From the publisher, “England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive—one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.
United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.
China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao’s young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.
Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.”
Bees . . . little insects that sting. Who needs them? Well, honey does taste good. But really, they can be a bother. OK . . . it seems that we really do need them. The story starts in China, in the near future, with Tao among a group of women painting pollen into fruit trees by hand. The book then follows three people and their relationship with bees. William in the nineteenth century is obsessed with building the perfect bee hive. In the present, George is a beekeeper, loving and tending his bees as his family has done for generations. Tao is living in a world without bees, a world that is starving. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked the book. The three protagonists were so different. There was no connection. But gradually things began to come together, the characters took shape, and I was totally involved. This is a chilling novel, predicting a dire future, that becomes an inevitable future if we fail to protect out fragile environment.
eGalley review Publication date 8.19.2017