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.
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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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.
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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