In Greek the name Melissa means honeybee. When this became common knowledge to my friends and family, I unwillingly inherited a love, an obsession, for honeybee related things.
Coffee cups, tee-shirts, home décor, jewelry, books, and cookware bearing the honeybee quickly found their way into my life. Almost as if by default, I became vastly interested in the honeybee and my funny little joke with friends and family turned into an all-out appreciation for these amazing creatures.
Instead of coffee mugs, I got books. Instead of home décor, I got documentaries. I followed local farmers online, read their stories of disappearing bees and honey harvesting. I became immersed in the very creatures that defined me.
Ever since, I’ve been slightly obsessed with bees. While I still collect the little nick knacks and accessories, I also greatly enjoy reading about these intelligent and mystical creatures. While bees have been around for centuries, we’re still discovering the inner workings of the colony and how it runs. Scientists are still finding new species of bees all the time, and there’s still plenty to learn about these tiny creatures that are so essential to existence on Earth.
If you’re interested in learning more about bees and how they contribute to the ecosystem, as well as human existence, I highly suggest you take a gander at Nature’s Little Wonders: Bees by Candace Savage. This little treat of a book will give you a reader’s digest version of the history of bees, along with some colorful photographs and illustrations, cute poetry, and insights into fascinating studies that are proving just how miraculous these insects are.
I think I was most surprised to learn that there are well over 16,000 species of bees in the world, with 4,000 existing in North America alone. New York is home to about 477 species of bees, and there are still several more that reside in floral states like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and Missouri.
While Nature’s Little Wonders won’t give you a detailed description of the history of bees and honey creation, it will definitely sweeten your appetite to learn more about these little workers and might even motivate you to research ways you can contribute to the preservation and sustainability of bees.
“And if bees were not themselves immortal, perhaps they were messengers sent by the gods to show us how we ought to live, in sweetness and in beauty and in peacefulness.”
–Candace Savage, Nature’s Little Wonders: Bees
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.