New review of Honey-Maker

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Among many kind words about Honey-Maker: How the Honey Bee Worker Does What She Does, now in its second printing, are those just in from Fran Bach, who edits the Western Apicultural Society newsletter as well as that of the Washington State Beekeepers Association. She writes:

Education and Master Beekeeper committees especially should take note of this one –

Dr. Mattingly uses honey bee anatomy as a guide throughout the book – head, thorax, abdomen and all the parts on and in them; how they are constructed for unique functions and the ways the worker bee uses them to accomplish the many tasks she is consigned to during her short life. Though the queen may be be central to the existence of a colony, and the drone has his (temporary) place, nothing – but NOTHING – could function without the worker bee!

Rosanna Mattingly’s Ph.D. is in Ecology rather than Entomology, though the two are inextricably linked in her life. Her love affair with honey bees proved that, like the aquatic insects she began with, they ‘show us clearly the interconnectedness of the natural world — and our activities in it.’ The book is written from that point of view and therein lies a facility few writers exhibit.

The information is exquisitely detailed, scientific yet written so a non-academic can understand it easily, and well illustrated with her own photographs. Basic lessons are molded around little bits of whimsy, tongue-in-cheek quips and hilarious analogies that draw parallels between humankind and beekind – the interconnectedness of us all again.

I am absolutely enchanted, and find myself reading while other things I ought to be doing wait. I agree (almost) completely with Kim Flottum of Bee Culture Magazine who wrote, ‘I didn’t think there was another way to write a book about bees … This one should be on your shelf.’ I’d qualify that by advising ‘in your hands’ rather than on the shelf.

Many thanks, Fran!