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review 2018-07-09 07:49
BUZZ by THOR HANSON
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson

TITLE:  Buzz:  The Nature and Necessity of Bees

 

AUTHOR:  Thor Hanson

 

PUBLICATION DATE:  10 July 2018

 

FORMAT:  ARC ebook

 

ISBN-13:  9780465052615

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NOTE: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.

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Book Description:

"From the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers, a natural and cultural history of the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round.


Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.


As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.
"

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Buzz by Thor Hanson is a wonderfully written book about bees - all sorts of bees.  The author does not focus on honeybees, but "celebrates bees in general, from leafcutters and bumbles to masons, miners, diggers, carpenters, wool-carders, and more."  This is not a book about honey-bees and how to cultivate them.

Hanson starts off with why bees are important, then delves into their evolution from wasps, bee anatomy, habitats and habits, as well as the special relationship bees and flowers have.  Without bees the colourful and fragrant flowers we have today would not exist.  There is also a fascinating section on honeyguides (a species of bird), early hominins and their possible evolutionary honey munching habits.  Hanson also briefly covers Colony Collapse Disorder, the decrease in wild bees in connection with current mono-culture farming habits, how farmers are working to provide more habitat for wild bees, and how our food is reliant on bee pollination.

This book is well-written, informative, wide-ranging book on a fascinating topic, made more personal with Hanson's observations and experiences.  Thor Hanson loves bees and this is evident through out the book.

 

 

 

NOTE FROM BOOK:  "A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to help preserve and protect wil bees."

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-06-15 03:13
The Flat Book Society: Reminder - List is open for September nominations - Vote for your favorites!
Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA - Martin Jones
Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law - Peter Woit
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Matin Durrani,Liz Kalaugher
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson

Just a reminder that our list is still open for voting for the September read.  We currently have 10 nominees (we aim to keep it at a max of 12-15) and the current leader with just 3 votes is:

 

Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA - Martin Jones 

 

In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, [...] explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life—–DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock—–have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past.

 

In contention are 4 others with 2 votes each are (as listed above):

Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law - Peter Woit 

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Matin Durrani,Liz Kalaugher 

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker 

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson 

 

Be sure to get over to the Flat Book Society and vote if you haven't already, and if you have a dark horse entry, we still have a few spaces to fill.  If you're not a member already, it's never too late to join!

 

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review 2018-05-06 15:06
Thomas and the Buzzy Bees. - Wilbert Awd... Thomas and the Buzzy Bees. - Wilbert Awdry

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

As a kid, I never really liked Thomas and Friends. The animation of the show kind of creeped me out and I couldn't relate to the problems the trains had (apparently, I don't care about seeing myself as a Very Useful Engine, go figure). 

Anyway, I work with kids and we have been exposing one child to various characters, so I picked this book up at the library. I was pleasantly surprised by this Step Into Reading book. It is a Step 2, but I was really impressed that it actually tells a pretty coherent story. I get really bored with Step 2 books that basically just introduce the reader to characters he or she probably already know. This one actually has a plot and problem to solve.

Still a very simple and easy to understand book, but I liked that it actually told a story.

Nice, simple read for beginning readers.

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review 2018-04-17 09:32
The History of Bees
The History of Bees - Maja Lunde

Three stories: one set in England of the 1850s, one set in the US in 2007, and one in China in 2098. 

 

All of these stories have common themes - bees and the relationships between parents and children. 

 

There was a lot of promise in the beginning of the book, which described a world in which bees had become extinct and the pollination of plants had to be carried out by people in back-breaking labour instead. The descriptions of this potential future were harrowing - food shortages, oppression, everything you could want in a dystopian setting. yet, there was some humanity also in Tao's struggle to find out what happened to her son. 

 

The other two stories were less interesting. They also dealt with bees and the illusions that parents may have with respect to what is best for their children, but at about the half-way point in the book, both stories became a little predictable and stagnant.

 

Still, this was not a bad read for a debut novel. But it just wasn't enough to make me rush out to find more by the author anytime soon either. 

 

Btw, there is not actually that much about the history of bees per se in the book. Just as a point of note.

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review 2018-01-27 10:07
The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow
The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow - Doug Purdie

I think I mentioned in a post just after Christmas that MT got me bees for Christmas.  An old schoolmate of his runs a beehive management business, and either Tuesday or Wednesday next week, after dark, he's delivering our hives to us.  MT has decreed that all the bees will be named Barry.  I've pointed out that all the worker bees are female, which temporarily stumped him.  I'm sure by the time I finish this review he'll have rallied.  Stay tuned.

 

Anyway, my garden is pretty close to jungle status as is, but I'm always looking for excuses to plant new things, and our bees need to feel welcomed.  But I know not all flowers are bee friendly (size, shape, and whether or not they make pollen/nectar), so I wanted a list of particular plants the bees would love.  Our bee guy recommended this book, and MT bought it for me for my birthday, and I guilted him into giving it to me a day early, because he also gave me this cold.

 

The Bee guy did not steer me wrong.  This is a great book for anyone who just wants to attract more bees to their garden.  It's a tiny bit preachy - he's (rightfully) passionate about NOT spraying your garden - but there's a lot of compelling reason to preach it.  Without bees we can kiss about 80% of our food goodbye and bees are in serious decline world wide.  

 

The Bee Friendly Garden is strongly geared toward Australia, primarily in the chapters where he discusses native bees (some of which are SO cool), but more than half the book would be useful to anyone, as a lot of the suggestions are geared toward the European honey bee and the plant lists are almost universal in their availability.

 

I now have a list of plants to look for at the nursery.  Now I just have to find a place to put them.  

 

Update:  MT has named all the bees Betty.

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