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The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees Hardcover – August 3, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (August 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312629818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312629816
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Where does honey come from? Everyone knows the answer is �bees,� but where were the bees when they made their honey? In reading this marvelous combination of travel narrative, environmental wakeup call, and food pornography we learn that China is the easiest fallback answer to the question of where any generic honey has come from. We also learn of the connection between Yemeni honey and terrorism, of how Australian feather-bush honey can heal wounds but has nothing on New Zealand�s manuka honey, which is so antibacterial it can even cure MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infections. In Borneo, author Pundyk is questing for the honey of the giant honey bee, Apis dorsata, which is nomadic and whose honey is also used as medicine, and Russia proves to be as enigmatic as it is famous for anyone trying to get information about honey production. Honey is big business in the United Kingdom despite the fact that they produce little honey, but in Italy people want varietal honeys like they want varietal wines. In Turkey the beekeepers are hobbyists, while in the U.S. bees are shipped hundreds of miles by semis to pollinate crops. Pundyk finally visits China, the largest honey producer in the world, accused of �dumping� honey onto the world market. Full of dauntless travel to backwater areas where no one speaks English, distressing views of the plundering of wilderness areas, and rapturous descriptions of the flavor of local honeys, Pundyk�s book helps us understand the global importance of this liquid gold. --Nancy Bent

Review

Praise for The Honey Trail:
 
"Honey is one of our first foods, and perhaps no other offers such a window onto the world and its ways. In The Honey Trail, Grace Pundyk undertakes a mind-boggling journey to capture a global snapshot of honey, from the fabled deserts of Yemen to wild honey hunters in Borneo, high-tech honey factories in Beijing, and the migrant beekeepers of the American West. She gets places few have been, asks tough questions, and describes her experiences in lively and lambent prose. If you want to understand why honey has captivated humanity for millennia,  The Honey Trail is the book for you."
--Rowan Jacobsen, author of Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis
 
“Opening The Honey Trail is like opening a gorgeous flower, petal by petal, page by page, photo by photo. Pundyk's book is a pointed but optimistic tribute not just to honey but to those concerned individuals working to resolve the myriad of problems facing bees.”--Tammy Horn, author of Bees in America
 
"Grace Pundyk leads us on a fearless trek to exotic places where she exposes the truth behind the world of beekeeping and the decision makers in the business of honey. Jam packed with little known facts, readers will be captivated by Pundyk's marvelous stories and the glories of indulging in some of the world's finest honeys at their source. The Honey Trail is well worth the trip."--C. Marina Marchese, author of Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper

“Lifting the veil on beekeeping and honey production throughout the world, Pundyk skillfully makes vicarious travelers of us all. The Honey Trail is by turns colorful and complex, delightful and thought-provoking.”--Susan Brackney, author of Plan Bee

"Pundyk's passion for honey is as deep as a wine fanatic's dreams of Romanee Conti. I read the book with increasing fascination..." – Eat and Drink Magazine

"A gorgeous book, which is not only an eye opener but also a delight to read, [it]will forever change the way you look...honey." —The Snail, Slow Food USA


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It is a must read for any foodie.
J. L. Wilkerson
Pundyk is in search of the holy grail, the best and most flavorful honey, the unique honey that each of her chosen countries can produce.
James Denny
Fresh, sweet, story on the history of honey in the world.
Julie Hancock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By James Denny on September 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Grace Pundyk's "The Honey Trail" is as much travelogue as it is a narrative about beekeeping and beekeepers. Taking a fresh and different approach to the world of bees and honey, Pundyk journeys to ten different countries, each of which has its own beekeeping traditions and practices.

Pundyk is in search of the holy grail, the best and most flavorful honey, the unique honey that each of her chosen countries can produce. You will journey with her to the desert in Yemen, the rainforest of Borneo, a remote alpine village in northeastern Turkey, the interior forest of Tasmania, mangrove swamp in Florida's panhandle and to remote places in Russia and China.

Her natural curiosity, love of travel, ability to sniff out beekeepers wherever she goes and come up with unusal varieties of honey, Pundyk kindly brings you along for the ride.

Along the way, Pundyk brings out the key and central issues for beekeepers, pollination, honey production, marketing and distribution practices. Serious issues and topical concerns are presented in such a way that "The Trail of Honey" reads more like a novel or detective story. It is a clever and effective writing style that keeps the reader fully engaged. Sleuthing is fun! No textbook on beekeeping could be as factually informative and continue to sustain such interest.

Crack open "The Trail of Honey," take a ride in your armchair and journey with Grace to ten different countries. You will be glad you did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Burkhart on March 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was intrigued after hearing Grace interviewed by Diane Rehm on NPR, and though I'm an avid library user decided very quickly this was one book worth owning. Grace is a flowing, fun author and manages to keep you right at her elbow throughout her journey across the globe... All in search of honey and it's history. This book gives the reader much more though, a great travel guide and insights to places most of us will never get to visit, never mind in such an up close and intimate way. Grace is well networked from previous trips, it seems.
Fascinating stuff, deals with current science, political ins and outs, global markets and best yet, the romance of exotic honeys we sadly cannot taste too! Her passion is catchy.... I am attending a local beekeepers' meeting next week. Honey lover or no, an enjoyable, exciting read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Robert on January 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I heard the author's interview on NPR radio and downloaded it straight to my Kindle. This book is a lot of fun and very light hearted. It's a wonderful journey around the world with the author as she learns not only about bees and honey but about people.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was like being on a quest to find the sweetest nectar, HONEY!
A woman seeks out the places know to have the best tasting honey ever. She
visit many places & runs into some rough & tough honey merchants. Each
honey supplier has their own way of selling & dealing with honey buyers.
A great book for lovers of the honey bee & their precious nectar, honey.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My interest in this book came because I grew up working with honey and bees. Although I have a particular interest - we should all be concerned about the future of bees. Bees pollinate plants and that process is necessary to the continuation of agriculture as we know it.
The author chose to travel to remote and not so remote parts of the world where beekeepers continue to work with bees, that make honey and pollinate crops. Who knew that there were so many strains of bees and so many kinds of honey in the world? She also deals with the economics, logistics and politics of producing and selling honey. And what would a good book be without some romance in it. I would recommend this book to people interested in bees as well as to people interested in the environment and to the active travellers as well as the armchair ones.
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By Amazon Customer on February 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for a relative with some of the honeys discussed as a gift, and it was well received, Very interesting subject, well written and kept my interest.
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