Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees (Thor Hanson)

Thor Hanson’s Buzz is a fascinating read into the world of bees. The author discusses the essential role that the buzzing, stinging, and swarming insects have played over history, providing both a mechanism for plant reproduction through pollination but also food through honey.  There’s a great anecdote about the role bees play in our food chain using a Big Mac and how much of it is a byproduct of some level of pollination by a bee. We won’t spoil the outcome in this review.

Hanson describes the differences between bees and wasps, reminds us that not all varieties of bees sting, and shares the various habitats that each species of bee prefers. Hanson travels around parts of the Western United States, often with his young son, to share his love of bees and expertise in the field. The book also discusses the challenges that bees presently face - both from human-induced factors and other pests as well.

You can tell Hanson truly enjoys his work as his passion for bees lives through each page. While not a long read, Buzz is highly educational and enjoyable. You will learn a lot about how bees operate and gain a new appreciation for them. If you are allergic to bee stings, this may be your only way to enjoy bees up close and personal. I promise you won’t be stung by anything in the book, and I also promise that if you are curious to know more about how much bees do for you, Buzz is a definitive work that you will likely want to keep in your library for years to come.