Weekend Review: Honeybee by C. Marina Marchese

Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental BeekeeperAll it took was one little taste of some real homegrown honey and C. Marina Marchese was hooked.  Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper (2009) chronicles how her bee obsession began when she started collecting honey from around the world and progressed until she left her 9 to 5 behind in order to build her livelihood around keeping bees and starting her business Red Bee Honey. This is the story of how Marchese came to know and love Apis mellifera Linnaeus.

And it really is a love story. In a warm and light-hearted tone, Marchese walks us through her journey to becoming a beekeeper. She goes into detail about how she set up her hive, bee anatomy and behavior, and the many uses of honey. She includes recipes, history lessons, a section on honey tasting, an introduction to apitherapy (the use of bees and bee products for therapeutic purposes), and includes an extensive guide on honey-related terms and the differing flavor profiles created by different flower forages.

Marchese's love for bees is infections and she paints them as amazing little creatures. Her prose is flowing and a delight to follow, but she becomes a bit too cutesy at times. If you are looking for a broad-based introductory resource that will get you fired up about bees, this is it. This is definitely not a how-to guide, however, and the reader who is looking for such will be disappointed. It ends so abruptly that I felt somewhat cheated. The whole book is spent building Marchese and her bees up as characters and weaving their story together with all this other information and yet there is no resolution. No final words of advice or encouragement. That aside, I did still learn many things and it was an enjoyable read. I don't have children, nor am I a teacher, but it struck me as being a good book for the homeschooling parent or any parent who wanted to inspire love and respect for the honeybee. Marchese covers the topic from such a broad range of perspectives, it provides a variety of interest points from which to launch further and more in-depth investigation.

1 comment:

  1. great review! are you thinking of keeping bees?