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The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees
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The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  23 reviews
A unique look at the history, culture, tradition, and environmental impact of honey

The Honey Trail is a global travel narrative that looks at different aspects of how honey and bees are being affected by globalization, terrorism, deforestation, the global food trade, and climate change. This unique book not only questions the state of our environment and the impact it i
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2008)
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Elise Bee
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As a honey lover I really enjoyed this book. If you enjoy honey...and learning new things...I'd recommend this book. LOVED the pictures in the middle too!
It's your standard Michael Pollan meets Anthony Bourdain meets Vegetable, Animal, Miracle but all about honey and bees and their eventually demise (which could ultimately mean our eventual demise). There are some interesting tidbits, but nothing had me really pity the bees. I wanted to see more of the dark side of the honey industry (like in Fast Food Nation) to really hate the big bag honey corporations and do what all these books beg you to do - buy local, buy organic. Instead the author just ...more
I learned some things about bees, honey, and its international trade, and will be paying a little more attention to where the honey I buy originates and what’s really in the jar. However, this book is mostly the author’s travelogue, and not an overly interesting one at that. If she gained something substantial or revolutionary from her journey, she neglected to share. Some sections (countries) were somewhat interesting, but on any number of occasions I found myself saying “OK, 30 pages… One coun ...more
Prior to reading this book I thought that honey only came in that little bear-shaped bottle from the grocery store. Follow Grace Pundyk in her journey across Yemen, Australia, New Zealand, Borneo, Russia, UK, Italy, Turkey, US and China in search of each country's honey secrets. She has a great way of explaining the place and taste, so good that I added a couple of countries to my bucket list. Even though this book was published in 2010, I found it interesting to read about the colony collapse d ...more
Primarily a fiction reader who doesn't eat honey, I may just be converted. Delving into the intricacies of honey production around the world, Pundyk allows readers to vicariously experience the joys and frustrations of her travels without neglecting the informational element. More notably, her passion for the ancient tradition of beekeeping and the "liquid gold" it produces is provocative and entirely contagious. The only drawback is that the book did lack a little of the rosy sheen so enchantin ...more
To quote the recommendation I got for this book: "It's an interesting subject, she's just not a very good writer"-- pretty much sums it up. What should have been fascinating, especially since, to me, bees are tiny fuzzy golden gods and honey is the nectar of our love, was reduced to some stories from a bunch of different countries that all told me pretty much the same things about honey and its production, too much about the author, and painted shallow, inconsequential tales of all the rest of t ...more
I was really really excited to read this book, I love bees and honey and thought it was a great concept. Turns out in practice...not so much. Got a little preachy and like a travel diary on me. Yes, it was great that she went on this trip, but I would have liked her to explain things more in depth. Explain the trade systems, and the way everything integrates. Personal stories are great, but I would have liked a lot more facts and a better balance of interviews. The story felt very one sided to m ...more
Author did a ton of research and went out of her way to really learn not only about the types of honey, but the issues linked with the honey industry. The author discovers that she is not always welcomed and has some unpleasant experiences at various airports.
The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees by Grace Pundyk (St. Martin’s Press 2008) (638.16). This is an interesting tale of honey production and bee populations worldwide. It considers the effect of globalization, deforestation, the global food web, and climate change on honeybees and the ensuing production of honey. My rating: 4/10, finished 10/1/2010.
As much (or more?) about travel/culture as honey. I enjoyed it, but it started to feel redundant in the middle. I got restless. But then it picked up for me again at the end in the chapters about the U.S. and China, not so much because of any great insights or information about honey, but because of the commentary on food systems generally in those countries.
Well, she is a good writer, but not a compelling one. This book received a great deal of press and I fell for it. It is more a memoir or travel book, and less a study of the bee crisis. If you are new to this topic, this book is a good starting point, especially as it concerns worldwide production. But to learn in depth, try Sue Hubbell or Holley Bishop.
Alice Sujata
I first heard about this book on The Diane Rehm Show and bought it the same day.

Her detailed accounts of following bee keepers around the world gives the reader a broader view of the culture, market, and ecology of the countries she visited.
I wish she had saved the chapter on Yemen for last. It was the most exciting.
Recalled by the library before I could finish it, but the book was losing steam for me at that point, anyway. Really interesting story and Pundyk did a ton of travel research, I just wish the book had been compressed to 2/3rds of its length.
If I were to travel around, finding honey, it would be like this...a little haphazard, sometimes ridiculous. Except I'd be married to Ishmael the Turk, instead of Gerhardt the German. And my obsession with bees continues...
Only vaguely interesting not compelling. Less about bees than the author's travels. More about her than honey. Yawn, I put it down after 100 or so pages.
Really interesting and well-written. Covers the author's travels learning about native bees and honey production in disparate parts of the world.
Simple language for non-native speakers like me. Felt like i was with the writer in her juorney. I have learnt a lot about honey and bees.
Interesting look at global honey production; makes you want to run out and save the bees, even if you don't care for honey.
Love it so far, wonderful reading how different countries handle the commodity of honey and the bees.
I think I've given up on finishing this book. I have not found it interesting enough....
Charity Finnestad
You'll be spreading it on everything you eat after reading this book. Loved it!
Jul 10, 2011 Rachel added it
A book that greatly convinces how CCD is effecting us and our world
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