Laline Paull studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theater in London. She lives in England with her husband, photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children.
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Laline Paull talks about her first novel, The Bees
How did you become inspired to write about bees?
My beekeeper friend Angie Biltcliffe opened the magic door to the hive for me. She was dying of cancer, and she said she hoped there would be a flowering of creativity when she had gone. I took that very much to heart. Immediately after her funeral I started reading about the honeybees she loved so much and called "her girls." That was it for me; intrigue became fascination became obsession with the incredible ancient social order that is the hive, and the extraordinary process of making the unique substance that is honey. Bees are quite miraculous creatures.
One of the most remarkable aspects of The Bees is the complex gender politics. How close is this to the reality of the hive?
I'm neither beekeeper nor biologist, but I have tried to do my research as well as I can and I believe that I've got it more or less accurate: the Queen is the only fertile female in her society, the huge majority of the workforce are sterile females, and the small minority of drones exist solely to fly out to inseminate a queen or princess (unmated queen) from another hive. And, yes, when their summer of love has passed, the ...
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