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...
Beyond the Book
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon in which bees mysteriously disappear from their hives. "The main symptom of CCD is simply no or a low number of adult honey bees present but with a live queen and no dead honey bees in the hive. Often there is still honey in the hive, and immature bees (brood) are present."
Though "scientific literature has several mentions of honey bee disappearances - in the 1880s, the 1920s, and the 1960s," specific cases of CCD began to occur in American apiaries in October 2006, and beekeepers across the country...