- Paperback: 152 pages
- Publisher: Greystone Books (October 13, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1771640995
- ISBN-13: 978-1771640992
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,317,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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More Than Honey: The Survival of Bees and the Future of Our World Paperback – October 13, 2015
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"Twenty-five years ago, I hung up my bee veil and stopped being a commercial beekeeper. Something had gone terribly wrong.. . . More Than Honey takes a deeper look at the puzzle of Colony Collapse Disorder and explains the true cost of human biological success." —bestselling author Sue Hubbel(2014-12-01)
"Twenty-five years ago, I hung up my bee veil and stopped being a commercial beekeeper. Something had gone terribly wrong... More Than Honey takes a deeper look at the puzzle of Colony Collapse Disorder and explains the true cost of human biological success."—Sue Hubbell, bestselling author and former bee keeper(2014-12-01)
"What’s really frightening about [More Than Honey] sn’t what a hive of angry bees might do to us, but what we’ve done to them." The Washington Post(2015-04-10)
"A wonderfully thorough immersion in the world of bees and beekeeping. More Than Honey leaves one with reverence for this six-legged miracle, and profound concern about the future it faces." Rowan Jacobsen, author ofFruitless Fall(2015-04-10)
"With beautiful photography and many anecdotes, More Than Honey introduces the reader to the fascinating world of honey bees and their unique role in modern Agriculture. It provides a dramatic view of the complex and unsolved challenges facing bees and beekeepers today." Dr. M. Marta Guarna, Scientific Director, Bee IPM, University of British Columbia(2015-04-10)
"The movie More Than Honey opened the eyes of millions to the complex relationship between bees and humans. The book is a perfect next step to gain a deeper understanding of what honey bees can tell us about our future." Walter Haefeker, President, European Professional Beekeepers Association(2015-04-10)
"I consider More Than Honey required reading for anyone who is seriously interested in bee health." Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, The Best Bees Company, author of The Bee: A Natural History(2015-04-10)
"Industrialisation has backed honeybees into a dark corner of the hive. But books like this . . . shed some light." Richard Jones, BBC Wildlife Magazine(2016-01-25)
"Enhanced by beautiful color photographs of bees, this examination of the troubled relationship between humans and bees is a fascinating and educational read for anyone interested in the fate of both species." Publishers Weekly(2016-02-09)
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The book itself is not long, but it's full of information and I think it would be a good place to start for anyone not knowing much about honeybees. The writing overall is extremely good, written in a participatory journalistic style. The book is translated from the original German, so the translator deserves credit as well.
Start with economics, bees pollinate such staples as apples, peaches, cherries, cucumbers and almonds. Almonds are explored at some length since if bees die out the crop does too (pollination by hand would be enormously expensive). That's the crux of the book, that bees are worth many billions of dollars to agriculture, and bees are in fact in trouble. The trouble is parasites, and diseases such as brood disorder, but also something rather new, CCD, colony collapse disorder. Some researchers claim that CCD is caused by certain pesticides, hotly contested by corporations such as Bayer, maker of a disputed pesticide.
Individual chapters could be read separately if a reader chooses. Chapter 2 discusses "Bees in an ideal world," essentially how bees function, and this is admirably written, complex behaviors made highly readable. Chapter 3 discusses bees in the lab, that is studied by scientists, and some remarkable information is in this chapter,. Bees dance to communicate, as is well known, but the dance is performed in total darkness, so how is the information conveyed, by sound and smell? Beeswax turns out to be an amazingly complex material comprised of 200 different compounds of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, acids and esters (the writer comments these are only three kinds of the many complexities).
Chapter 4 describes "customized" bees, that is bee breeding. Chapter 5 discusses "humans as bees", including humans hand-pollinating plants, but also making fake honey. It also notes that beekeeping in urban areas is new and that such bees don't have to deal with the serious pesticide threat common in fields and rural agriculture. Chapter 6 looks at untamed bees, mostly the story of the Africanized bee. This story gets more complex than I have read elsewhere. Africanized bees produce far more honey per hive than the European honeybee, and are resistant to some pests, and have turned Brazil into a major honey producer--at the cost of increasing yearly bee-caused deaths from 25 to 195 (the information is not sourced and no detail is given about it). Chapter 7 looks at bees of the future, the weakest chapter. Bees possibly may be genetically modified, or other bees may be used. Bumblebees are now used in greenhouses for tomatoes, which are "buzz pollinated," the vibrations from the bees' wings loosens pollen.
Chapter 8 is Imhoof describing at length the making of his film.