Friday, October 25, 2013

OF BOOKS AND BEES


Books are the bees which carry the quickening pollen from one to another mind.         - James Russell Lowell -

 
When thinking of the millions of ways public libraries are special, I think about how often we read something in the newspaper or see something on television and how we want to know more.  With topic in hand, we call the library, look up books in the online catalog or drop by to see how a librarian can help find information.
A thought-provoking article in the New York Times about bees got the ball rolling.  The Monrovia Public Library has several terrific books on bees. 

The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes and Other Home Uses by Richard Jones is an incredible compendium of information on bees.  It is literally an everything you want to know book that blends biology, botany, history, mythology, cookery and information on how to keep bee hives. The illustrations are terrific and the book is written in a compelling way.

Honey lovers will especially appreciate the book Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee by Hattie Ellis. Drawing on world-wide history from the Stone Age to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to modern beekeepers who raise bees on their roofs, Ellis takes a look at how honeybees and humans have always co-existed. She also talks about the relationship between flora and fauna and how honey has many fans in nature, including Winnie the Pooh.

A World Without Bees by Allison Benjamin is about the collapse of honeybee colonies.  Scientists and apis (bee) experts have been exploring why honeybees throughout the world are dying. This book looks at the possible biological and environmental causes.  Much to think about—all because we use the library.



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