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198 × 130 × 19 mm
224 pages
117 illustrations
15 Jul 2019

Bee Claire Preston

Claire Preston’s Bee is a history of our long, complex relationship with this industrious, much-admired insect. The book moves from ancient political descriptions to Renaissance debates about monarchy, to the conversion of the virtuous, civil bee into the dangerous swarm of the Hollywood horror flick, and finally to the melancholy recognition that the modern decline of the bee is due to our use of harmful pesticides and destruction of the bee’s habitat.

Written in a lively, engaging style, and containing many fascinating bee facts, anecdotes, fables and images, Bee is a wide-ranging, highly-illustrated natural and cultural history of this familiar visitor to our gardens and parks. The book appeals to a wide audience: those who work with bees and honey; those who appreciate this hard-working, humble creature and its intricate, miniature society; and those too who have an interest in the way the bee has woven itself into the fabric of our culture.

Bee is excellent. I enjoyed every page of it’ — The Spectator

‘It is an outstanding book: marvellously researched and annotated, superbly illustrated and exceptionally well written . . . Preston must have played the bee herself in her meticulous preparation for this book, and she has done this esteemed creature the great service it merits.’ — Times Literary Supplement

‘entomologists will enjoy reading this fascinating little book . . . The pictures and print quality are excellent, and the book is packed with little gems’ — Journal of the Entomological Society of America

‘Even the most widely read beekeeper will find something new here . . . most pages of this beautifully presented book have excellent and interesting illustrations . . . it is a great book to read if you want to gain a wider perspective of bees role within our human society.’ — Bees for Development Journal

‘an entertaining and informative book that reveals the animals richly storied past and present.’ — British Journal for the History of Science

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Claire Preston is Professor of Renaissance Literature at Queen Mary, University of London.

1 The Reasons for Bees
2 Biological Bee
3 Kept Bee
4 Political Bee
5 Pious /Corrupt Bee
6 Utile Bee
7 Aesthetic Bee
8 Folkloric Bee
9 Playful Bee
10 Bee Movie
11 Retired Bee

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