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Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation
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Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  14 reviews
" Honey bees--and the qualities associated with them--have quietly influenced American values for four centuries. During every major period in the country's history, bees and beekeepers have represented order and stability in a country without a national religion, political party, or language. Bees in America is an enlightening cultural history of bees and beekeeping in th...more
Paperback, 333 pages
Published April 21st 2006 by University Press of Kentucky (first published 2005)
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Sarah Key
I've never read a book solely based on beekeeping before but have always been fascinated by the process. I learned a lot from this book, and I'm going to delve into that below. So... erm, nonfiction historical spoiler alert? You have been warned, interwebz.

I found it really interesting to see how the gender of beekeepers changed throughout history. From Dutch wives to pastors to the factories in WW2. It was also really cool to read about how bees made their way into American rhetoric

Teachers an...more
Finergrind
Jul 16, 2008 Finergrind rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in the well being of nature and country
Recommended to Finergrind by: Neil Gaiman
I love bees. A swarm would set up in my Grandfather's garage walls, so I spent many a summers afternoon watching them go in and out, and those on the outbound flight would have a young boy following them to see where they landed and what flower drew them in.

_Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation_ was an engaging read. I enjoyed the first part of the book, more than the last part, because the idea that an insect would have such a major impact on the landscape, as well as the conscien...more
Randall
An excellent engaging history of American beekeeping, focusing on some rare topics: the importance of honeybees and their image in diverse cultures, how legislature has effected beekeeping, the socially progressive history of honey operations, and an overview of some to the contemporary problems facing beekeepers. Particularly helpful was an explanation of commercial beekeeping since the '70s and how that's set up many of our current woes (import bans on bees that keep useful genetic traits out...more
Anna
This book has lots of interesting facts, but is a bit scholarly and takes some slogging to get through. Luckily, you won't have to slog since I've posted the highlights on my blog.
Gregg
This book provides a great overview of how bees and beekeeping have affected American history and culture. Horn takes us from colonial times through to the present. including discussion of how bees and beehives became metaphors for American independence and westward expansion. The Mormons and their symbolic appropriation of the beehive is especially discussed. With all of the recent discussion on the "disappearing bees" this book reminds us why bees are important to America on multiple levels.
Steve Hawley
excellent vignettes which of themselves are informative but overall the book is awkwardly constructed the author's argument forced.
Cassandra Carico
This is a book so full of fascinating information. It is sure to entertain and inform. Surprisingly, I don't think that one needs to have a love for bees prior to reading this book, only just a curiosity. The love will blossom as one reads this intriguing history.
Magda
Mar 11, 2009 Magda marked it as to-read
On second thought, I don't know how interested I am in reading this book. It sounds interesting, but it still manages to read like a junior high history textbook in terms of keeping my attention. Maybe another time...
Nezka
Fabulous social history and cultural entomology of the European honeybee in America, including relationships between bees and religion, industry, ethnic background, gender, and politics.
Annette
Honey bees have been a part of American history for four hundred years. This book traces the cultural history of bees and beekeeping throughout history.
Willa Grant
A very interesting work about honey in our history. If you like bees & bee keeping you will find this fascinating.
Aimee
Just too slow moving for me to get into. I guess I'm just not in the mood for scholarly right now. :)
CFAITC
This book is an enlightening cultural history of bees and beekeeping in the United States.
Candice
Brilliant insight into the history of bees. I learned so much.
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