Friday, June 13, 2008

book review: robbing the bees by holley bishop

I'm scared to death of bees. I'm horrified by their little stingers. Ok, I'll admit - I've never been stung, but in my mind, just the thought of getting stung has been multiplied into a horrific nightmare of traumatic proportions.

So, I have no idea why I picked up Holley Bishop's Robbing the Bees (I think it was on sale), which is a book about bees and nothing else but bees. As I started reading though, I became fascinated, okay, more like mildly obsessed, with bees. And of course, their honey.

Growing up, I ate quite a big of honey, but it was almost always on toast. And it always came out of a squeeze bottle (usually shaped like a bear or a beehive) and almost always, it was the Billy Bee honey brand. I never gave it much thought. As I grew up and my choice of toast-spreads opened up, I kind of passed on the super-sticky honey to flashier options - peanut butter, Nutella, Raspberry Jam....but in the last 2-3 years, I've come full circle and returned to the sweet golden liquid once again.

So the more I read about the wonders of honey, the more I knew I should consume honey - lots and lots of honey!

Just a few of the amazing facts that I picked up while reading this book:

- honey has antibacterial properties and can keep germs from entering open wounds when applied
- beeswax is one of the most frequently used ingredients in cosmetics new and old
- bees have been kept by humans specifically for their honey for centuries

I could go on and on, but it's probably best if you picked up the book yourself before I get sued for plaigerism.

In fact, I was so intrigued by everything that Ms. Bishop wrote that I have, waiting for me in my pantry as I type, a jar of Tupelo Honey and a real, honest-to-goodness piece of honeycomb! Being a city girl, the idea of eating honeycomb is exotic and dreamy. And it's supposed to be good for my allergies (I'm just full of bee facts today!).

I love this book, mainly because it opened up my eyes to everything honey can do, but also because I now have a much greater appreciation of the little honey bee (still hate you wasp!). Of course, this doesn't mean I'm setting up my own beehives anytime soon (besides, they would probably have a hard time surviving the tough Canadian winters in my little urban backyard...and my neighbours might freak), but I am infinitely more grateful for the honey bee's hard work.

The book is so easy to read and is both informative and entertaining, not always the easiest thing to pull off when you're spouting off a lot of facts about one topic.

I still don't want to get stung though.


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