A Short History of the Honey Bee: Humans, Flowers, and Bees in the Eternal Chase for Honey
, 2009 - Nature
- 163 pages
There are around 16,000 species of bee. Only seven of these are responsible for creating the world's sweetest treat — honey. Combining Ilona's gorgeous photography and E. Readicker-Henderson's engaging text, A Short History of the Honey Bee follows the journey from flower to hive to honey throughout history.
A Short History of the Honey Bee starts with the story of the honey bee — why it is named Apis mellifera, how it has evolved from a solitary creature to one that travels in groups, why it stings, and how pollination really works. Readicker-Henderson then moves on to the honey, detailing its history from a wild food foraged for on cliffs to the many varieties available for purchase today.
But it is the everyday importance of the bee that remains the central message. Forty percent of the world's food supply — including apples, tomatoes, and strawberries — is dependent on pollination by honeybees. Colony collapse, when the worker bees suddenly disappear and leave behind the queen and the hive, is an ecological and agricultural crisis. For this reason alone we need to be more aware of the significance of bees.