SCIENCES

Liquid Gold: Bees and the Pursuit of Midlife Honey

Icon. May 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781785786051. $22.95. NAT HIST
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Morgan-Grenville considers himself to be more of a bee-finder than beekeeper, and in this debut, he charts his two-year journey into the ups and downs of the Upperfold Bee Farm in West Sussex, England. Propelled by a combination of boredom and curiosity, Morgan-Grenville unabashedly shares how he and his companion beekeeper turned close friend Duncan learned to catch a swarm with bedsheets, along with how to spin both large and small amounts of honey. This story expands beyond the author and Duncan as their families and communities pitch in to help out. Even national politics plays a role as the 2016 Brexit referendum affects the business of his bee contacts. The trial of wasps, mites, hunger, frost and clumsy sheep is tempered with the golden success of honey flowing into jars.
VERDICT A brief but engaging companion to the many beekeeping manuals on the shelf. Recommended even for nonhobbyists who seek comfort in small steps taken to commune with the changing natural world.

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