't start off with a deep and abiding respect for the Apis Mellifera before you read Holley Bishop's Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey, you should be in awe of the wee pollinators and ambrosia-producers by the time you finish the last page. Lots of facts and historic lore show the research the author did, but the whole book in also filled with her affection for this industrious insect. At times a bit disjointed, as it jumps from personal memoir (her first hive froze and starved to death during a harsh Connecticut winter!), part biography (of professional bee keeper, Donald Smiley) and part natural history (with recipe finale), the book is nonetheless a delight, as well as an education.
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Britton, August 8, 2010 (view all comments by Britton)
I admit that I'm slightly gaga over bees. But even for those who aren't, this is a great book. Full of history, natural science and the story of Donald the beekeeper -- as well as Bishop's own experiences raising bees -- the book is funny, fascinating and just plain fun.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780743250221
Author:
Bishop, Holley
Publisher:
Free Press
Subject:
Insects & Spiders
Subject:
Honey
Subject:
Specific Ingredients - Natural Foods
Subject:
Agriculture - General
Subject:
Animals - Insects & Spiders
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
January 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w illustrations t/o; index
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 10.885 oz

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Diet and Nutrition » Natural Healing
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Bees and Beekeeping
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Entomology and General Invertebrates
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Insects » Entomology

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey. The Sweet Liquid Gold That Seduced the World New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$20.99 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Free Press - English 9780743250221 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , To navigate her narrative on honey, Bishop follows beekeeper Donald Smiley on his daily tasks in the steamy Florida panhandle. Combing passionate research, rich detail, and fascinating anecdotes, this is a sumptuous look at the oldest and most delectable food in the world.
"Synopsis" by , 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, andlt;iandgt;Robbing the Beesandlt;/iandgt; is a celebration of bees and their magical produce, revealing the varied roles of bees and honey in nature, world civilization, business, and gastronomy. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; 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 andlt;iandgt;Robbing the Beesandlt;/iandgt; a sumptuous look at the oldest, most delectable food in the world.
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