Wednesday, July 23, 2014

“The Bees” by Laline Paull – A review

I was given this book for my birthday and in the absence of any beekeeping activities in my life at the moment I thought it would be a good distraction.

Did I like the book?  Well, broadly yes, it kept my attention and was pretty engaging, HOWEVER you will not enjoy it if you don’t let little issues like major inaccuracies in honey bee biology and the life cycle of the bee wash over you!  The book anthropomorphises bees to the extreme which is OK, I suppose, but I found the descriptions of the inside “chambers” of the hive far too unrealistic and awfully fantasized.

The most disappointing part of the book for me was the fact that the main character, a laying worker, laid an egg that developed into a Queen!  This is just not possible and it undermines the entire story line.  I’m not sure how such a fundamental flaw crept into the plot given the preponderance of apparent experts quoted and acknowledged in the book, but it’s there nonetheless.

Summary:  If you are a beekeeper you will/should not like this book!.  If you are interested in bees I hope it switches you on to some of the many brilliantly written non-fiction books on the subject which are actually far more enthralling!

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