For the month of June, I read The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America by Hannah Nordhaus.
This book was pretty sad! All the stories about collapsing colonies, accidents, illness and thefts made the practice of beekeeping seem a little hopeless. But there were happy stories as well – there’s a lot of new research being done to help us understand bees and to improve their lives.
It was fascinating to learn about the history of beekeeping and all the advancements that have helped a select few be successful. The book focuses on one man, John Miller, who has dedicated his life to beekeeping.
If scientists and beekeepers can help bees be more resistant to mites and other problems that can destroy hives, they’ll be able to use less pesticides and other chemicals. There may be some improvements that can be made to the management of colonies as well, including not moving them around the country every year.
Without bees, humans would be in trouble. WIthout humans, bees would be in trouble. We’d both probably survive, but we’re much better off working together.
Update: For July, I will be reading Our Life in Gardens by Joe Eck.