As the granddaughter (and great-granddaughter, and so on) of farmers, I enjoyed the depiction of John Miller, the beekeeper who is prominently featured in Hannah Nordhaus's The Beekeeper's Lament. Calm, hardworking, independent, fascinated by the weather report; Miller is as rural as he is admirable. In a time when many Americans associate the term "agriculture" with massive conglomerates like Monsanto and Cargill, readers will be glad to read about an independent farmer who harvests something other than soybeans and is passionate about his product. This is not to say that the depiction of Miller is quaint and idealistic; beekeeping is a strenuous profession that seems to be on the brink of collapse and, though Nordhaus's story is a sad one, it features an everyday hero.
The recent development of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) - a phenomenon in which bees suddenly abandon their hives ...
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