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A Keeper of Bees: Notes on Hive and Home
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A Keeper of Bees: Notes on Hive and Home

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  50 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
I was hooked. Call it adrenaline surge, call it honeybee venom in my veins–whatever the explanation, henceforth I would need these funky little critters in my life. Givers of sweet, thick honey, bringers forth of the fruits from trees and bushes and who knew what else, they also gave more food for thought than a body could know what to do with.
–from A Keeper of Bees

Alliso
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Random House (first published July 11th 2006)
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Melody
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the parts about bees. The odd interlacings of Hurricane Katrina, Wallace's divorce, her nearly English-speaking dog? I didn't like those parts nearly so much. The authorial voice is warm and friendly, and the writing is workmanlike but didn't strike me as inspired. A pleasant diversion.
Kathy
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
I thought I would like this one more than I did. The parts on the bees themselves seemed well fleshed out and I found them interesting. However the parts on beekeeping and the author's life seemed very superficial. The book just did not work for me.
La
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book as research for my own memoir style writing and to get myself excited about beekeeping. I definitely think that I have a better idea about the lifestyle of beekeeping as well as some new ideas on what and what not to do in my writing.
Jasmine Fogwell
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. A lot of interesting information about bees and bee keeping woven into a story that encourages a love of learning.
Liza H
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarybooks, done
Sweetness and light. The author describes how the Roman poet Horace once stated that the aim of literary expression should be "to blend in one [work] the delightful and the useful." Reading this book, the author's co-mingling with her bees throughout her life, her reflections on such and the changes that her own life made and the bees as they went about changing sunlight and earth into sweetness was very much delightful and useful. My intent, as I go through my own change from self-imposed separ ...more
Katie
Jul 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
bees are so fascinating! i don't know why i picked up this book, because i'd never really been all that interested in bees.

but this book is written in a perfect way to really get me into them. the author interweaves the science of bees with her personal experiences with raising bees and just her general musings on life. the way it all came together just left me in awe of how intricate and beautiful the natural world is.

the book just progressed really naturally and gave tons of information witho
...more
Jennifer
Jun 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is not a how-to-beekeep book, but the author looking at her life and her beekeeping weaved in. The details on beekeeping are fabulous, plus full of great tidbits on the "amazingness" of bees.

The downside of this book is plodding through the Political Correctness of the author. Her viewpoints aren't constantly thrust at you, which sometimes I wish she would just state what she thinks instead of just being so polite and including all sorts of viewpoints to make sure no civilization or belief
...more
Kaijsa
Oct 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Well, it only took 7 years and three or four tries, but I finally finished this one. I loved every word about bees and beekeeping and could have skipped almost entirely everything about her and her life (nothing of which I could relate to). Somewhat random at times, and other times very poetic. 3 stars for the bee parts and the beautiful writing moments. Glad to be done and to finally send this on to Goodwill, though.
LisaKaren
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This author is a writer in the true sense. This is not only a book about beekeeping as about all life and the world around us. She makes words sing on the page! This is not a how to book of beekeeping, but it might be a "why to". She presented a richer sense of what it would be like to keep bees than many other more practical books.
Barbara
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Another memoir--this one with bees. Allison Wallace weaves together science, natural history, philosophy, literary references along with her personal life experiences tending bees. It's a quick lovely read and if you're interested in bees at all, you'll learn lots. My reading has been all domestic lately so I think I have this unspoken desire to simply sew, cook, raise chickens and keep bees.
Erica
Apr 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
A charming memoir filled with essays about the lives of honeybees with some crossovers to the author’s life. For instance, she introduces the essay on hive construction with a story about visiting her mother’s home in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Also covered are flower constancy, the reproductive method, and the honeybee democratic process.
Ann
Aug 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Unlike Katie, I didn't really like this writing style. I was interested in the information she shared about bees--and about her experience with bees--but I had a hard time keeping that interest when she moved to other, more personal, topics.
Rachel
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed learning more about bees and the way they work. The author also wrote some about her personal life. I was greatly saddened when I read about the demise of her marriage. I could identify with her feelings!
Linda
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: country-farm
I hope to learn about bee keeping while hearing some fun/interesting life stories. But it was poorly written and couldn't keep my attention. Only got through about 4 chapters.
Natalie
Mar 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Philosophies of life in parallel with bees. Well written, touches the gamit, doubt I'll ever pick it up again, but it does make me consider hive-keeping should I have the means.
Jodi Ralston
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Humorous and interesting, although I wished for a few more details on the life of bees instead of our own personal life.
Ilana
Mar 09, 2008 rated it liked it
If you ever wondered why beekeepers remain so fascinated with their livestock, and all the intracacies (and they are surely intracacies) of the bees' lives and work - this is the book for you.
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