Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Book Review: Fruitless Fall

My sister found this book at the local library and got it for me. I must say this book is a keeper... except that the library might want it back.

It's very well researched and the author expresses himself in a very lively and interesting style that reads like a novel. He inserts humour at appropriate moments that will make you chuckle out loud.

The scientific and biological aspects are very well described using everyday analogies that we'd all understand. Beekeepers will find this book riveting.

Non-beekeepers will get answers to their questions about what's happening to the bees. You don't need any prior knowledge or understanding of bees to enjoy this book. As a beekeeper, you'll find all the research and interviews with the commercial beekeepers, scientists, etc., has been done for you and neatly laid out in a chronological order.

The book starts with the beginnings of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in Florida. From there the author takes us back a little to review the history of bees around the world (briefly and not overdone) but necessary in order to understand how we got to where we are now. He covers some bee biology and life both inside and outside the hive to give the reader a perspective on the sociology of bees through time as well.

He covers the importation of bees, the spread of bee diseases around the world, transport bees to pollinate for the almond industry in California, the laundering of Chinese honey into North America, just to name a bit. Alongside the story of bees, the growth of agriculture is explained. The novel covers the rise-fall-rise of honey on the market and its affect on the beekeeping industry and the bees.

The list of reference material at the back of the book is substantial. I've been researching honey bees for a while now (for a children's novel I'm writing about honey bees) and the sources of information are so great that it's impossible to read them all or keep up.

This book is the finger on the pulse of the industry and condenses the whole story into one very readable book.

There are a few drawings showing the parts of the hive, parts of the bee, etc.

I'll be buying a copy for my personal library. I highly recommend this book as the best source of information on the whole story of what is happening to the honey bee and the beekeeping industry and our future in agriculture.
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