The Way of the Hive: A Honey Bee's Story

by Jay Hosler | Graphic Novels |
ISBN: 9780063007352 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 5/7/2021
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, May 7, 2021
I got this softcover (formerly published as Clan Apis) at Barnes and Noble. It's a graphic-novel-format look at the lives of bees, and is both quite thorough and informative - and surprisingly touching. (Also funny - there are some nicely snarky conversations between some of the characters.)

The book opens with its own creation myth, a kind of "Big Bang" variant in which a flower unfolds and scatters its pollen throughout the universe, some of the grains becoming planets. There's a quick overview of the development of life forms, and then we shift focus in to a single bee larva, Nyuki, who's fussing because the worker bee Dvorah insists on finishing the story before feeding Nyuki.

As Nyuki grows and changes - always reluctant to move on to each new step, whether it's the full-scale metamorphosis or the more frequent changes in hive-duties - we (and she) learn about the life cycles of bees, their various tasks and abilities, the perils of the world outside the hive, and how they depend on each other to fulfill the necessary duties. There are scary bits, especially when Nyuki goes astray and meets a praying mantis, which she just barely evades. Later she meets a helpful dung beetle (with whom she compares notes as to whose jobs are more gross, rolling balls of dung or vomiting honey into the honeycomb cells), escapes another predator, and concludes that leaving the hive is a terrible idea and she'll never do it again.

Cue a heavy sigh from mentor Dvorah...

Eventually Nyuki does learn how to be a proper part of the hive, but she also has to say goodbye to a dear friend. She mentors young bees as Dvorah did for her, and helps the hive battle foes and gather nectar. And later on, when Nyuki herself nears the end of her life, she relies on some of the friendships she's forged to ensure that she'll be a part of the hive even after she's gone.

The bonus material includes facts about bees, and comments on the liberties taken by the author to make the characters in the book more relatable. The notes also explain some of the plot points in each chapter - and reveals that the names of all the bee characters are actually the words for "bee" in different languages!

[There's a short TV Tropes page on the book.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Melissa Dr in Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Released 1 mo ago (6/15/2021 UTC) at Little Free Library, Melissa Dr in Nashua, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library on this lovely day; hope someone enjoys it! (Since "Melissa" is derived from the Greek word for "bee" I thought this location a good one for this book!)

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2021 Pollinators challenge. ***

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