A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A Year of Keeping Bees (Paperback)
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"A sweet nature memoir set in England. Helen wants to own a hive of bees. As she researches the history of beekeeping, her friends pitch in to buy her a hive. For the first two weeks, she can't open the hive, so she learns (some) patience while she anxiously waits. Then she worries that they'll swarm and leave the hive empty. She learns as she goes, joining a beekeeping community, and making new friends as she becomes immersed in the art of beekeeping."--Reviewed by Percy
A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings begins as Helen Jukes is entering her thirties and struggling to settle into her new job and home. Then friends gift her a colony of honeybees--a gift that, according to folklore, brings good luck--and Jukes embarks on the rewarding, perilous journey of becoming a beekeeper.
Jukes writes about what it means to "keep" wild creatures and to live alongside beings whose laws of life are so different from our own. She delves into the history of beekeeping, exploring the ancient--and sometimes disturbing--relationship between keeper and bee, human and wild thing. And as her colony grows, the very act of beekeeping seems to open new perspectives, making her world come alive again. A beautifully wrought meditation on uncertainty and hope, feelings of restlessness and home, and how we might better know ourselves, A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings shows us how to be alert to these small creatures flitting among us that are yet so vital a force for the continuation of life.
About the Author
Helen Jukes is a writer and writing tutor based in the United Kingdom. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Port Magazine, Aeon, The Clearing, and other venues. Follow her on Twitter @helen__jukes.