[Reading] ➮ The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America ➶ Hannah Nordhaus – Transportjobsite.co.uk

The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America quotes The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America, litcharts The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America, symbolism The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America, summary shmoop The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America, The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America 718f9a06 You Ll Never Think Of Bees, Their Keepers, Or The Fruits And Nuts Of Their Laborsthe Same Way Again Trevor Corson, Author Of The Secret Life Of LobstersAward Winning Journalist Hannah Nordhaus Tells The Remarkable Story Of John Miller, One Of America S Foremost Migratory Beekeepers, And The Myriad And Mysterious Epidemics Threatening American Honeybee Populations In Luminous, Razor Sharp Prose, Nordhaus Explores The Vital Role That Honeybees Play In American Agribusiness, The Maintenance Of Our Food Chain, And The Very Future Of The Nation With An Intimate Focus And Incisive Reporting, In A Book Perfect For Fans Of Eric Schlosser S Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan S The Botany Of Desire,and John McPhee S Oranges, Nordhaus S Stunning Expos Illuminates One The Most Critical Issues Facing The World Today,offering Insight, Information, And, Ultimately, Hope

10 thoughts on “The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America

  1. says:

    This was, without doubt a very enjoyable book to read, even though it wasn t much of a science book If you want to find about bees themselves, read The Buzz About Bees, which I think is unbeaten as an exploration of the nature of bees Here you won t really even get a feel for what a superorganism is, or how individual bees really aren t animals in their own right However what you will find a lot about is beekeepers and their complication ridden business.I was amazed at the complexity of industrial scale beekeeping in the US how, for example, the bee people are paid large sums by almond growers to transport their hives into the almond groves to perform the pollination, then have to move out again swiftly as there is no food at all for the bees once the blossoms have gone This whole idea of driving thousands of hives across America is one I simply hadn t realized existed.Similarly it was fascinating to read about all the difficulties industrial beekeepers have faced Like most people I was vaguely aware of the disappearing bees when Colony Collapse Disorder struck, but not just how delicate bees were and how afflicted by other disasters, particular a nasty mite that destroys them wholesale.Equally, along with that vague awareness I thought bees were in danger of disappearing and they would if left to their own devices but so effective is the industrial process that bee numbers are being kept up by setting up new colonies with remarkable rapidity.This is, without doubt a very readable book, though I do find Hannah Nordhaus s writing style a little self consciously arty There are bits of science that you ll find out along the way, but it s much about the industry and its ups and downs, something that s fascinating in its own right Recommended.Review first published on www.popularscience.co.uk and reproduced with permission

  2. says:

    The age of mass production has not been kind to bees.Before humans intervened, before the days of agribusiness, bees left to their own devices had hard, short, and sometimes violent and vicious lives Since we ve started helping them, their lives are worse And we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.This fascinating book looks at the lives of bees and at one cantankerous commercial beekeeper, John Miller It is no small irony that someone who isn t fond of death, who takes it personally is involved in death everyday it is part of the business.Like many, I had heard of CDC, Colony Collapse Disorder, that has wreaked havoc among bees and their keepers What I didn t realize that CDC is only a part of the problem, that bees are susceptible to a whole host of fatal and really nasty diseases And the solutions of dosing the bees with drugs, forcing them into unnaturally early springs, transporting them around the country, feeding them with cheap corn syrup instead of their own honey these things are not making the situation better Neither is monocropping.The politics of beekeeping is really eye opening Beekeepers are a dying breed, and agriculture as it is practiced today couldn t exist without them You don t have to be especially interested in bees to find this book very informative If you eat, their lives affect your life than you probably know.There were a couple of places in the book where the writing seemed a touch dry to me Statements like in the wild, honey bees have disappeared entirely made me wish for footnotes and a bibliography, although the statement was explained later in the book As was bees began bringing that nectar home to evaporate into honey Even in my ignorance, I knew that honey isn t just evaporated nectar, oh no, not anything that straightforward, burp.The next time you are spreading that big ol glop of honey on your English muffin, give thanks for the dozen bees who together spent their whole lives making just a teaspoon of the stuff.

  3. says:

    This is Nonfiction Environmental Science about the plight of bees and the things beekeeper s do to keep them alive First, let me just say, I listened to the audio and I didn t care for the narrator at all She had a nonchalance to her voice and absolutely NO passion for the subject It felt like the book was just words to her Other than that, this was interesting to see the lengths that beekeepers go to in order to take care of their bees and to try to turn a profit The profit part, by no means, sounds like a sure thing But with these beekeepers, it isn t always about the money, but the love and dedication they have for the bees and the profession.

  4. says:

    A terrific book for anyone who has questions about the demise of the honey bee Layman or Apiarist you will enjoy the well researched and humor injected narrative I learned so much and it never felt like I was learning.

  5. says:

    An interesting read but I wasn t a huge fan of the author.

  6. says:

    The Beekeeper s Lament How One Man and Half a Million Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus Published by Harper Perennial, this nonfiction work is altogether fascinating and thought provoking Part artform, part science, beekeeping is certainly one of the most difficult industries To choose such an unsteady livelihood in order to produce honey and pollinate a vast majority of the foods Americans eat is certainly a career that deserves respect.And yet, most beekeepers must find creative ways to sustain their businesses People love honey Bees Not so much At least, not when you consider the varied ways industrialized farming practices and ever expanding suburban sprawl have made the art of beekeeping and arduous each year.In this work, Nordhaus follows the lives of several weathered beekeepers attempting to sustain their businesses Despite their experience in many cases the beekeeping business is handed down within a family for generations these men and women are now facing issues their fathers and grandfathers never had to deal with.Here are some fascinating things I did not know about beekeeping, bees and honey that I gleaned while reading this book A honey bee queen can lay up to 3,000 eggs male and female per day at her productive peak.One honey bee will produce, on average, one twelfth of a teaspoon of clover honey which is by far one of the most sought after due to it s fragrance and pleasing taste.Honey, like wine, gets better with age.China was recently caught exporting honey with toxic pesticides and antibiotics A 2002 ban was put in place to keep Chinese product from reaching American consumers, but since the ban, other countries, such as Australia, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Russia, Indonesia and Taiwan have increased their exportation of honey All of these countries are believed to be shipping Chinese product to America and Canada It is generally assumed that roughly 50% of the imported honey in America comes from Chinese apiaries.A trick for testing the purity of honey as opposed to honey that has been adulterated with water or high fructose corn syrup Good honey flows from the knife in a straight stream, forming a bead as it lands on a surface Should the cascade break into separate drops, a second stream of honey will temporarily sit on top of the older bead, forming a layer If the honey has too much water, it will break into droplets as it falls, pooling as it hits bottom without taking form Good honey never separates in the jar.California almond farmers grow roughly 80% of the almonds sold world wide and because almond trees do not self pollinate, these farmers rely on beekeepers to transport their hives to almond farms in order to raise their crop.Colony Collapse Disorder CCD , rampant pesticide use, changes in weather, suburban sprawl, varroa mites and other parasites have recently led to a very staggering realization something is happening to honey bees not only nationwide, but worldwide Beekeepers and scientists alike are trying to get to the bottom of this matter through various scientific methods such as genetic testing, honey pollen sampling Melissopalynology and geographical mapping of pesticide use and parasite outbreaks.There are several types of honey bees within North America Recently the European honey bee, a mild tempered bee has been mating within labs and in the wild with the African honey bee, which is an ill tempered insect, much likely to sting humans However, the African and Asian honey bees have, in comparison with the European bee, fared better through CCD outbreaks In addition, Nordhaus has made an attempt to weave within the statistical analysis and scientific jargon moments of honestly written poems, prose and fleeting thoughts, crafted not only by herself, but by one of the beekeepers with whom she studies Here is a passage by Nordhaus But on that luminous and bittersweet August weekend, it was, perhaps, hard to let go just yet We cleave to the way things are, not only to hold back a chaotic future, and not only because that is what we know Gackle is a testament to the value of sheer persistence There is value in returning to the one who loves you, in keeping the family farm going, in living where you grew up, in keeping bees when no amount of common sense and economic self preservation can justify it The colony may be collapsing in North Dakota, but not everyone is flying off There is value, yes, and there is dogged romance in persistence.Regardless of your feelings on the sometimes offensive insect for anyone who has been stung, you ll know what I mean , one thing is certain, you will never eat honey the same way again In reading this book, you will gain knowledge of all that goes into producing those amber colored plastic bears and a greater respect for those stinging insects.For book reviews, please visit www.theornamentedline.wordpress.com.

  7. says:

    It took me a long time to get through this narrative When I started, I knew we had problems with our nation s bee population and so I thought it would be good to learn about beekeepers and how they are coping I am not sure if it was Nordhaus writing or when I was reading this, but I just couldn t keep my focus on this book.I learned a lot I had no idea how important bees are to almond trees and it never occurred to me that people moved bee hives all around the country I am alarmed at all the problems with mites and diseases that bees have It is especially scary because so much food is dependent on pollination by bees So for all that I learned, I give Nordhaus three stars.I also liked meeting John Miller, the beekeeper who is the focus of the book It is good to meet people through their stories that I would never encounter in my own narrow life There are so many people in the world doing jobs I can t even imagine.I think Nordhaus explanation of our national bee dilemma would have been stronger as an essay in The New Yorker or another magazine It would have been tighter, concise and her argument may have had force.

  8. says:

    Primarily a profile of John Miller, a prominent beekeeper who produces a huge amount of America s honey he owns literally billions of bees Also gives you a good glimpse into the complex social and biological lives of bees, and looks briefly into Colony Collapse Disorder CCD Two potential causes 1 Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, or IAPV, which is carried on RNA, kind of like AIDS in humans IAPV is correlated strongly like, 90% with CCD, though nobody can say for sure it s the cause It could be a symptom, or a coincidence 2 Could also be Nosema ceranae, a new fungus from Asia It s related to nosema apis a common fungus that s been around for a while and doesn t cause massive bee loss on the same scale as its relative and probably works by increasing toxicity of pesticides I also found this super interesting The insect kingdom enjoys little cell repair Humans relate poorly to this truth If a bee is sick, she doesn t get better If she breaks a leg, it doesn t heal If she ruptures her exoskeletal protection, she dries out and dies If her wings are too warm to fly, she dies I listened to on audiobook, and I swear to God I fell a little in love with the voice that reads it It s so evocative and emotionally charged when she says things like this poignant passage Amid all this chaos, the queen sits like a rockstar in a moshpit, laying eggs, encircled by fawning workers attending to her every need That s what a healthy hive looks like But when a colony collapses, when the population dwindles, when the incubating larvae get too cold, when the workers expire in a huddled, fluttering mass inside the hive, or crawl out the entrances to die away from home, and when the queen finally dies too then it is an entirely different scene.Scattered, disheartened survivors, plundering robber bees and wax moths, filth and rot and ruin and invasion, and death creeping in, like a neighborhood abandoned to the junkies And when that happens, the real tragedy is not simply the loss of the 60,000 or even 80,000 insignificant and perhaps soulless individuals but of the future That sort of loss is harder to comprehend The death of a hive is both mindnumbingly ordinary, and mindblowingly sad

  9. says:

    A few years ago I was reading bits and pieces about the mystery of the disappearing honeybee when it came up in the news, though as with most things the idea of yet another thing going horribly wrong just kind of overwhelmed me and I let it slide by lest my head explode Fast forward upon reading a random article on beekeeping the other day and finding myself fascinated with the whole affair I decided it was time to pick up a few books on the creature I really didn t think I d enjoy this admittedly I ve read way too many books of the variety in which a journalist tags along and reports on someone s life and their role in the focal subject and I ve been shying away from that style lately But once Nordhaus sets the context of the primary beekeeper, John Miller, he is only drawn upon to supplement the wider story of bees and beekeeping And with great effect His term for the aggressive Africanized bee had me giggling behavior challenged bees , as I imagined the bees akin to toddlers running amok, in need of shots of ritalin joke and social skills classes.In fact, this is currently my favorite style of non fiction book when I want to learn something while also hoping to really enjoy the subject At first I was eager to read about JUST honeybee science and behavior but Nordhaus covers all angles expertly She takes a broad scope, covering each topic just enough before transitioning into yet another fascinating aspect Beekeeping history, science, the environmental politics surrounding pollination monocropping, pesticides, the contracting of what in nature is a completely natural event the difficult life of a beekeeper, bee health or lack thereof , the recent scourge of the varroa mite destroyed all feral bee colonies in the US , colony collapse disorder, honey types, means of quality identification and the lack of US government regulation and classification pure honey may be up to 80 percent corn syrup.In addition, the history of the bee is an example of how we meddle with and try to control nature for benefit and profit, only for it to backfire spectacularly From bringing them over in the first place they are not native to North America to the effort by seedless citrus companies in California to institute bee no fly zones as pollination results in seeded, ruined fruit Efforts over the centuries to impregnate queen bees, from clamping the vagina open for insemination to crafting a tiny silver penis I cringe, I cringe and I can t help but be slightly affronted for the bee, whether in gender solidarity or the lengths they went through to accomplish this, I do not know Inbred varroa mite resistant drones that can head off infestations but suck at everything else a bee should do Lawns, green deserts , monocropping, and feeding bees corn syrup while robbing them of honey and the theorizing that the result is malnourished bees that are likely to die en masse.My semi obsession with becoming a beekeeper may pass, but I ll certainly be paying attention rather than vaguely deciding I like the flavor of clover honey over that of desert bloom honey In addition, I ll never look at my endless tubes of Burt s Bees chapstick the same way again.

  10. says:

    If you ve ever had any questions about the reoccurring media interest in the demise of the honey bee and how it relates to agriculture and even to us personally as consumers this is THE book to read A well researched, fascinating account that will hopefully have conscientious readers deciding to make changes in regard to their own lawns and what products and plants they choose to use in their own yards I for one will definitely be planting flowers Informative, interesting and well written Highly recommended 5 stars simply because everyone should be aware of the facts presented in this short but very enlightening book.

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