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The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America.

The Beekeeper's Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed

America

By Hannah Nordhaus

HARPERCOLLINS

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

John Miller is one of the few beekeepers who still makes a living trucking millions of bees back and forth across the country to pollinate fruit trees. Pesticides, parasites, and Colony Collapse Disorder threaten his hives; low honey prices and bee theft mean that he sometimes barely scrapes by. The Beekeeper's Lament examines the wonders of the apian world that keep Miller (a stubborn romantic who douses his food with honey) tied to his trade, from hives' social hierarchies to the alchemy that turns noxious weeds into sought-after honey varietals. Yet by disrupting bees' natural lifecycles, the large-scale fruit fanning that sustains modern beekeeping may become its downfall. Nordhaus shows that much more than the sweet stuff is at stake-your almonds and summer fruit depend on these tiny migrant workers.

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Author:Oatman, Maddie
Publication:Mother Jones
Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2011
Words:151
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