Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Following the Bloom: Across America with the Migratory Beekeepers by Douglas Whynott

They say beekeepers are the last cowboys. But bees are so very different from cattle. Writes Whynott, "Bees inspire, they make people imagine and dream." His Following the Bloom: Across America with the Migratory Beekepers is a delightful read about a world-- I would assume-- that has since changed dramatically with rampant suburban development and colony collapse disorder, among a multitude of challenges for the bees. Back in the 1980s, Whynott, an avid beekeeper and one-time state inspector, dropped everything to follow the migratory beekeepers, an eccentric bunch who, for the honey produced and hefty pollination fees, hauled thousands of hives across the country, from California's almond groves to North Dakota's clover to Maine's blueberry barrens, Cape Cod's cranberry bogs and Florida's orange groves. The book is deeply researched, the portraits of both the bees and their keepers vivid, and the writing poetic. More anon.