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The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

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An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature's most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee. Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature's most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee. Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees. May turned to her grandfather and the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of neurosis and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May's childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature. The bees became a guiding force in May's life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.


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An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature's most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee. Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature's most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee. Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees. May turned to her grandfather and the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of neurosis and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May's childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature. The bees became a guiding force in May's life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.

30 review for The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

  1. 5 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN*

    Thank you to HARLEQUIN-Trade Publishing-Park Row for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley. This is a wonderful book about a girl growing up in the seventies amidst family upheaval and discord. As the book begins, Meredith and her little brother Matt are living in Rhode Island with their parents. The tension between the parents is so thick you can cut it with a knife. However, it is the simmering violent anger from the mother that is particularly unsettling. Following a final explosive a Thank you to HARLEQUIN-Trade Publishing-Park Row for providing an advance reader copy via NetGalley. This is a wonderful book about a girl growing up in the seventies amidst family upheaval and discord. As the book begins, Meredith and her little brother Matt are living in Rhode Island with their parents. The tension between the parents is so thick you can cut it with a knife. However, it is the simmering violent anger from the mother that is particularly unsettling. Following a final explosive argument, the Mom packs up the kids and they board an airplane to California where their grandparents live in Big Sur. Mom Sally arrives at her parents' house, once again taking over her childhood bedroom. As the weeks, months and years go by, Sally retreats into her bedroom where she sleeps, smokes and lets her mom (Granny) and stepdad (Grandpa) tend to her kids- shirking all responsibility. Granny is a schoolteacher and a little more stiff and formal when rearing her grandkids. However, Grandpa is another story. When Meredith is faced with the unhealthy and odd behavior of her unfit mother, she is literally saved by the loving, wise and gentle nature of her Grandpa. While Meredith is mentally (and occasionally physically) abused by her mother Sally, she finds comfort and ease in the presence of Grandpa. Everything makes sense around Grandpa, and Meredith can just...be. Meredith's grandparents live in a little red house, but nearby on the property there is an old military bus. Inside, Grandpa has painstakingly rigged it as a honey bottling operation. Little by little, Grandpa tells Meredith all about the working of the bee hives he maintains here on the property and others miles away in Garrapata Canyon. The very sensible and cooperative work environment of the bees are a marvel to observe, and Meredith is totally enchanted by them. Where Meredith finds chaos with her mother, she finds peace and a system of perfect sense in the life cycle of the bees. Over time Meredith (and later, her little brother Matt) became adept helpers to Grandpa with his beehives, as he manned a lucrative business providing honey to regular customers. There were a few truly horrific passages of abusive behavior on the rare occasions mom Sally attempted to take the kids on outings, and they were only for selfish motives. There were also frustrating reactions from Sally's mother who seemed to only placate her daughter in an attempt to make her calm. In the end, it was the grounded and quiet wisdom of Meredith's Grandpa who counseled her just to appease her mother until she was old enough to make her own life. I learned so much about bees reading this book, and I am truly amazed at their clever and logical working environment. I was so intrigued by what I'd learned that it inspired me to watch YouTube videos about bees! Yes, in the end Meredith was truly saved by her Grandpa, the honey bus and bees. This is a true story, a heartfelt memoir which made it ever more special to read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    There is no doubt that a book one identifies with has more meaning, but I had no clue how close this book would come to mine. Like Meredith, I was five, and though I did not have a you get brother, I did have a you get sister, when my parents divorced. Like Meredith's mother, mine too took us to live with my grandparents, but luckily my mother was nothing like Meredith's. She did leave us during the week, taking a train into the city to work, returning only on weekends, but she was a loving moth There is no doubt that a book one identifies with has more meaning, but I had no clue how close this book would come to mine. Like Meredith, I was five, and though I did not have a you get brother, I did have a you get sister, when my parents divorced. Like Meredith's mother, mine too took us to live with my grandparents, but luckily my mother was nothing like Meredith's. She did leave us during the week, taking a train into the city to work, returning only on weekends, but she was a loving mother when she was there. I too became close to my grandfather, and though he didn't keep bees , he was a great woodworker, building two lonely little girls, there own playhouse. This close relationship we forged with my grandparents lasted throughout their lives. Meredith, learns early she must take care of herself and her younger brother. Her mother lost in grief and pity, would of could not be the mother they needed. It was their grandfather that showed them love and introduced them to the world of bees. This world is one the reader also learns a great deal about, and a world that saves two lonely little children. It is touching, stirring, frustrating and reaches right into the readers heart. It is wonderfully told, without pity, but evoking emotional responses, all the same. It is a warning about the plight of the honey bee, these bees that provide a third of the worlds food. How quickly they are disappearing, giving various reasons why this is so, and what can be done. I loved both the story and the information imparted. It is important, another example of how we are abusing this planet and it's inhabitants, human or not. It is also an ode to grandparents, an example how one loving relationship can change a life, blood relationship or not. I loved it and sent a silent thank you to my long gone grandparents, a simple thank you will never be enough. It took me a little time to get used to the narrators voice, but soon I was so into the book, it no longer mattered.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Library - overdrive ebook! Many thanks for the 3-day warning that the book was due!!!! Meredith May was a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle! I wish I can say I remember reading her articles. I’m sorry, I don’t. This is Meredith May’s memoir. It’s ABSOLUTELY TRUE what other readers have said. THIS IS A VERY MOVING STORY!!! I don’t think it’s easy to finish reading it and not shed a few tears. What could’ve been a very tragic story for a couple of children...was completely altered by loving Library - overdrive ebook! Many thanks for the 3-day warning that the book was due!!!! Meredith May was a journalist at the San Francisco Chronicle! I wish I can say I remember reading her articles. I’m sorry, I don’t. This is Meredith May’s memoir. It’s ABSOLUTELY TRUE what other readers have said. THIS IS A VERY MOVING STORY!!! I don’t think it’s easy to finish reading it and not shed a few tears. What could’ve been a very tragic story for a couple of children...was completely altered by loving grandparents and lessons from nature. ....It’s the book I needed to read! ....The perfect gift book... ...The perfect book to nourish our hearts - and without sounding trite... our faith in God. 🐝 Bees taught Meredith wisdom. 🐝 It was from the honeybee, a species that had been surviving for the last hundred million years, that she learned how to persevere. Meredith’s grandpa taught her the hidden language of bees. His stories about the colony’s shakespearean plot to overthrow the queen and its hierarchy of job positions swept her away to a secret realm when her own life became too difficult. “So work the honeybees, creatures that by a rule in nature teach the art of order to a peopled kingdom”..... William Shakespeare, Henry V Meredith learned at a young age, from her grandpa that bees follow the queen because they couldn’t live without her. Even bees needed a mother. Bees needed the warmth of a family. One day, just before Meredith’s fifth birthday her parents divorce and she found herself on the opposite coast in California, squeezed into a bedroom with her mother and younger brother in her grandparents tiny house in Big Sur. She began following her grandpa everywhere climbing into his pick up truck and going to work with him. It was the beginning of her education in the bee yards. Meredith was right... ( all at age 5)....when she looked around.....she thought: “Carmel Valley felt like a secret Garden and one of my fairytales, sealed off from the rest of the universe”. Yes... yes.... yes... John Steinback might have agreed too. Grandpa built a Willy Wonka bus out of beekeeping equipment. It was his ‘honey bus’. Grandpa said, “ it’s not a place for little kids. Maybe when you’re 50, like me”.... Ha... but don’t think for one minute, Meredith would stay away. She took bee stings without crying. It was nice to witness a young child feel pride about herself.... experience her own courage. We felt the special bond developing between grandpa and Meredith right away. Meredith and her grandpa had priceless relationship. Sooo moving - so inspiring!! Truly inspiring. ( I know - the word inspiring- is over-used) ... but It fits!!! REALLY FITS!!! The year was 1975 and as Meredith snooped around her grandparents house she saw stacks of life magazines with JFK, Elvis and the first astronaut is on the cover. I started to feel rather nostalgic, myself. As part of Meredith’s education.... along with her younger brother Matthew, every evening after dinner they climbed into the recliner with their grandpa to watch his favorite nature shows. Meredith was deeply missing her father... yet she wasn’t allowed to talk about him because it made her mother to sad. While her mother fell into a deep depression...the grandparents looked after Meredith and Matthew with so much love - any child would have loved to be in their care. Summer in Big Sur: Meredith started spending much of her time in the eucalyptus tree on her grandparents property. Her mother smoked and stayed in bed all day. Meredith was trying not to bother anyone - but she felt lost - displaced - alone - and confused about why her father was no longer in her life - ( to learn more as the story goes on). Grandpa wanted to help his granddaughter- Meredith was determined not to come out of the tree...stubborn little girl...😏 Until...Gramps said, “Come down and help me find the queen bee” What child wouldn’t go racing into their grandpa’s arms? Each year grandpa’s hives produced more than 500 gallons of honey that he delivered to his Big Sur customers, plus a few local restaurants and grocery stores. Fall came around - 1975 The children were staying in California… They would no longer be returning to their Rhode Island home. Her grandma enrolled Meredith at Tularcitos Elementary..... in the Carmel Valley unified school district. The school still remains active with school children today!!! I love knowing this!!! Back in the 70s it was common to see young kids as young as 5 years old, like Meredith was walking everywhere by themselves in Carmel Valley. Crime was rare. Kids were latchkey kids without a key. Was I the only reader thinking “ the good old days?/! When Meredith was 7 years old, a note came wanting the kids to go back to Rhode Island and meet their father and his new wife. They haven’t spoken to him once since they left two years ago. It was decided that Matthew was too young to fly. They let Meredith go... but her mother and grandparents weren’t happy about it. With a ticket that said Unaccompanied Minor, Meredith was the only kid on the plane. Just a hint about dad: All the letters dad had been sending for two years, was kept from the kids. Can’t give all the spoilers away. 🤫 THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL BOOK WORTH READING! It takes about 4 hours of your time. “Bees live for a purpose far grander than themselves, each of their small contributions combining to create collective strength. Rather than withdrawing from the daunting task of living, as our mother had done, honeybees make themselves essential through their generosity. By giving more than they took, bees ensured their survival and reached what might be considered a state of grace”. I have fallen in love with Meredith May ... her childhood and the bright amazing woman she is today!! As a child Meredith said: “I Wanted to understand everything that the bees were doing, to be able to read them the way he could. Because when I let myself get lost in a beehive, my mind would stop spinning. I was able to slow down and relax with the task of simply paying attention. Serenity came as I shifted my worried mind to the bees and their behaviors. I felt a comforting assurance that there was a hidden life all around me, and that made my own problems seem smaller somehow”.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    I usually never gravitate towards reading memoirs but something hit home when I saw this cover and was intrigued. I can tell you... I felt so at home in my heart and soul through this book! I'm so glad that I took a chance on this book because it truly was a beautifully written story about pain, grief, and the power of love despite coming from a dysfunctional family. Meredith and her brother Matthew grew up in a very dysfunctional family net. Both of Meredith's parents broke up in the beginning re I usually never gravitate towards reading memoirs but something hit home when I saw this cover and was intrigued. I can tell you... I felt so at home in my heart and soul through this book! I'm so glad that I took a chance on this book because it truly was a beautifully written story about pain, grief, and the power of love despite coming from a dysfunctional family. Meredith and her brother Matthew grew up in a very dysfunctional family net. Both of Meredith's parents broke up in the beginning resulting in Meredith and her brother moving to California to live with their grandparents. Meredith grew up with the loss of a father figure by her side but soon formed an unbreakable bond with her step grandfather. Meredith's grandfather was a bee keeper and Meredith soon grew fascinated with her grandfather's stories of bees. Her grandfather used bees and the complexity of nature to help Meredith grow and thrive through her pain as a child. Meredith's mother was extremely absent and emotionally abusive to her growing up as a child into a teenager. Meredith beautifully interweaves her memoir about the complexity of pain, love, growth, forgiveness, strength, and grief through nature and honeybees. I was blown out of the water with the symbolism and beauty behind these pages. I truly enjoyed this memoir and Meredith's story of her being saved by honeybees! Powerful and uplifting!! 4.5 honey stars!! Huge thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin/Park Row for the arc in exchange for my honest review. Publication date: 4/2/19 Published to Goodreads: 1/20/19

  5. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    Sometimes a book just hits you hard; this book was like that for me. My childhood was nothing like May’s whose mother had major depression for years and neglected her children, serving up dishes of emotional abuse instead of the nutritive care that children deserve. I have children very close to me, however, whose parents were often negligent. I took one of them to therapy for years and the therapist told us that neglect is perhaps the most potent form of abuse. May’s mother never seemed to reco Sometimes a book just hits you hard; this book was like that for me. My childhood was nothing like May’s whose mother had major depression for years and neglected her children, serving up dishes of emotional abuse instead of the nutritive care that children deserve. I have children very close to me, however, whose parents were often negligent. I took one of them to therapy for years and the therapist told us that neglect is perhaps the most potent form of abuse. May’s mother never seemed to recover from a break-up with their father. As she relocates with her children to her mother and stepfather’s home in California, May writes of her mother, “somewhere thirty thousand feet up over Middle America, she (her mother) had relinquished parenthood.” When they move in with Granny and Grandpa, May and her brother Matthew are taken care of by their grandparents, for their mother stays secluded in the bedroom. Granny, whose personal history is finely dovetailed into her emotionally immature daughter’s, supports this behavior, and it is Granny who rules the roost. As I read the book, I lament, if they had only gotten her the help she needed, but they do not, and the emotional and life dysfunction of May’s mother becomes a way of life for all of them. It is the beekeeper Grandfather, Franklin Pierce, who really steals my heart. Whereas their mother is inaccessible, and Granny has the attitude that these children (Meredith and her younger brother, Matthew) have disrupted her peace, have come to steal her valuable time, Grandfather is not only accessible, he welcomes the children into his life and beekeeping world. He teaches the children about the ways of the hive, how the bees support one another, and the lessons prove invaluable to them. He shows up for Meredith at school on a father-daughter night and entrances her friends and their fathers with beekeeping tales. It’s not an easy life for May, especially when she sees how her friend’s mother, a single mother also, lavishes her family with love. This book shows in great detail the toxic effects of Granny’s enabling. Grandfather, however, is magical and his impact on the children’s lives is positive and empowers them with familial love and nurturing support. Their father sees them one week out of the year and is too far away to know what their lives are really like, and they do not tell him. The narrator for the audiobook that I listened to is Candace Thaxton. She has a very interesting voice that I find hard to describe, with an intonation that goes higher at the end of some words. At first, I wasn’t crazy about her, but as my interest in the story grew, and I was quickly engaged, her narrative style grew on me and became inseparable from the author’s voice. It was Meredith May telling me this story and I cared and wanted the best for her. In an interview with May, she discloses that this memoir took her seven years to write and that she wrote it first as a “monster-mom memoir.”(1) Her agent wanted her to rewrite it and she did, making it into the heartfelt remembrance it is. May is now a fifth-generation beekeeper who worked writing other people’s stories for many years as a journalist. This book is sorrowful, but May’s genuine affection and gratitude for her Grandfather shine through like a beacon for other grandparents and surrogate parents. Like the bees, what they do is for the greater good and there’s no way to estimate the powerful impact of such love on the life of a child. (1) https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/book...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I don't read memoirs about dysfunctional childhoods. They're depressing and there are too many people in my life who've had bad childhoods, as well as sad stories you see on the news. I was attracted to Meredith May's memoir only for the bees and I love it so much I haven't shut up about it. Long after I forget her painful family issues I will remember this book with love. It's all because of Granddad and the bees. May's memoir covers her life from ages five to fifteen, with an epilogue. When she I don't read memoirs about dysfunctional childhoods. They're depressing and there are too many people in my life who've had bad childhoods, as well as sad stories you see on the news. I was attracted to Meredith May's memoir only for the bees and I love it so much I haven't shut up about it. Long after I forget her painful family issues I will remember this book with love. It's all because of Granddad and the bees. May's memoir covers her life from ages five to fifteen, with an epilogue. When she was five her parents split up. Her mother moves her and her little brother from Rhode Island to Carmel, California where Meredith's grandmother lives with her husband of nineteen years, E. Franklin Peace, a fourth-generation beekeeper and a remarkably kind and wise man with no children of his own. Both he and her grandmother are descendents of Carmel Valley's original pioneers. The couple doesn't have much money but they live on a good-sized property in Carmel, and Granddad owns land in beautiful Big Sur on which he raises most of his honeybees. Meredith's mother is depressed and volatile and it seems like her father has abandoned his children. Their grandmother is stern and cold-hearted, which begs the question of why this well-loved man aptly named Peace gave up his happy single life for her. Whatever, he and his honeybees are the heroes of Meredith's life and of the book. It is he who was Meredith's lodestar. Granddad has many hives in Big Sur and some near the house. He harvests all the honey in a big bus parked at home. Peace loves his bees, raises them naturally, knows everything there is to know about his own and other kinds, cares deeply about their welfare and is endlessly enthusiastic about all bee things great and small. Meredith has understandable difficulty adjusting to the challenges of her new life. Granddad is the one person who always has her back and he uses the bees as a tool to guide her, imparting life lessons in his gentle, loving way. He also genuinely wants to teach her all the science and art of raising them, and via her memoir the reader learns along with Meredith and shares her growing enthusiasm and fascination. May writes in an easygoing style and Peace is a patient teacher. I knew less than I thought about bees. All creatures are fascinating but bees are especially, and there is so much to learn. I had no idea how specific each one's job is. About the myriad ways in which they use their wings, bodies and antennae. Or that the tiniest movement has a very specific function. To pass on information they wiggle their butts, move their antennae, position their heads and establish formations in very particular ways. The details are all in the book and there's much more. There's also brief information about threats to their continuing health and survival. I think we all know life as we know it on our planet depends on bees. There's a part where Granddad teaches Meredith how to look closely to spot and interpret honeybees' distinct dance moves. During that part and after I had a mental picture of Bee Girl from the "No Rain" video. Bee Girl's exuberance matches Meredith's, and mine, at the wonder of it all. It's a special book. I'm smiling as I type this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cathrine ☯️

    4 ✚ 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 I couldn't completely love this one because of the audio narrator Candace Thaxton. The only time I warmed to her was when she changed her voice and inflection doing a different character, but the story was so well done that it overcame that issue for the most part. I live down the coast from Big Sur so loved the setting and the way bee keeping and appreciation was such a huge part of this memoir. If you aren't wise to their ways this is a superb opportunity to learn about their fascina 4 ✚ 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 I couldn't completely love this one because of the audio narrator Candace Thaxton. The only time I warmed to her was when she changed her voice and inflection doing a different character, but the story was so well done that it overcame that issue for the most part. I live down the coast from Big Sur so loved the setting and the way bee keeping and appreciation was such a huge part of this memoir. If you aren't wise to their ways this is a superb opportunity to learn about their fascinating culture. A very touching, sad, yet sweet ode to surviving a traumatic childhood with the help of a real grandpa unlike any other and the example nature sets before us.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    In my view, the cover, the title and the book description are misleading—the tone conveyed is too upbeat, too sunny, too happy. This book is about a dysfunctional family, the author’s family. When Meredith May was five and her brother three, her parents divorced. The kids were taken by their mother across the country from Rhode Island to Carmel, California, to live with their maternal grandparents, but their mom is depressive and seriously, mentally ill. She puts herself in her bed, in her room, In my view, the cover, the title and the book description are misleading—the tone conveyed is too upbeat, too sunny, too happy. This book is about a dysfunctional family, the author’s family. When Meredith May was five and her brother three, her parents divorced. The kids were taken by their mother across the country from Rhode Island to Carmel, California, to live with their maternal grandparents, but their mom is depressive and seriously, mentally ill. She puts herself in her bed, in her room, and does not come out. Not for merely a few days, or a few weeks or months but for years. When she eventually does leave the room, what she does and says to others is so cruel, so scathing, it seems a pure miracle that her two kids have survived. She physically and mentally abuses the kids, particularly Meredith. It is not uncommon for such behavior to pass from one generation to the next, and it is this that we observe here when we learn about the other adults in the family. Meredith speaks of her childhood, from the age of five through her teen years, the details more and more sparse as she grows older. She learns how to get by until the day she can leave home, escape. Her grandpa is the one beacon of light in her life. Actually, we come to learn that he is her step-grandpa. It is he that is the savior of both her and the book. Without him, the book would simply be just too grim. He is kind. He is down to earth. He takes the time to listen to her when she needs to talk. He is there for her, and no one else is. He is a beekeeper. He loves bees and in them he sees how people should behave, but don’t. He shares what he has learned from bees with her. In doing so he gives of himself. As he shares with her all that he knows about his beloved bees, he teaches her not only about bees but about life itself. As he instructs her about bees and beekeeping, we learn too. Although I am glad her step-grandfather reached out to her, and he did it in the only way he felt he could, I do wish with my whole heart that he had taken the initiative to bring in outside help. The family sorely needed help, both psychological counseling and financial aid. I believe it was his kindness that got Meredith through. Kindness is a powerful tool. What the reader learns about bees is fascinating! In this memoir the author relates how she remembers feeling. Now an adult, she is looking back on her childhood. Some of the thoughts expressed are those of an adult. Other thoughts are those of a child. The mix of the two is at times jarring. Particularly the thoughts attributed to the author’s three-year-old brother seemed too mature to me. The sole aspect of this book that is heartwarming is the relationship that develops between Meredith and her step-father. I found the book to be primarily a disturbing, depressing, sad read.The information about bees is interesting, but let’s be realistic, they offer no immediate solution to this family’s serious problems. I didn’t expect this book to be so depressing! I do not like this book, but I have found it to be reasonably well done. The audiobook is read by Candace Thaxton. She uses different intonations for different speakers. When expressing Meredith’s thoughts and words, each sentence, and often even separate words which she wants emphasized, end on a high note. The result is a singsong cadence that sounds superficial and unnatural. Unfortunately, a large portion is read in this manner. The other intonations are much better and the words are always easy to hear, so I have given the audiobook narration three stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    I don't really have a whole lot to say about this one except that I LOVED it!! I love so many memoirs, and this one is no exception. I love being able to read about people's lives that are so different from my own. Plus the honey bee aspects of the story were extremely fascinating. I wished the author would have read the audio book, but the narrator used was very good. Meredith May grew up in a dysfunctional home with a volatile mother and mostly absent father. When her parents divorced, she fou I don't really have a whole lot to say about this one except that I LOVED it!! I love so many memoirs, and this one is no exception. I love being able to read about people's lives that are so different from my own. Plus the honey bee aspects of the story were extremely fascinating. I wished the author would have read the audio book, but the narrator used was very good. Meredith May grew up in a dysfunctional home with a volatile mother and mostly absent father. When her parents divorced, she found herself in the care of her Grandmother and Grandfather. Her mother was crippled with depression, and was essentially worthless as a mother. Her Grandmother was strict and not very "grandmotherly". Enter Meredith's Grandfather -- I loved this man! He was a beekeeper who made honey in an old military bus in their yard. I loved the bee element and how the author compared bee life with family and life in the real world. These viewings of nature right before her eyes taught Meredith about loyalty, relationships, survival, and many other things. Her Grandfather and these magnificent creatures were an escape from her mother and miserable existence. I loved the part in the Memoir where her Grandfather came to her school in replacement of "Dad Night". She was so worried it was going to make her be more of an outcast, but everyone loved him. He dressed all snazzy, got cleaned up, and entranced the children and parents. He was such a wonderful man and I'm so glad Meredith had him in her life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Dawn

    “Bees need the warmth of family; alone, a single bee isn’t likely to make it through the night.” THE HONEY BUS is a touching memoir of Meredith May’s 1970s childhood in Big Sur, California. At age five after her parents’ divorce, Meredith, her mother, and brother left their home in Rhode Island to return to Big Sur to live with her maternal grandparents in their small home. Meredith was left rudderless, as she had lost her father physically and her mother emotionally, to severe depression and viole “Bees need the warmth of family; alone, a single bee isn’t likely to make it through the night.” THE HONEY BUS is a touching memoir of Meredith May’s 1970s childhood in Big Sur, California. At age five after her parents’ divorce, Meredith, her mother, and brother left their home in Rhode Island to return to Big Sur to live with her maternal grandparents in their small home. Meredith was left rudderless, as she had lost her father physically and her mother emotionally, to severe depression and violent mood swings. Meredith struggled at first to fit in at school with children who exuded joyfulness, which was unknown to her. With the attention of her grandfather, a beekeeper and outdoorsman, Meredith slowly began to heal and thrive. Meredith began to accompany her grandfather on his errands, and he began teaching her the art of beekeeping. The extreme concentration and calm that beekeeping required helped Meredith to focus on beekeeping instead of her worries. Her gentle grandfather taught her the wisdom of the beehive in metaphors that easily translated into life lessons. Together in the old dilapidated military bus in which they bottled honey, they talked privately about their hopes and cares. THE HONEY BUS is a hopeful, heartwarming memoir that is a testament to the transformative power of nature and a grandparent’s love.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    When Meredith was 5, her parents separated and she moved with her mother and brother to her maternal grandparents' home. Her grandfather the beekeeper introduces her to the world of honeybees. It is a comforting, rural memoir and bees have great metaphor potential that the author utilizes through her Grandpa's voice. Research on bees runs throughout with a somewhat sad epilogue combining her grandfather's aging with the bee crisis. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGal When Meredith was 5, her parents separated and she moved with her mother and brother to her maternal grandparents' home. Her grandfather the beekeeper introduces her to the world of honeybees. It is a comforting, rural memoir and bees have great metaphor potential that the author utilizes through her Grandpa's voice. Research on bees runs throughout with a somewhat sad epilogue combining her grandfather's aging with the bee crisis. I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. It came out April 2, 2019.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    A memoir of a young girl whose parents divorced and she and her brother were raised by their grandparents in Carmel, CA. Her grandfather was a beekeeper with hundreds of hives, and he and the bees saved her sad childhood with a distant, psychotic mother. I had no idea bees were so smart and have such an advanced society, but as the author points out, we can learn a lot from them. The grandfather was the star of this one though. Such a gentle, kind man.

  13. 5 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    3.5 stars. This is a sad memoir, not just because of the dysfunction in Meredith May's childhood caused by her depressed mother, but because it focuses in on what will happen if we don't pay attention to our waning honeybee populations. Wake up call. This is a crisis we all need to be worried about as it's not going to fix itself. Meredith's grandpa was a fifth generation beekeeper and taught her how to care for the bees and assist him in every way. He was a fount of knowledge and she learned well 3.5 stars. This is a sad memoir, not just because of the dysfunction in Meredith May's childhood caused by her depressed mother, but because it focuses in on what will happen if we don't pay attention to our waning honeybee populations. Wake up call. This is a crisis we all need to be worried about as it's not going to fix itself. Meredith's grandpa was a fifth generation beekeeper and taught her how to care for the bees and assist him in every way. He was a fount of knowledge and she learned well about their habits and the makeup of their community, from the queen to the drones to the workers. I found all these details of bees' lives just fascinating. For example, honeybees can warm a cold hive and cool a warm hive just by flapping their wings a certain way in unison. Bees can.... Well, I won't say any more or we'll be here all day. Just read it for yourself and learn. You will also see what an unfit mother and a basket case Meredith's mother was. Without the wonderful side story of the bees, this would have felt like a coming of age tome not unlike other memoirs. But this was a unique, enjoyable listen. Candace Thaxton is not a favorite narrator of mine, but that doesn't mean you won't like her. I do not care for her voice or her inflections. She doesn't seem to recognize a period, making it sound more like a question or an ellipsis. In this reading, I found her annoying for the first couple of chapters but then less so as the characters conversed; or maybe she finally started growing on me. 2.5 stars for Candace.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    I read and completed this story with mixed feelings. I'm not particularly comfortable assigning a rating on someone's life experiences, especially when abuse is involved. I tend to overthink and compare my own experiences and those of others that experienced childhood suffering. It colors your perceptions so deeply, that you spend tremendous time in self-examination and observation to reinterpret this world after escaping. I have spent vast amounts of time in conversations with others discussing I read and completed this story with mixed feelings. I'm not particularly comfortable assigning a rating on someone's life experiences, especially when abuse is involved. I tend to overthink and compare my own experiences and those of others that experienced childhood suffering. It colors your perceptions so deeply, that you spend tremendous time in self-examination and observation to reinterpret this world after escaping. I have spent vast amounts of time in conversations with others discussing old coping skills and reactions and focusing on replacing these with healthier perspectives and behaviors, which take so much effort to execute. It took time to realize that comparing pain is best done with great compassion and even larger offerings of encouragement! Everyone's pain is legitimate. Do some experience more pain than others, yes. Does that delegitimize the pain experienced by the one who suffers less? It shouldn't. The journey this story takes is painful to hear. Ms. May experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of her mother after her parents divorce at 5 years of age. Her mother moved from RI to California, to live with her maternal grandmother and her grandmother's husband. Meredith, her brother and mother shared a small bedroom in a very small, humble home with very few luxuries. Meredith had no toys and little clothing. That which she had was purchased at second hand stores and selected by her cold, no-nonsense grandmother. She escaped to the open spaces of Big Sur with her "adopted grandfather", who listened with compassion to her challenges. His love was a solace in a cold world, where her mother often isolated herself, that she totally ignored Meredith. On fewer occasions, her mother would step out of her "other" world to express a sudden, deep, abiding rage that turned savagely on Meredith and her brother. These incidents though infrequent were terrifying and physical injury occurred. Her grandmother would deepen the children's hopelessness by accusing them of being responsible for these outbursts. Thus creating an enforced silence regarding their experiences. Throughout this examination of her past, we get an insider's account about how the bee community works, so intricately together to maintain their thriving communities. The division of roles the bees willingly play, so integral to their life and the hive's vitality. We see this juxtaposed with the toxicity of Meredith's life and how her antagonist is protected from consequences. Likewise, she was told many lies about her Father by her maternal grandmother and mother. When she had her first opportunity to visit him a few years after their departure to CA, her mother grilled her on things she needed to return from her father's possession. Meanwhile, her physically distant Father and his loving wife are so kind and focused on her, that she lives temporarily in a fairy tale world. He never pries into her life except to ask if her mother hits her! She lies and says no. He offers her an escape, she is welcome to live with him permanently. But she refuses, deep down it feels like a betrayal to do so (so typical among survivor's is the feeling of unworthiness and the ingrained belief that the abuser should never be "betrayed" by their own needs). What a horrible choice and a wonderful opportunity all rolled into one! How I fantasized that someone would provide an opportunity such as this when I was growing up. Frankly, even what I know about being a survivor, I am a little shocked that she refused. However, I suspect lurking in her mind was the possibility that this was "to good to be true". Like other books of this type in the sub-genre, it definitely poked and prodded into the places I prefer to keep shrouded in darkness with the door shut tight and preferably locked. It isn't all that different than "A Boy Called It", which I preferred, perhaps that was a function of timing it appeared in my life, as much as the story itself. I recommend this to those who want to get an "insider's look" into the indelible marks of abuse AND the JOURNEY TO HEALING. I also recommend this for those who have walked this long and lonely path. Many did and likewise. many did not have a loving "grandfather" figure to give them love and support during these darkest moment of life. This demonstrates that there is life after trauma and forgiveness is so integral to overcoming. It is my observation that I would have connected more if I felt the author was more in touch with her emotions. She is a journalist by trade and this story is based more in a factual chronicle. It would have been more meaningful to me, if she had exposed more emotion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    Why do I keep gravitating to depressing dysfunctional childhood memoirs? Could someone please remind me to step away? This is the story of Meredith, whose parents divorced when she was a child, and her mother took her and her little brother to live in California with Granny and Grandpa. Mom was useless, Granny was strict, but Grandpa loved the kids and taught them all about his hives, and about the bees who inhabited them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mike Sumner

    Everyone should read The Honey Bus, a parable for our time, a beautifully composed memoir of, for the most part, a young girl - Meredith May - who, with her younger brother Matthew, experiences the despair of a broken home, separated parents and a dysfunctional mother. Moved away from their father and Rhode Island to live with grandparents in California. Step-grandpa is a beekeeper, has been for many years. A fount of knowledge about honey bees and their invaluable contribution to life. Uses an Everyone should read The Honey Bus, a parable for our time, a beautifully composed memoir of, for the most part, a young girl - Meredith May - who, with her younger brother Matthew, experiences the despair of a broken home, separated parents and a dysfunctional mother. Moved away from their father and Rhode Island to live with grandparents in California. Step-grandpa is a beekeeper, has been for many years. A fount of knowledge about honey bees and their invaluable contribution to life. Uses an old military bus converted for use to harvest honey. Meredith is captivated and comes to learn everything about the husbandry of bees from grandpa, who loves her and her brother, unconditionally. Meredith's personality will be shaped by the life lessons learned in a bee yard. Every child should have that same opportunity to grow. A story of love, hope, despair, redemption - a wake up call to help honey bees live closer to the way nature intended - bees that are threatened with Varroa destructor and a host of newer diseases such as Nosema gut pathogen and the Slow Bee Paralysis virus. Meredith does her small part - she owes her Grandpa at least that much to continue his work - and she owes it to the bees... The Honey Bus has left a lasting impression on me and has been an education about the vital need for us to help honey bees survive. Without them we are lost... The highest possible recommendation from me. I urge you to read The Honey Bus. My thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ellie

    I will recommend this memoir to every reader I encounter. This is truly one of "those books"-the kind that you will carry with you forever in your heart. You will be moved to tears and laughter and relief. You will learn about the amazing life of bees and come to comprehend the direness of what we all have been hearing for years about the disappearance of the bee and what that means for our future civilization. It is not a textbook-it is not dry or preachy-it is a story of a family that loves an I will recommend this memoir to every reader I encounter. This is truly one of "those books"-the kind that you will carry with you forever in your heart. You will be moved to tears and laughter and relief. You will learn about the amazing life of bees and come to comprehend the direness of what we all have been hearing for years about the disappearance of the bee and what that means for our future civilization. It is not a textbook-it is not dry or preachy-it is a story of a family that loves and hurts and forgives and perseveres. It tells of a love that is given freely as a choice and the difference that that can make. This book will make you want to make the choice to be the best person you can be.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    Loved this, life stories shared through a grandfather and bees. Beautiful memoir of a dysfunctional family, all shrouded under the love and care of bees. I especially loved this as I was listening while I gardened, across the pasture is a commercial beekeepers hives, bringing bitter facts to the forefront. I lived in Carmel for many years, the familiarity was embracing. Of course this goes beyond bees, a mentally ill mom wreaked havoc in this family, but the guidance of a caring “step” grandfathe Loved this, life stories shared through a grandfather and bees. Beautiful memoir of a dysfunctional family, all shrouded under the love and care of bees. I especially loved this as I was listening while I gardened, across the pasture is a commercial beekeepers hives, bringing bitter facts to the forefront. I lived in Carmel for many years, the familiarity was embracing. Of course this goes beyond bees, a mentally ill mom wreaked havoc in this family, but the guidance of a caring “step” grandfather was the shining light as golden as warm honey running through the pages.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sally Boocock

    One of the most touching books I have ever read. It will stay with me for a long long time. As well as being biographical it is so informative about bees and how important they are to our survival. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Everyone should read it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michael Cayley

    This is a cross between a memoir of a difficult childhood and a hymn to the honeybee. Meredith and her brother Matthew come to California with their unstable mother following the breakup of their parents’ marriage, to stay with grandparents. Grandfather is a passionate beekeeper, and in bees Meredith finds solace without sentimentality, as she discovers the intricate social life of bees, with both its cooperation and its capacity for ruthlessness. Much of the book is taken up with superb accounts This is a cross between a memoir of a difficult childhood and a hymn to the honeybee. Meredith and her brother Matthew come to California with their unstable mother following the breakup of their parents’ marriage, to stay with grandparents. Grandfather is a passionate beekeeper, and in bees Meredith finds solace without sentimentality, as she discovers the intricate social life of bees, with both its cooperation and its capacity for ruthlessness. Much of the book is taken up with superb accounts of that social life, seen through a child’s eyes. There are warnings of the threats to bees, which have worsened since Meredith’s childhood. This is a book to savour, both as natural history and as a depiction of a young girl learning to survive and make the best of things in very painful family surroundings. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me have an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Although I rarely read memoirs, I was intrigued by the 1970s California setting and the idea of a honey bus. I don't want to say too much about the story but it is a beautifully written coming of age story about a girl and her brother managing to thrive within a dysfunctional family. May's paternal grandfather becomes her saving grace and she deftly interweaves the ongoing story of the bees and the life lessons she learns from helping to care for her grandfather's hives. Although I have read oth Although I rarely read memoirs, I was intrigued by the 1970s California setting and the idea of a honey bus. I don't want to say too much about the story but it is a beautifully written coming of age story about a girl and her brother managing to thrive within a dysfunctional family. May's paternal grandfather becomes her saving grace and she deftly interweaves the ongoing story of the bees and the life lessons she learns from helping to care for her grandfather's hives. Although I have read other books about beekeeping, I appreciated the author including information about the social system of a beehive and how environmental changes impact their health. Rating: 4.5 stars rounded up to 5

  22. 5 out of 5

    Martha☀

    Meredith May tells the story of a few tumultuous years of her childhood and she does so with such drama and feeling that it comes across as a fictional tale. But it isn't. When Meredith's parents split in 1975, her mom took her and her brother across the country to Big Sur, CA to live with grandparents. Her mother then locked herself away in the bedroom for years, leaving the two children to fend for themselves and have their basic needs met by prickly Granny. If it wasn't for Grandpa and his ge Meredith May tells the story of a few tumultuous years of her childhood and she does so with such drama and feeling that it comes across as a fictional tale. But it isn't. When Meredith's parents split in 1975, her mom took her and her brother across the country to Big Sur, CA to live with grandparents. Her mother then locked herself away in the bedroom for years, leaving the two children to fend for themselves and have their basic needs met by prickly Granny. If it wasn't for Grandpa and his gentle loving manner, Meredith would have fallen into a deep depression herself. But Grandpa was there and taught her all the life lessons she needed when she takes on a role as his beekeeping helper. Caring for 100+ hives in the valleys of Big Sur, Grandpa shows how the bees work as a family; caring for the young, building and cleaning the hive, bringing home nectar and pollen for the colony, distancing themselves when they are sick, etc. But life is rocky for Meredith as she learns some of life's truth - such as when she finds out that her father has sent letters and tried to keep in contact, as she makes friends and witnesses the kinds of loving relationships that other families have, as she withstands neglect, verbal and physical abuse at the hands of her mother, as she switches off her tolerance for her mother and decides that getting away from her is her only hope. I especially loved the many references to retro-fashion, toys and foods that I enjoyed myself in the 1970s, many of which had fallen out of my memory until this book. I listened to the audio version of this book and really enjoyed it. The narrator has an unusual voice which works perfectly as the voice of 5, 6, 9, 15 year old Meredith as well as the narration parts. I read somewhere that someone considered this to be a Young Adult story but I disagree. Although there is definitely a 'coming of age' aspect to Meredith's life, the concepts of mental illness, depression, neglect and abuse are all treated in a very adult way.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    This memoir was hit and miss for me. The stuff about the bees was so interesting and I learned so much. The stuff about her mother and granny felt really forced. The writing felt like her childhood self was writing it, but I could tell if that was a choice. It was just ok for me. UPDATE: turns out this book is YA which makes more sense why i found the authors voice to be juvenile.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Missy Block

    A beautifully written memoir about Meredith, a child that not only learns to survive a dysfunctional mother, but learns thru the eloquent life of bees and the wisdom of her beekeeping grandfather how to navigate beyond the circumstances she was given. I fell into this book on page one and connected so deeply to Meredith and her Grandpa, that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew where their journey led them. While their personal story captured my heart, the plight of the honey bees gripped m A beautifully written memoir about Meredith, a child that not only learns to survive a dysfunctional mother, but learns thru the eloquent life of bees and the wisdom of her beekeeping grandfather how to navigate beyond the circumstances she was given. I fell into this book on page one and connected so deeply to Meredith and her Grandpa, that I couldn’t put the book down until I knew where their journey led them. While their personal story captured my heart, the plight of the honey bees gripped my curiosity to the point I needed to re read some of the informational parts to wrap my brain around it all.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caren

    This is a lovely book. It is a dual portrait of the greatest positive influences on one young girl's life: bees and the grandfather who introduced them to her. The author's difficult childhood was turned into a thing of beauty through the connection to nature her grandfather helped forge. After her parents' separation and eventual divorce, the author's mother took the two children (the author and her younger brother) from Rhode Island back to Carmel, California to live with her own mother. The a This is a lovely book. It is a dual portrait of the greatest positive influences on one young girl's life: bees and the grandfather who introduced them to her. The author's difficult childhood was turned into a thing of beauty through the connection to nature her grandfather helped forge. After her parents' separation and eventual divorce, the author's mother took the two children (the author and her younger brother) from Rhode Island back to Carmel, California to live with her own mother. The author's maternal grandmother had also been divorced (from an abusive husband), but had remarried and lived in a small house in this enviably beautiful part of the world. So, the author's maternal step-grandfather becomes the real focus of the book. This is a sort of love song to him. He was a beekeeper and also did plumbing and general handyman jobs. Their lifestyle was simple, but he was a man of great kindness and wisdom. By giving the readers stories of her childhood, you can see how painful experiences with her unstable mother were turned into teaching moments by her grandfather, who quietly stood by as a bulwark against the world for her. The reader will also come to respect and learn a great deal about the communities of bees her grandfather introduces to her. You wish every child could have such a cloak against the vagaries of the world.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    My son is a beekeeper. I was drawn to this book from the cover and the description. Yes, I learned a lot about bees that I didn't know before. But this isn't just a book about bees. The author's reveals her early life when her parents split and she was dragged by her mother across the country to live with her grandparents. The book has been compared to Glass Castles, and yes, I can see the resemblance but I found this book to be more redemptive. The author's relationship with her mother is somet My son is a beekeeper. I was drawn to this book from the cover and the description. Yes, I learned a lot about bees that I didn't know before. But this isn't just a book about bees. The author's reveals her early life when her parents split and she was dragged by her mother across the country to live with her grandparents. The book has been compared to Glass Castles, and yes, I can see the resemblance but I found this book to be more redemptive. The author's relationship with her mother is something we often pretend isn't possible, but her relationship with her grandfather is something we all hope to find. This book is a fast read, and is highly recommended.

  27. 5 out of 5

    KC

    This captivating memoir is part coming-of-age family drama and part intro to bees 101. After her parents divorce, five year-old Meredith, her mom and younger brother relocate from Rhode Island to California to live with her grandparents. While tiptoeing around her despondent yet volatile mother, Meredith becomes fascinated with her Grandfathers bees, their hives and their behavior paralleling between human life and bee life. What you take away from The Honey Bus is that family can be complicated This captivating memoir is part coming-of-age family drama and part intro to bees 101. After her parents divorce, five year-old Meredith, her mom and younger brother relocate from Rhode Island to California to live with her grandparents. While tiptoeing around her despondent yet volatile mother, Meredith becomes fascinated with her Grandfathers bees, their hives and their behavior paralleling between human life and bee life. What you take away from The Honey Bus is that family can be complicated, messy and beautiful often at the same time. For those who enjoyed My Abandonment by Peter Rock.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing. The memoir of a woman who, as a girl went to live with her grandparents when her parents split up. Her grandfather was a bee keeper, and kept hives in an old abandoned bus. Keeping bees teach her life lessons. A look at a life that could be sad, but is instead hopeful.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Bees never cease to amaze me. This book weaves a very personal story of a young girl's struggles and perseverance based, in part, on the journey she takes as she learns about these miraculous insects by her grandfather's side. I enjoyed it, despite the sometimes disturbing journey her family life took. Now if I can only figure out how to become a hobby beekeeper....

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    The unconditional love between grandparent and grandchild is a sacrament. For those of us who don't have normal parents, that love is essential to our development. My special grandpa died when I was fourteen years old. Without even closing my eyes I can still see that gleam in his eyes that meant pure love to me. At family gatherings he would sit there in his old man onesie, watching us run and play, with a look on his face like he couldn't believe how lucky he was to have granddaughters like us The unconditional love between grandparent and grandchild is a sacrament. For those of us who don't have normal parents, that love is essential to our development. My special grandpa died when I was fourteen years old. Without even closing my eyes I can still see that gleam in his eyes that meant pure love to me. At family gatherings he would sit there in his old man onesie, watching us run and play, with a look on his face like he couldn't believe how lucky he was to have granddaughters like us. At picnics in the park I used to stop what I was doing once in awhile and look over at him just to see that look on his face and soak up some of those love beams. Reading this book was an emotional experience I wasn't expecting. It stirred up a lot of things 'n stuff I had buried, as we do when we become adults. When I finished reading about Meredith's grandpa going to school with her, I found myself weeping in a way I never did at the time my grandpa died. Back then I was too young to recognize the rarity of what I had lost. I couldn't have known that it would be another twenty years before I would meet another old man who would look at me with that same unfiltered adoration and anticipate my every visit as if it were Christmas Eve and I was Santa Claus. By then I knew treasure when I found it, and I adopted that man as a surrogate dad. Meredith was blessed to have her grandpa in her life until she was forty-five years old. She has carried on his legacy of beekeeping and educating people about the important role bees play in pollinating our food crops. I've always been fascinated on a superficial level by the social behavior of bees. Now I want to study it in more detail. The way they keep things humming along smoothly is complex and magical. Every bee has a specific job, and everything they do is in the best interest of the colony as a whole. With that knowledge, I will never again use the expression "hive mind" to refer to human groupthink that leads to senseless and often violent behavior. The true hive mentality always serves the collective good. Bees are like the Three Musketeers of the insect world: All for One and One for All.

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