Stephen's Reviews > A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them

A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell
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Jun 24, 09

Read in August, 2000

I first discovered Sue Hubbell in the pages of The New Yorker. She had written a long article about her life with honeybees and you know The New Yorker, it was indeed a long, long article. Sometime later, I discovered she had written a book about the same topic.

Growing up in the mountains, my Dad was a beekeeper, so I learned to help him with his hives. When I left home, I soon had a colony of my own and tended the bees, canning their golden, sweet honey for a couple of years before I learned I had developed an allergy to their nasty little stings. I had to give away "my girls" but still retain my interest in the little buggers.

Hubbell’s book, “A Book of Bees” was a delightful return to the world of an apiculturist. It’s filled with the facts, history and lore of beekeeping, written by someone who for a time tended up to 300 hives in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri.

“For a long, long time–for nearly forty years–I never had any bees. I can’t think why. Everyone should have two or three hives of bees. Bees are easier to keep than a dog or a cat. They are more interesting than gerbils. They can be kept anywhere. A well-known New York City publisher keeps bees on the terrace of his Upper East Side penthouse, where they happily work the flowers in Central Park,” Hubbell writes. “I have had bees now for fifteen years, and my life is the better for it.”

Her book takes you through the seasons in Missouri, a beekeeper’s year.
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