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Robbing the Bees

One of the many delightful books about honey that I’ve read over the past decade or so. This is more of a hobbyist approach -- a woman who has started beekeeping spends a year on and off with a serious professional beekeeper. It has the tone of The Orchid Thief. Well-off woman from up north comes down to Florida and finds everything remarkable including every odd little habit of the older man she’s hanging out with. Bishop does manage to tell us something about herself, the trials she went through in her early beekeeping days, which are actually quite interesting.

Her description of the noble beekeeper borders on the hagiographic sometimes and she’s clearly put her education to good use with her rich and full and sometimes tiresome use of adjectives. Most of them I began to gloss over after a while, but as she was describing her beekeeper friend cooking up some freshly caught fish as a piscine delight (or something similar) I just started to go “Ugh!” The rest of the book is really worth it if you like bees at all. A lot of good history and some fun images and stories. Maybe a little too much idle pontificating. This book is at its best when it’s telling you facts, somewhat less when it’s telling you stories.