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Die Geschichte der Bienen
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Die Geschichte der Bienen

(Klimakvartetten #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  32,690 ratings  ·  3,123 reviews
England im Jahr 1852: Der Biologe und Samenhändler William kann seit Wochen das Bett nicht verlassen. Als Forscher sieht er sich gescheitert, sein Mentor Rahm hat sich abgewendet, und das Geschäft liegt brach. Doch dann kommt er auf eine Idee, die alles verändern könnte – die Idee für einen völlig neuartigen Bienenstock.

Ohio, USA im Jahr 2007: Der Imker George arbeitet har
Hardcover, 510 pages
Published March 20th 2017 by btb (first published August 2015)
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Orio I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels the same about this book. I too am “struggling” along and I’m ¾ of the way. I’m determined to finis…moreI'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels the same about this book. I too am “struggling” along and I’m ¾ of the way. I’m determined to finish it, but I fear the payoff is going to be a let-down. I totally agree about the Wei Wen story line. But equally of the other two storylines. They just go nowhere. The few connections to bees woven into their stories, are just not strong enough to warrant the title of this book.
I’ll add an update when I finish it.
Well, I finished the book. And, as expected, very anticlimactic. No real resolution with any of the characters. In addition, none of the character are likable or relatable. They all have anger issues and for no particular reason. Very confusing. Just when it got to the explanation of the bee colony collapse, it’s interrupted by the characters senseless behavior. Maybe there was something lost in translation from its original Norwegian publication.
It was a great subject to bring to light, but, unfortunately, this book was not one I would recommend.

Mylène I think that since pollinators are behind 1/3 of our alimentation, if they were to disappear, food would be much rarer and people would want to eat di…moreI think that since pollinators are behind 1/3 of our alimentation, if they were to disappear, food would be much rarer and people would want to eat directly what we could grow instead of feeding it to an animal and then eating the animal. When you go directly to the source you get more than what you would get for one animal so you can feed more people.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  32,690 ratings  ·  3,123 reviews

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Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-german
Actual rating: 2.5 🌟's

Unfortunately, this was a bit of a disappointment for me. I heard so many raving reviews about this book, so I totally expected this to really draw me in and leave a lasting impression, but that didn't really happen. Mostly this was down to the characters. I didn't get a good grip on them; they stayed very two-dimensional throughout the entire book. This is a shame, because I feel that a deeper connection to the characters would have changed my feelings drastically.

The stor
Diane S ☔
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Three stories that are connected, though how is not apparent until book's end. 1851, William, 2007, George and 2098, Tao, tied together by their dependency on bees. In 2098, the bees have all been wiped out, in China they pollinate by hand, a labor intensive endeavor. Each of these three have sons, so this is also very much about the bond and expectations between parent and child.

Very slow start to this book, was tempted to put it down, but I have a profound interest in our environment, espe
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I felt it was too simplistic. I never really connected with any of the three stories. I kept waiting for a plot twist or something that would really catch me, either emotionally or intellectually, but it continued straight all the way to the end. The characters lack depth and everything is over-explained. The ending attempts to bring together the threads, but it feels more like an afterthought to tidy up loose ends, and not something that touches upon the core of the story.
Without bees, the flowers were just flowers, not blueberries, not bread and butter.

3.5 Stars. The three protagonists are multiple generations apart, but their lives are all linked by the fate of bees:

• Sichuan, China in 2098: Pollinating insects completely disappeared from Earth over half a century before, so humans have assumed the bees' role. In order to survive, humans have refined the arduous process of hand-pollination. Children are trained for the job as soon as they enter school and b
All over the world, the bees are dying. Despite considerable research, we don't really know why; it seems to be a combination of several different causes. Evidently, this is not good. But what does it mean in emotional terms? What would be an appropriate way to feel? Having read Maja Lunde's elegant and beautiful novel, I can suggest some possible answers:

- It might feel like being hungry and knowing you're never going to get enough to eat.

- It might feel like helplessly watching your partner be
Tanja Berg
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating 4* out of 5. Read in Norwegian. I feel a teeny weeny bit foolish reviewing this book in English, since it hasn't yet been released in any other country. It's been sold to several and it certainly has international appeal, and thus, I choose to review in English anyway.

This is probably the most un-Norwegian book by a Norwegian author I have ever read. It works though. The book is beautifully written and a joy to read for sheer composition. There are three different plots on different timel
May 10, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Three interconnected stories take us from 19th century England, to 2007 US and 2098 China. Bees play a central role in all timelines, as does the fraught relationships between men and women, generations and of humans to something greater than themselves
I thought I had to choose, but I could manage both, both life and passion

The History of Bees was despite being written in a manner that I really enjoy, through 3 interconnected stories, more close to 3.5 than a full 4 star rating for me.

We have Wi
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I am somewhere between 2 and 3 stars. At first I liked the three apparently different stories. But as I read, I got annoyed and bored. I think one of the main tasks of a writer is to keep the readers interested. This is the difficult job. Lundes message is good and the idea how to present it was also innovative. But i think the whole story would have made a more powerful impression, if the book had been smaller. I think sometimes, that the authors are trying to create atmosphere, and that is why ...more
Mel (Epic Reading)
This is wonderful!
By a Norwegian novel debut author, Maja Lunde; translated from Norwegian The History of Bees is really well written. While I give 80% of that credit to Lunde, a bit of credit is due to the translator Diane Oatley.
Following three different timelines, all related to bees in some way, this is a literary masterpiece.

The three settings
We have 1898, 2007 and 2089 as our time periods. Set in completely different parts of the world as well; England, USA and China respectively.
Of c
Oct 07, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1 1/2 stars.

Obviously, I wanted to like this book. I don't go out and buy new hardback books that cost me over $20 each to hate them. I loved the idea behind this book - three timelines that fleshed out a history of bees: one of which takes place in the past, one in the present, and one in the future. Unfortunately, the concept behind this book is its only redeeming quality.

This novel is told from 3 perspectives - William's timeline takes place in 1852, George's timeline takes place in 2007, and
Lucy Banks
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

A slow-burner, but loving the exploration into the vital importance of bees.

Bees are absolutely my favourite insect, so a book with bees in the title was never going to be overlooked by me. As ever, I wasn't sure what to expect - and was mostly engaged, with just a few occasions where I was left scratching my head.

The story follows three narratives - William, a bee-hive designer /obsessive from the Victorian era, Geo
Alice Lippart
A slow, but interesting and enjoyable read.
3.5 stars for this book. It is a nice book that attempts to connect three timelines, one in the late 1800’s , the other in the early 2000 and the last one in the late 2000’s . The only thing linking them is the bees and how beekeeping has destroyed , supported and changed their life forever. It was a very interesting thing to try and keep up with all these timelines, at first it takes you some time to connect with all the different characters, so I would say it had a slow start. The book picks u ...more
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Rating wise this book is a tough one for me to call. There were parts of it that were excellent while also having parts that seemed to drag a bit. However, the author, Maja Lunde, was able to weave a tale of three generations of bee keepers. Each one covered a time span. The past, was represented by William, a seed keeper who wants to build a perfect bee hive thus securing his fame and his family's future in the world he inhabits. In the present time, we meet George who battles the modern age in ...more
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Definitely between a 3.5/4 star read for me.

Here we meet William, George and Tao. Our past, present and future in regards to our history with bees.

Each character embodies a different personal, historical or familial crisis. In this book change is painful. Humanity is destroying itself trying to tame bees globally; and this relationship is also imprinted on our intimate relationships.

All characters have varying relationships with their sons - it is rather symbolic to tie alongside earth’s relatio
Blending historical, contemporary and future story lines, this inventive novel, originally published in Norway in 2015, is a hymn to the dying art of beekeeping and a wake-up call about the environmental disaster the disappearance of bees signals. The plot strands share the strong themes of troubled parenthood and the drive to fulfill one’s purpose. Like David Mitchell or Louisa Hall, Lunde juggles extremely different time periods and voices admirably. The only sections of the book that dragged ...more
John McDermott
An engaging debut novel about a serious subject ,namely the exploitation of 🐝 bees and the subsequent collapse of the population and what our future may look like without them. Needless to say ,it's not good.

Told through the eyes of three characters from the past ,present and future, The History of Bees also explores the relationship between parents and children.

I liked how the characters weren't always sympathetic and how the author allowed them to make mistakes and get things wrong, just like
Dec 28, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The end of the civilization without virus/zombies/asteroid etc. - humanity slowly starving after destroying nature. Apocalypse is shown through the lives of different people from different parts of the world, to emphasise invisible connections and our humble place in ecosystem. Although the author has given a vague hope for salvation at the end, the novel still is a warning and horrifying prediction for an inevitable ecological catastrophe.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book consists of three connected stories which their connection is not clear until almost the end of the book. When the connection is revealed the three stories become one and it’s actually story of us, humans.

1851/ England: William, an academic which tries to design a new bee hive in order to observe their lives. He’s obsessed with first his research then his son Edmund who seems ignores him all the time.

2007/USA. George. He’s from a generation of bee keepers/ Organic bee keeprs. He takes
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this ARC from in exchange for a review.

This story is told from three exceedingly different views. William lives in England 1852, George in the U.S. 2007 and Tao in China 2098. Each character shows us how important bees are to our society.

As with many translated books, I feel things are lost in the translation. Just like watching a bee buzzing around languidly from flower to flower, the story wandered from here to there to here to there to here ....

Touchstone Books
For starters, our art team did an incredible job with the U.S. cover. Absolutely incredible. And when you see it in person, it's even more beautiful—tons of gold, special effects, I can't get over it. But that's what we had to do to live up to the gorgeous story inside. Would a world without bees be a world without us? You'll have to read it to find out. ...more
nemo the emo ☠️ (pagesandprozac)
this sounds kinda like cloud atlas except with extra bees, which essentially sounds like... MY PERFECT BOOK!!!!!!
Denisa Arsene
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, maychallange
I loved this book. It's an attention to human race, especially in these hard times. It's a sign that we should begin to live in a total accord with the nature, to be kinder and more respectful with everything around us.
I hope that the story will never come true. I can't imagine living in such a world...
Renee Godding
"To live in nature and with nature, we have to move away from our own nature”.

3/5 stars

Before saying anything else, I want to give credit to The History of Bees for its incredibly ambitious set up, thought provoking nature and boldness to send a message on an important subject that it ultimately affects people worldwide: our climate. If this brings awareness to even a small number of people, I’d argue that it has already reached is goal, and deserves some praise for that.
That being said: desp
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is a beautifully written story with an incredibly terrifying message. If the bees die, so do we. Simple as that. The three interconnected timelines focus on bees in the past, present and future. The past timeline deals with the invention of better beehives to aid in the study of bees. It doesn't sound super exciting but this family has a lot going on and they are quite interesting. I especially loved Charlotte, the budding feminist who doesn't let her gender hold her back from reading and, ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
There are three stories in this wonderful novel about the history and destiny of bees and their ties to humanity. The stories take place in 1851, 2007 and 2098. 1851 tells the story of British shopkeeper William Savage, whose dream is to build a better bee hive to ensure his children a better future. 2007 centers on George and his son, Tom. George is a beekeeper who longs to build up his business together with Tom, but Tom’s longings lie elsewhere. In 2098, Tao has the horrendous job of hand pai ...more
RoseMary Achey
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While there are many dual time novels The History of Bees uses three time periods; a historical, contemporary and futuristic to provide a brief history of bees. A historical fiction contemporary dystopian novel-is there such a category? Even if you are not the least interested in honey bees this is such an interesting novel and yes all three stories are related.
Feb 24, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022-read
Interesting, sad, beautifully written, and ultimately hopeful.

This is the first in Maja Lunde's Climate Quartet, a group of standalone climate fiction novels which include The End of the Ocean and the just released in English, The Last Wild Horses.

The History of Bees is three interlinked stories of three different generations of people, featuring a snapshot of the state of their world. The stories are about family, specifically the relationships between parents and children, situated on a backd
Dayle (the literary llama)
QUICK NOTES: Maja Lunde’s writing is exceptional and yet I didn't actually like the story. The words and the way Lunde uses them is incredibly effective but the layout and overall plotline just didn't work for me. It's such a bizarre juxtoposition to like the writing but not actually like the book, but there you have it.

I think my biggest problem was that the stories never felt connected. The ending gave a cursory connection but otherwise I felt like I was being jolted between three different bo
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I continued turning the pages until I came to the passages about knowledge, the same sentences I had read as a child, but now the words made an even greater impression: “In order to live in nature, with nature, we must detach ourselves from the nature in ourselves … Education means to defy ourselves, to deny nature, our instincts…”

Three timelines and three generations of beekeepers are linked in this nightmarish vision of a global disaster due to human interference in the natural life cycle amo
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2022 Reading Chal...: The History of Bees (Klimakvartetten #1) 3 23 Jun 13, 2022 03:42AM  
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A Long Story Short: Book Discussion ~CONTAINS SPOILERS~ 3 17 Nov 01, 2019 09:14AM  

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Maja Lunde is a Norwegian author and screenwriter. Lunde has written ten books for children and young adults. She has also written scripts for Norwegian television, including for the children’s series Barnas supershow (“The Children’s Super Show”), the drama series Hjem (“Home”) and the comedy series Side om Side (“Side by Side”). The History of Bees is her first novel for adults. She lives with h ...more

Other books in the series

Klimakvartetten (4 books)
  • The End of the Ocean (Climate Quartet, #2)
  • Przewalskis hest (Klimakvartetten, #3)
  • Drømmen om et tre (Klimakvartetten #4)

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