The History of Bees

The History of Bees

A Novel

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Imagine The Leftovers , but with honey" ( Elle ), and in the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go , this "spectacular and deeply moving" (Lisa See, New York Times bestselling author) novel follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees--and to their children and one another--against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.

England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive--one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.

United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.

China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao's young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.

Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins "the past, the present, and a terrifying future in a riveting story as complex as a honeycomb" ( New York Times bestselling author Bryn Greenwood) that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity.
Publisher: New York :, Touchstone,, ©2015.
Edition: First Touchstone hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501161377
Branch Call Number: FICTION LUN
Characteristics: 340 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Oatley, Diane - Translator


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 04, 2018

Despite the fact that I really dislike the format of jumping back and forth to different time periods (why do authors like this so much?), overall I enjoyed the book. The information about bees, in some ways a subplot, is accurate (as an Internet search reveals). I thought the main theme of the book could be summarized "why have children?" The author does a good job of revealing the dangerous practice of parents assuming too much connection with their children - whether expecting that child to be an extension of himself, or making the child too much the centre of her world.

KateHillier Sep 14, 2017

I like the idea of this book - the triple narrative, the revolution around the very real real-life problem of bees dying off - and the issues that this book makes you face in regards to what could happen if bees just vanished. I think what may have made it a little less enjoyable for me was the fact that I really only cared about the future timeline as opposed to the present day and the past one. I could see the links and understood where the book was going but I guess I didn't really enjoy the ride as much as others seem to have.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CPL

To Top