Monday, 25 August 2008

A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin & Brian McCallum

I've been quietly reading this book whilst on holiday. It is written by two journalists who are also bee-keepers. It sets out the background, history and current thinking over the whole CCD thing (Colony Collapse Disorder) which is gripping world headlines and worrying bee-keepers on a global scale. And dear reader it should be worrying you even if you are not a bee-keeper - read on!

For bee-keepers its a balanced read. No scaremongering just solid research gathering all the possible threads and ideas that may well explain CCD. There is no overall solution offered but some food for thought as to possible areas that as bee-keepers we should be aware of. It adds background to our practical knowledge and fills in the gaps of our theoretical and historical notes. Not a technical read by any means but as a bee-keeper I learnt a lot.

For naturalists its an insight in to bee-keeping both small and industrial scale. If you care about all creatures then its not always a comfortable read as you realise just how bees are treated especially in the commercial world of bee-keeping in the States. Sobering and not a little worrying. Bees are seen as a 'commodity' to be brokered as such. Feels wrong doesn't it?

For ecologists and environmentalists its a must read. Not only to understand bees and their potential demise and the huge implications this has on our food supply, but to view its implications for life on a much wider animal scale. As the authors ask are bees the 'canary in the coal mine'? Is their decline and suffering an indication of our own environmental mess. Are they the sign we need to heed that we are next. What can we learn from this to help the bees and indeed other creatures.

This book is not a sensationalist read; its objective, clearly written and well researched. There is no 'agenda' or authors own pet theory to cloud the ideas. Just calm facts which makes it a more worrying read.

Its an important book.


1 comment:

lynnesharpe said...

Wonderful review. Book arrived through our door last week - really inspired to read it now
Lynne x