By Jim Danielson, The Lincoln Journal Star, 9/1/2009
("Letters From the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind" by Stephen Buchmann with Banning Repplier, Bantam, 221 pages, $14 paperback).
Most of us have little knowledge of honey. We're content to buy little plastic spouted bottles, cover our toast or pancakes with sweetness and go on with our day, or buy little bears filled with it from cute children selling them at our front door.
But honey has a famous past and a dubious future. Honey has played major roles in war and love, in religion and death, had a profound influence on economics in parts of the world and has been heralded as a cure for what ails you.
"Letters from the Hive" takes you down a path, from ancient history to modern discoveries, which will keep you from ever thinking about it again as just honey. For example, did you know that Egyptian royals were buried with pots of honey? The Paris Opera House has five bee hives. The King James Bible alludes to bees springing forth in immaculate conception. The modern bee hive was created about the time of our Civil War. The full moon of every month in our calendar has a name, and one month is the honey moon. Which month is it? No, not June…