New This Month

If Bees Are Few. A HIVE OF BEE POEMS. Edited by James P. Lenfestey. Foreword by Bill McKibben. Afterword by Marla Spivak. Published by University Of Minnesota Press. (Proceeds from sales donated to the Honey Bee Lab at Univ. MN). 5.5” x 9”, 300 pgs. ISBN 978-0-8166-9806-6. Hardcover. $24.95.

An amazing number of poems, by over 100 poets, and all, everyone, about bees and beekeepers, honey and flowers, telling the bees and swarms and meetings and even pollen. Some, like Emily Dickinson, Jo Shapcott, and Sylvia Plath have several on this list. But many are just a single sip from the well of what else they did. Most are a half page, some maybe a full page, a few epic poems that go on and on and on a story of the bees.

If you want to recall the classic telling the bees, or Emily’s The Pedigree Of Honey, or Sylvia’s The Bee Meeting, or Issa’s Haiku, or Virgil’s Nature, they are all here, in one, easy to use, and wonderful to read volume. And the pennies raised help build Marla’s new lab. Not a bad deal.


A delightful children’s book came my way recently. The author is a beekeeper who loves to read to children, and if you do, this is a book to explore with a child. That she makes her softcover edition available in bulk for fundraisers is only one more reason to check this out at
Charmingly illustrated, this imaginary conversation with a bee addresses common questions, accompanied by a curious cat and detailed photographs. Simple rhyme and repetition make it appealing to children of all ages and anyone who “bee curious” about this marvelous, important bug. One phrase particularly is repeated often and caught my attention…from the text –

There is on queen bee. She is the only one who lays eggs that grow into worker bees. The queen is longer than all other bees. But still, compared to you, quite small. Because you, a human, are very tall.

If there is a child in your life, or children in your world, check out this wonderful new book.