The Bee’s Knees

Curated by: Kayla Thompson, Adult Services, Cape Girardeau Public Library

Hello, readers! In honor of National Honey Bee Day, August 21st, I am going to share a few of my favorite books both featuring and about bees. I read a bunch of these in July when I learned that Missouri’s state insect is actually the honey bee. I had no idea. National Honey Bee Day is always on the third Saturday in August. So the day doesn’t change but the date does. Let’s read about some bees!

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A Year of Keeping Bees by Helen Jukes is a biography following the year that Jukes spends keeping and learning about how to care for bees when they are gifted to her for good luck. Heartfelt and Inspiring, this book takes an interesting look at the biography genre.

Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature by Brigit Strawbridge Howard Howard’s rediscovery of nature through the eyes of different bees and pollinators gives us an interesting view of the natural world, both flora and fauna, and our relationship with it.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri is a fictional work following the lives of the Beekeeper, Nuri, and his artist wife, Afra as their lives in Syria are upended as the result of war. This book has less to do with bees than it does the complex relationships of refugees and their lives after they are uprooted from their homes. It’s a story about love and loss and the strength that people have to continue forward.

The Ardent Swarm by Yamen Manai is the emotional journey of one hermetic bee whisperer in North Africa who sets out on the quest of a lifetime to find answers after his beloved bees are massacred by a group of wasps. His journey sends him into the city where politics and corruption run rampant in the face of the country’s first democratic election and shows Sidi a world that is bigger than he ever could have imagined.