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What's All the Buzz??? Books About Bees

Updated: Jan 11

It seems that everywhere you look, there is a book about bees on the bookshelves right now! Whether you are in a library, bookstore, or running through the airport, you'll have seen the covers for several of the books listed below - even the ones that don't mention bees or honey in their titles.


A while back, I inadvertently read a great novel by Nicholas Sparks that loosely mentioned beekeeping and I was fascinated. I was pleased to learn a bit about their habits and values as I read through this fictional work.


Bee on a yellow flower in a meadow
What's All the Buzz??? Books About Bees

Here are a few of the interesting facts that I've discovered:

  • A Queen Bee can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day!

  • The male bees are called drones, and the female bees (excluding the queen) are called worker bees.

  • Bees have two stomachs - one for honey and one for food.

One of the commonalities among these fictional works is that all of the beekeepers felt it was imperative to talk to the bees, and always keep them updated on occurrences. It may be part superstition, but it turns out that the act of "telling the bees" about anything critical in the household like a death, birth, or marriage is an old European tradition and I love that thought!


Let's explore books about bees and beekeeping!


Purple flowers with yellow background

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan is all the rage right now! This is a unique book with a couple of storylines running in it, slight mystery, plus it provides details on bee keeping throughout.


Told from two points of view, Mad Honey covers a huge list of hot topics including domestic violence, suicide, LGBTQ, teen life, and family dynamics.


Olivia leaves her husband and takes her son, Asher, across the country to start a new life away from the home that had recently become increasingly toxic.


Lily is also relocating as a senior in high school with her mom looking for a fresh start as well.


Asher and Lily hit it off and become exclusive relatively quickly, but just months later, Lily is found dead and Asher is being questioned by the police.


Honey Jar on a windowsill

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a book that my local book club read a few months back and lead to great discussions. I was nervous at first as it didn't fall into my normal bucket of reading and I was only starting to delve into historical fiction. I'm so glad that I read it because I fell in love with the story!


It's the early 1960's and Lily is a young (white) girl who escapes a bad family situation with an abusive father by fleeing with her caretaker, Rosaleen (a black woman). Their journey takes them across South Carolina to another city. The pair should not be together during that time in the south as racism runs rampant, so they are careful not to be seen and make up a story when they finally find a place to stay.


Lily had held onto an image of a "Black Mary" on a jar of honey in a general store. It's the same one that her deceased mother had owned and Lily wants to track down where it came from and learns about the origin of the honey - with the Boatwright sisters. August, May, and June invite Lily and Rosaleen to stay with them, and in exchange, they help the sisters with their bees and honey.


I love the underlying message about the strength in women in this book!


Woman wearing an apron holding aged book

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan is another Historical Fiction novel that I enjoyed - this one coming at my mother's suggestion after her book club read it with positive reviews all around.


While the cover makes it look like it's going to be a "Leave it to Beaver" type of book, it is the opposite. There is a lot of depth in it that I wasn't expecting.


It's set in Britain during WWII and everyone is dealing with issues from death of loved ones to the restrictions in food. Everything was rationed (unless you grew it yourself), so chefs and housewives had to get creative with their cooking to make food taste edible and last as long as it could.


During this historical time, it was common for the news to focus on competitions and contests, anything to boost morale. A popular radio program on the BBC called The Kitchen Front held a contest to find a female co-host.


The four ladies that entered were all unique and had a reason to want to win the event that spanned several weeks with points being tallied up for three different courses. Two sisters signed up - one a wealthy "Lady" and the other a young widow with two children. A poor kitchen maid also signed up and so did a top chef.


The first part of the book focused on the stiff competition and developed the characters. Then the story broadened into more than just a cooking show as they grew closer and friendships blossomed. Light love story intertwined in the plat as well.


Woman in white beach wear walking near ocean waves

Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank is a really cute book for summer reading! A majority of the book takes place in the Carolinas and it's full of southern charm. If that's not enough for you, the author mixes in some Las Vegas storyline to the plot, so you can imagine that it gets a bit interesting.


Holly is a grown woman living with her mother, the "Queen Bee". Holly is also a beekeeper and tends to watch over the neighbor's children as the father, Archie, was recently widowed. She's quite fond of the kids ... and of Archie ... but he doesn't really see Holly in that way.


Leslie, Holly's older sister, returns to the family house after a disagreement with her husband, Charlie. Holly has always been in Leslie's shadows with her mother and things haven't changed much with this return. The big difference now is that Leslie's life isn't quite perfect and the two sisters work to help each other figure out next steps in their lives.


Archie's new love interest is a monster of a woman and it's killing Holly watching the boys get pushed to the side. Their mother had doted on them, and this new fling is ruling with an iron fist.


Holly tells the bees everything, and often take matters into their own wings...


Welcoming house with green front door

It seems that no post of mine is complete without a Nicholas Sparks novel! The Return is a love story that takes place in New Bern, North Carolina when Trevor returns from Afghanistan with injuries that would halt his career as an orthopedic surgeon.


He moves into his grandfather's old worn down cabin that he's inherited and begins tending to the bees. There is a mystery around his grandfathers death and a local girl named Callie that lives in a trailer nearby and Trevor wants to uncover the truth.


While in New Bern, Trevor also meets Natalie - a local sheriff whom he is drawn to. They become close, but he feels that there is a secret that she's keeping to herself.


Good book with multiple storylines and it shows positive ways of handling PTSD.


 

I hope you enjoy these buzz worthy reads and are inspired to explore these literary treasures, experiencing the magic of beekeeping from the comfort of your own reading nook!


Happy Reading!!!


More Book Recommendations!




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3 commentaires


Invité
02 sept. 2023

I love reading and would really enjoy some of these books. I'm always trying to learn something new and bees much just be the buzz.


Debbie

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Invité
02 sept. 2023

Once read a book that has beekeeping in it too and it was fascinating. Would love to read another one, maybe Jodi Picoult’s since she wrote one of my favorite historical fiction books. Thank you for these suggestions, will definitely check them out. - Rosie (keepitglam.com)

J'aime

Invité
02 sept. 2023

Great post! I’ve been thinking of reading a few of these - and now I’ve added a few more books to me “to read” list!

J'aime
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