Read The History of Bees by Maja Lunde Online


In the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees and to their children and one another against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchaIn the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go, this dazzling and ambitious literary debut follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future, weaving a spellbinding story of their relationship to the bees and to their children and one another against the backdrop of an urgent, global crisis.England, 1852. William is a biologist and seed merchant, who sets out to build a new type of beehive one that will give both him and his children honor and fame.United States, 2007. George is a beekeeper fighting an uphill battle against modern farming, but hopes that his son can be their salvation.China, 2098. Tao hand paints pollen onto the fruit trees now that the bees have long since disappeared. When Tao's young son is taken away by the authorities after a tragic accident, she sets out on a grueling journey to find out what happened to him.Haunting, illuminating, and deftly written, The History of Bees joins these three very different narratives into one gripping and thought-provoking story that is just as much about the powerful bond between children and parents as it is about our very relationship to nature and humanity....

Title : The History of Bees
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781471162749
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The History of Bees Reviews

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-03-14 19:04

    3.5 Three stories that are connected, though how is not apparent until book's end. 1851, William, 2007, George and 2098, Tao, tied together by their dependency on bees. In 2098, the bees have all been wiped out, in China they pollinate by hand, a labor intensive endeavor. Each of these three have sons, so this is also very much about the bond and expectations between parent and child.Very slow start to this book, was tempted to put it down, but I have a profound interest in our environment, especially after the fires, storm, hurricanes and earthquakes that have ravaged so many areas. The lessening of the bee population has been on our nightly news, and it is something I have noticed myself in the area in which I live. Without bees and their pollination our food sources will collapse, the world as we know it unrecognizable, which is what happens in this novel. So I kept reading, and soon became better acquainted with these characters and how the author was putting her story together. This book is not fun to read, it is rather grim, us screwing up our environment could be nothing less, but also I think important. The ending was so fitting, and though sad, also ends with a ray of hope. It all ties together, all three stories,and in a round about way comes full circle. Rather ingenious. A book I ended up glad I had read.ARC from Netgalley.

  • Taryn
    2019-02-23 15:07

    Without bees, the flowers were just flowers, not blueberries, not bread and butter.3.5 Stars. The three protagonists are multiple generations apart, but their lives are all linked by the fate of bees:• Sichuan, China in 2098: Pollinating insects completely disappeared from Earth over half a century before, so humans have assumed the bees' role. In order to survive, humans have refined the arduous process of hand-pollination. Children are trained for the job as soon as they enter school and begin working in the fields when they turn eight years old. Like any parent, Tao wants her three-year-old son Wei-Wen to have more opportunities than she did. She spends her rare time off teaching him so that he can attend a special leadership-training school and avoid a lifetime of back-breaking labor. When Wei-Wen mysteriously collapses and is whisked away by the authorities, everything changes. Tao blames herself because she thinks it's her dreams for him that caused the accident. She's willing to sacrifice everything to find him.• Hertfordshire, England in 1851: William is a biologist whose academic specialty is superorganisms. Superorganisms are individual insects that function together as a single organism; they need each other in order to survive as a whole. William sank into a deep depression after his mentor belittled him for sacrificing his life's work to have a large family. When his passion reignites, he becomes obsessed with building the perfect beehive, one that will benefit both the beekeepers and the bees. He wants his son Edmund to continue his research, but Edmund is disinterested in his father's attempts to lure him into the family business. William's obsession with making his son carry on his legacy prevents him from seeing the true heir to his research.• Ohio, USA in 2007: George descends from a long line of beekeepers. He devotes his entire life to his bee farm and ensuring his bees are thriving. He wants his son to take over the farm, but his son is more interested in his college studies and cultivating his writing career. The stress of bee farming increases when bee colonies begin disappearing in the southern USA. While his bees are doing fine so far, the future of his farm becomes uncertain.She read about knowledge. About acting against one’s instincts, because one knows better, about how in order to live in nature, with nature, we must detach ourselves from the nature in ourselves. And about the value of education. Because this was what education was actually about, defying the nature in oneself. The History of Bees is about letting go and resisting the impulse to exert control over everything. Every parent and mentor in this book has a fixed vision for their child's or apprentice's future. There seems to be the expectation that the next generation "justify [their] position on this earth." Trying to tame the natural order has disastrous consequences. Each character has a firm idea of their child's place in the universe and the means through which that place will be achieved, but it's not until they relax their control that they are able to gain clarity. One major lesson is that one doesn't have to choose between life and passion. Sometimes that passion is our contribution to our families and the future.A single person’s life, a single person’s flesh, blood, body fluids, nerve signals, thoughts, fears and dreams meant nothing. My dreams for [my son] didn’t mean anything, either, if I failed to put them into a context and see that the same dreams had to apply to all of us.There are so many beautiful moments of interconnection throughout the story. Tao decorates her son's room with fluorescent star stickers that used to adorn her own childhood room. She feels as if she created "a bond between my own childhood and his, between us and the world, between the world and the universe." On a larger scale, there's a moment when Tao watches a documentary about the beekeepers who were affected by Colony Collapse Disorder. History comes alive for her. At another time she may have thought the interviews were just "testimonies from another time" from "people who had nothing to do with [her]," but with experience she realizes that "every single personal catastrophe meant [her] own.""And having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." What did that mean? That he who is captive is perhaps the only one who is truly free? Doing the right thing can be a prison, a form of captivity, but we had been shown the way. Why didn’t we manage it, then? Not even in meeting with His creation did human beings succeed in doing the right thing.*This book was originally published in Norwegian, but I read the English translation. I chose this book because I love dystopian fiction and the "in the spirit of Station Eleven and Never Let Me Go" blurb called my name. I can see the Station Eleven comparison more clearly than Never Let Me Go. The thing that draws me to Kazuo Ishiguro's work is the haunting, melancholic atmosphere and I just didn't get that from this book. I debated on whether to round my star rating up on down. I decided to round up because somehow it managed to worm its way into my heart! The downsides of this book were the pacing and some of the characterization. It was slowly paced at times, so my interest waxed and waned. It occasionally comes across as a "message" book, but it's not overly heavy-handed. It almost had a YA feel to it—especially George's chapters—even though there are no young adult main characters. (I found out after writing this review that this is the author's first novel for adults.) Tao was my favorite of the three perspectives. She felt the most human, while William and George felt like characters. Even though the male characters didn't feel as authentic to me, they still had interesting stories. William is strange and insufferable, but his passion for the natural world is contagious. Some of my favorite chapters were actually in his sections, when he talks about the lifecycle of bees (at the 45% & 87% mark of my copy). George is old-fashioned and set in his ways. He's never able to say the right thing. His folksy simplicity didn't always ring true to me, but I could understand the dreams and fears that motivated his actions and resentments.Alone she’s nothing, a part so tiny that it’s insignificant, but with the others she’s everything. Because together they’re the hive.In The History of Bees, the author draws "connections between the small and the large, between the power of creation and creation itself." Every living thing in this book is "fighting the ordinary, daily struggle" for their descendants and survival. The three protagonists are decades, sometimes centuries, apart. They don't know each other and they may not live to realize how essential their contributions were, but together they make a huge impact on mankind's fate. The characters' lives and the lives of their offspring didn't go as planned, but their creative solutions influence humanity's future path. This book gave me a larger appreciation for all those who've come before us and made an impact on our lives, even if they would never get a chance to benefit from it.OTHER* My biblical knowledge is lacking, so I wanted some more context with this quote. This sermon helped me out: Slaves of Righteousness, Romans 6:19-23. It also has some analysis of 1984 and Brave New World, which was interesting!* A reassuring article to read after reading this book: Bees Are Bouncing Back From Colony Collapse Disorder.________________I received this book for free from Netgalley and Touchstone. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. It will be available August 22, 2017!

  • بثينة العيسى
    2019-02-22 17:15

    رواية لا تُنسى، ومن أجمل ما قرأت. هي من ذلك النوع الناعم الذي يمنحك البصيرة ويريك عوالم غير مسبوقة. أحببتها وممتنة للترجمة البديعة. تمنّيتُ ألا تنتهي.

  • Tanja Berg
    2019-03-16 17:23

    Rating 4* out of 5. Read in Norwegian. I feel a teeny weeny bit foolish reviewing this book in English, since it hasn't yet been released in any other country. It's been sold to several and it certainly has international appeal, and thus, I choose to review in English anyway.This is probably the most un-Norwegian book by a Norwegian author I have ever read. It works though. The book is beautifully written and a joy to read for sheer composition. There are three different plots on different timelines - William in 1952, trying to figure out a more sensible bee cube. George in 2007, who is experiencing colony collapse disorder and has troubled relations with his son. Tao in 2098, a time when all the bees are gone, there are world-wide food shortages and all farm plants have to be hand pollinated. The plotlines converge in the end. They all involve bees so there is coherence in them from the start anyway.The book deals with family dysfunction as much as with bees. There is a strong voice of criticism raised against mono-culture farming. It is truly amazing that so few can feed so many, but the system we have set up is largely based on poison and quite fragile. I don't have any solution up my sleeve, we cannot feed 7 billion people with ecological farming.So this book mixes historical fiction with futuristic dystopia. It's unusual, but it works. It's a beautifully written novel exploring relationships between people and people and ecology. Easily read, but not easily forgotten. The book leaves us to consider what we can do for a more sustainable future.

  • Manny
    2019-03-03 21:16

    All over the world, the bees are dying. Despite considerable research, we don't really know why; it seems to be a combination of several different causes. Evidently, this is not good. But what does it mean in emotional terms? What would be an appropriate way to feel? Having read Maja Lunde's elegant and beautiful novel, I can suggest some possible answers:- It might feel like being hungry and knowing you're never going to get enough to eat.- It might feel like helplessly watching your partner becoming progressively more estranged from you, until you can no longer touch them or even talk to them.- It might feel like discovering that your life work, everything you've ever tried to do, was a waste of time and you might as well not have bothered.- It might feel like realising that your child has been taken away, and nothing you can do will ever bring them back.But it's worse than any of those things.

  • Mohamed Al Marzooqi
    2019-03-03 20:26

    لا بد أن البعض منكم، خصوصا إذا كان شقيًا مثلي في طفولته، تعرّض إلى لسعة مؤلمة من نحلة غاضبة بعد أن نكش خليتها بطرف عصا أو رماها بقطعة حجر. ولا بد كذلك أن البعض منكم تمنى مثلي، وهو يمسح بقايا المخاط والدموع من على وجهه، بينما تدلك والدته مكان لسعة النحلة لو اختفى هذا النحل الشرير من العالم! تذكرت أمنيتي الطفولية تلك وأنا ألتقط هذه الرواية التي ترجمتها دار المنى مؤخرًا، وكُتب على غلافها الغلفي بأنها "رواية ذكية ورائعة"، وقلت لنفسي يبدو أن هذه الكاتبة، والتي لا بدّ وأنّها تعرّضت للسعة نحلة في طفولتها، لم تكتفِ بأمنية، كما فعلت أنا، ولكنها ذهبت أبعد من ذلك وتخيلت عالمًا بدون نحل ... انتقامًا منه ربّما كما ظننت في بادئ الأمر.لكن ما لم يُكتب على الغلاف الخلفي، ولا الأمامي، وتجب كتابته هنا .. هو أنّ هذه الرواية بقدر ما هي موجعة كلسعة النحل، إلا أنها لذيذة جدًا كعسله. والمؤلفة لم تكتب الرواية انتقامًا من النحل، بل افتح أعيننا على الكارثة التي تهدد وجوده بسبب الاستخدام المفرط للمبيدات وانتشار الآفات الدخيلة، والتي بدأت فعلًا بالتأثير على أعداده التي بدأت بالتناقص كثيرًا منذ عام ٢٠٠٦.يُمكن لرواية "حين اختفى النحل" أن تُقرأ على عدة مستويات، فهي رواية ديستوبية مروعة تصور لنا كيف سيبدو العالم لو اختفى النحل، وهي رواية تاريخية وعلمية تسرد لنا المحاولات البشرية الأولى لترويض النحل (إن جاز التعبير)، وهي هجاء سياسي مرير للأنظمة التي تحول المجتمعات إلى آلات صمّاء، كما أنها رواية رمزية ذكية تؤكد فكرة خلود الكتب .. الورقية منها تحديدًا. على الرغم من وجود العديد من الشخصيات الرئيسية التي سنكتشف كيف تتقاطع مصائرها في نهاية الرواية إلا أن النحل هو الشخصية الرئيسية، وحضوره في الرواية حضور إيجابي، على نحو ما، فالنحل هو من يُخرج "ويليام" من كآبته في إنجلترا عام 1852، وهو الذي يعيد ترتيب العلاقة بين "جورج" وابنه "توم" في أمريكا عام 2007، وهو الذي يدمّر ومن ثم يعيد بناء حياة "تاو" في الصين عام 2098.إنها بالفعل، كما كُتب على غلافها الخلفي، رواية رائعة وذكية.

  • Mallpunk
    2019-02-23 22:12

    I felt it was too simplistic. I never really connected with any of the three stories. I kept waiting for a plot twist or something that would really catch me, either emotionally or intellectually, but it continued straight all the way to the end. The characters lack depth and everything is over-explained. The ending attempts to bring together the threads, but it feels more like an afterthought to tidy up loose ends, and not something that touches upon the core of the story.

  • Carlos
    2019-02-26 19:17

    3.5 stars for this book. It is a nice book that attempts to connect three timelines, one in the late 1800’s , the other in the early 2000 and the last one in the late 2000’s . The only thing linking them is the bees and how beekeeping has destroyed , supported and changed their life forever. It was a very interesting thing to try and keep up with all these timelines, at first it takes you some time to connect with all the different characters, so I would say it had a slow start. The book picks up in the middle , but the conclusion in all these timelines felt a little too dark for me . The beekeeping added a certain romantic aura to all the timelines and I appreciated that . Definitely very interesting debut by this author.

  • Mel (Epic Reading)
    2019-03-07 23:29

    This is wonderful! By a Norwegian novel debut author, Maja Lunde; translated from Norwegian The History of Bees is really well written. While I give 80% of that credit to Lunde, a bit of credit is due to the translator Diane Oatley. Following three different timelines, all related to bees in some way, this is a literary masterpiece. The three settings We have 1898, 2007 and 2089 as our time periods. Set in completely different parts of the world as well; England, USA and China respectively. Of course the future timeline starts off the most interesting because we get to learn what Lunde sees as our (and the bees) world in 80ish years. As always it's a bit bleak. In 2007 we are treated to honey production at the farm scale (not industrial) but still as the main income source. And of course, anyone who is aware of the bee situation today knows that this was around the time colonies were starting to suddenly collapse with no reason. The past starts off slow but becomes really interesting as a man with an awful lot of children starts innovating his own type of beehive. The innovation is to allow for easier harvesting of the honey that doesn't require as many bees dying when you open the hive to harvest. Characters This is where Lunde really excels. Her characters are so life-like. The point of views (one per timeline) we are treated to are parents with children at various ages. Relationships between parents and their children are what The History of Bees is really about; and what makes it a solid 'typical book club' pick. In all cases the parents wish better for their children, or at least speak of a legacy to help their children have better lives than their own in the future. A very typical parental obsession; but portrayed here in a way which even adults without children (like myself) can understand and appreciate. It's all about the beesI've looked into a small beehive for our yard before with no success because we don't think we can meet the space regulations. So going into this I knew a teeny tiny bit about colony collapse disorder (CCD).Now after reading this I'm determined to have a hive at some point under my care. The bees are the link between our three timelines but they are also the link to humanity's survival. Pollination is key for most fruits and many other food sources to grow. Now let's be specific here for a minute we are talking about honeybees. There are lots of kinds of bees but the ones that are critical make the honey. It's clear, even to a very amateur prospective beekeeper, that Lunde has done her homework here. Everything that happens in the 2007 timeline has already happened and her descriptions and explanations of the situations are anything but boring. Most of our characters are in love with bees and so they speak or think passionately about it. With just the right amount of truth and science built in. A very enjoyable way to learn about honey bees! So for me the book felt like it was all about the bees (and bees are what drew me to it). Even though the bees are the link across time, the reality is that The History of Bees is about people coping with being a parent in their given timeline. The bees just make it sweeter. OverallThe History of Bees was effortless to read. The characters and settings seemed to leap off the page for me. With the addition of a very relevant, important and interesting topic of bees thrown in this was a lovely piece of literature and one I look forward to adding to my print book collection (the next time I'm at a bookstore). In my book collection these days there is no higher honour than being an ebook or review copy that I read and decide to buy a print copy of. Lunde has earned this honour and I can't wait to read her next novel. For this and more of my reviews please visit my blog at: Epic ReadingPlease note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

  • Lost In My Books
    2019-03-10 23:13

    "Jedna pszczoła bowiem jest niczym, cząstką tak małą, że całkiem pozbawioną znaczenia, natomiast razem z innymi jest wszystkim. Bo razem stanowią pszczelą rodzinę." Ta książka przewijała mi się naprawdę wiele razy, dużo osób mówiło o niej naprawdę pozytywnie, ale bałam się po nią sięgnąć, bo odnosiłam wrażenie, że może być nudna. Aż pewnego dnia (1,5 miesiąca temu) jakoś nagle naszła mnie ochota na nią i zrobiłam spontaniczny zakup. Czy żałuję? Absolutnie nie! Historia tej powieści toczy się w trzech wiekach. Na początku poznajemy przyszłość w roku 2098, główną bohaterką jest Tao, która pracuje od rana do wieczora przy ręcznym zapylaniu drzew, ponieważ wszystkie pszczoły na świecie wyginęły. Pewnego dnia ginie jej synek i Tao wyrusza na poszukiwania, a to na co trafi będzie przełomowe dla ludzkości. Następny bohater to Wiliam z roku 1852, pracuje nad pewnym projektem, nie wie tylko, że w innej części świat ktoś wpadł na ten sam pomysł. I ostatnia nasza postać to Geogre z 2007 r., prowadzi on hodowlę pszczół i z całego serca pragnie by jego syn odziedziczył po nim farmę, niestety Tom ma zupełnie inne plany. W dodatku pszczoły zaczynają stopniowo na całym świecie wymierać. Historia każdej z tych osób jest naprawdę bardzo ciekawa i naprawdę nie potrafię wybrać, która bardziej mi się podobała. Śledziłam losy każdego z nich z równym zainteresowaniem. Najlepsze jest to, że autorka stworzyła bohaterów bardzo realistycznych i naprawdę dobrze nadała im cechy charakteru. Książka miała być o pszczołach, a tak naprawdę one są tylko tłem całej fabuły. Dobrym tłem. Śledzimy życie i losy bohaterów, które po prostu są powiązane z pszczołami. Ale to nie jest wada, lecz zaleta. Chciałabym częściej trafiać na powieści z dobrym tłem fabularnym. Szkoda tylko, że autorka nie nadała więcej dramatyzmu w związku z utratą pszczół, bo jednak one są najważniejszą częścią naszego życia, więc byłoby dobrze, gdyby ta katastrofa była bardziej dramatyczna, może byśmy bardziej zdawali sobie z tego sprawę. W ,,Historii pszczół" nie ma jakiejś porywającej akcji, ale o dziwo książka nie nudzi. Śledzenie losów bohaterów naprawdę absorbuje. Nie próbowałam nawet myśleć, jak to wszystko się skończy, czytałam ją i dałam się porwać opowieści, tak po prostu. I chociaż książkę czyta się naprawdę szybko, to przeczytanie jej zajęło mi kilka dni, nie chciałam jej szybko skończyć, chciałam się nią delektować, dłużej zostać z bohaterami, tak aby nigdy nie zapomnieć tej historii. Podkreślę, że jest ona również pełna emocji. Naprawdę cieszę się, że kupiłam ją i poznałam tę piękną, sączącą i mądrą powieść. Autorka napisała kawał wyśmienitej lektury.

  • Annina
    2019-02-18 21:30

    Ich konnte das Buch kaum weglegen. Bei allen drei Protagonisten (insbesondere bei Tao) konnte ich mitfühlen. Ich finde Maja Lunde hat den Grat zwischen Fakten und Fiktion sehr gut getroffen und in einem simplen Stil wiedergegeben. Empfehlenswert.

  • Marialyce
    2019-03-16 23:07

    Rating wise this book is a tough one for me to call. There were parts of it that were excellent while also having parts that seemed to drag a bit. However, the author, Maja Lunde, was able to weave a tale of three generations of bee keepers. Each one covered a time span. The past, was represented by William, a seed keeper who wants to build a perfect bee hive thus securing his fame and his family's future in the world he inhabits. In the present time, we meet George who battles the modern age in farming as he strives to bring his son into the world and the passion he holds for the bees. Finally, there is Tao presenting the future where bees are no longer living. She and her husband are employed in the process of painting pollen unto the fruit trees to ensure not only their survival but also that of the people who now exist in a world that no longer resembles what we have come to know. These three characters come together with their families to provide the reader with many glimpses into their family dynamics and the way of life each lead in the world that they inhabited.For this reader Tao's story was the most interesting. Her son is taken ill on a day trip into the country and is whisked away mysteriously. She begins a search for him, leaving her husband behind and through her travels we see a world of the future that is none too bright and exceedingly sad. I found this book to be very earthy, one that paints a strong picture of our reliance on these little creatures that bind together in their hive and work as a unit. They definitely have something to teach we humans about binding together to accomplish goals.So now it comes to rating this novel. In my mind I feel that the subject matter rates a five. However, because the writing was at time wandering and somewhat disjointed, I will give it a four. I realize that this book was translated into English so some of this meandering might have been caused by that issue.Thank you to NetGalley and Touchstone for providing me with an advanced copy for an unbiased review.

  • Lucy Banks
    2019-03-10 22:11

    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.A slow-burner, but loving the exploration into the vital importance of bees.Bees are absolutely my favourite insect, so a book with bees in the title was never going to be overlooked by me. As ever, I wasn't sure what to expect - and was mostly engaged, with just a few occasions where I was left scratching my head.The story follows three narratives - William, a bee-hive designer /obsessive from the Victorian era, George, a grumpy old bee farmer in what felt like modern times, and Tao, a low-level pollinator in the future.Their stories, though very different, had fascinating similarities. All were in some way searching for 'lost' sons. All of their lives were in some way dependent on bees, and all were directly / indirectly affected by the great bee collapse. I'm paraphrasing here, it was called something else in the book!Tao was the most interesting, mainly because the author had very successfully created this dystopian future minus the bees, and it felt alarmingly possible. The tense relationship between George and his son was likewise fascinating, though there were times when the narrative about William felt a little stagnant.One thing that worked fabulously was how the narratives were tied together at the end, though it's quite a big ask of the author to expect their readers to wait so long to get a hint of this clever ending. However, respect for doing worked well. Overall, an engaging, well plotted read.

  • Maryam
    2019-03-09 15:31

    This book consists of three connected stories which their connection is not clear until almost the end of the book. When the connection is revealed the three stories become one and it’s actually story of us, humans.1851/ England: William, an academic which tries to design a new bee hive in order to observe their lives. He’s obsessed with first his research then his son Edmund who seems ignores him all the time. 2007/USA. George. He’s from a generation of bee keepers/ Organic bee keeprs. He takes taking care of bees very seriously and tries to win his to-be-writer son over and has him back to family business.2098/China. Tao. She is a corn worker in an era that everything looks doomed, there is no education and children become workers at an early age. Tao tries to teach his young son what she knows in rare time off she has but when one day the family goes to picnic and the son collapses everything changes for them.The main theme of the book is what we do with our environment and how it would affect our lives in long term. Bee’s fate is the symbol of disaster coming to humans due to playing too much with nature and neglecting alarming evidences that we screw too much to recover. I really liked how three stories were connected at the end. It was done quite beautifully. At some point it might seem slow but for sure it deserves to be read.ARC from NetGalley.

  • Touchstone Books
    2019-03-12 15:19

    For starters, our art team did an incredible job with the U.S. cover. Absolutely incredible. And when you see it in person, it's even more beautiful—tons of gold, special effects, I can't get over it. But that's what we had to do to live up to the gorgeous story inside. Would a world without bees be a world without us? You'll have to read it to find out.

  • Rebecca Foster
    2019-03-16 19:27

    Blending historical, contemporary and future story lines, this inventive novel, originally published in Norway in 2015, is a hymn to the dying art of beekeeping and a wake-up call about the environmental disaster the disappearance of bees signals. The plot strands share the strong themes of troubled parenthood and the drive to fulfill one’s purpose. Like David Mitchell or Louisa Hall, Lunde juggles extremely different time periods and voices admirably. The only sections of the book that dragged for me were those in Tao’s narrative that explain the world’s collapse. I find that it’s best for speculative fiction in this vein (Margaret Atwood et al.) to leave the exact how of the environmental catastrophe to the reader’s imagination, as a blow-by-blow can end up feeling tedious. However, from page to page this is a very readable novel that hardly seems like a translation.See my full review at The Bookbag.

  • RoseMary Achey
    2019-03-12 23:13

    While there are many dual time novelsThe History of Bees uses three time periods; a historical, contemporary and futuristic to provide a brief history of bees. A historical fiction contemporary dystopian novel-is there such a category? Even if you are not the least interested in honey bees this is such an interesting novel and yes all three stories are related.

  • ☙ percy ❧
    2019-03-09 19:13

    this sounds kinda like cloud atlas except with extra bees, which essentially sounds like... MY PERFECT BOOK!!!!!!

  • MadameMelli
    2019-03-05 22:19

    Schon länger hatte ich dieses Buch auf dem Schirm, jetzt habe ich es im Rahmen ekner Leserunde auch endlich verschlungen.Verschlungen trifft es auch gut, denn es hat einen recht klaren Erzählstil, der immer eine unbestimmte Melancholie durchscheinen lässt. So etwas liebe ich und auch diesmal konnte es mich überzeugen. Wir verfolgen die Geschichten dreier Familien, Jahrhunderte getrennt und doch irgendwie verbunden. Jeder der Protagonisten hat mir seinen eigenen Problemen zu kämpfen, die sehr stark mit der Zeit, in der sie lebten, zu tun hatten. William im 19. Jahrhundert kämpft mit seiner Forschung um die Bienen.George kämpft 2007 darum, seine Bienen am Leben zu halten, während das große Bienensterben beginnt. Und Tao kennt im Jahr 2098 gar keine Bienen mehr. In China ist man zur Handbestäubung übergegangen. Als an einem freien Tag ihr Sohn verletzt wird, stellt sie alles in Frage.Es war spannend, die einzelnen Personen zu verfolgen. Jeder hatte mit Leid zu kämpfen und gab trotzdem seine Hoffnungen nie ganz auf. Immer habe ich darauf gewartet zu erfahren, wie sich die drei Geschichten verbinden. Auch wenn es nicht an die Qualität eines David Mitchells herankommt, war es trotzdem klasse, wie sich nach und nach die Parallelen und Zusammenhänge auftaten und am Ende war ich sehr zufrieden.Die Geschichte der Bienen wird erzählt und sie standen auf den meisten Seiten im Vordergrund. Faszinierend, wie sich Maja Lunde das Verschwinden der Bienen vorstellt. Wo etwas anfängt, wo die Hoffnungen lagen. Ich fand es äußerst geschickt gewählt, eine Perspektive in den Anfängen des Kollaps und eine weit danach spielen zu lassen. So kamen die Emotionen viel besser herüber. Alles in allem fand ich Die Geschichte der Bienen unglaublich spannend und ich habe ein paar Anregungen gefunden, die ich selber in einer Geschichte verarbeiten will. Von mir gibt es eine Leseempfehlung!

  • Marjorie
    2019-02-27 17:14

    There are three stories in this wonderful novel about the history and destiny of bees and their ties to humanity. The stories take place in 1851, 2007 and 2098. 1851 tells the story of British shopkeeper William Savage, whose dream is to build a better bee hive to ensure his children a better future. 2007 centers on George and his son, Tom. George is a beekeeper who longs to build up his business together with Tom, but Tom’s longings lie elsewhere. In 2098, Tao has the horrendous job of hand painting pollen on trees in an effort to provide enough food for the Chinese inhabitants. There are no longer bees in her world. It’s a very physically taxing job and she fears for her little son who will soon be old enough to join the workers. But then tragedy strikes and Tao sets off on a perilous journey looking for answers.I absolutely loved this book. Each of the three stories touched my heart. The chapters are short and I would no sooner get pulled into one story than the author would switch to one of the other stories so there are often cliffhangers. I was never disappointed to switch as I found each of the stories as fascinating as the other. This style of writing really moved the book along and kept me wanting to know more. This Norwegian author cleverly maps out this beautifully written book so that each of the stories have a final connection.Bees. Such little creatures but so very important to our existence. Our world has seen what might happen should bees disappear completely. The author has provided a fascinating look at the beginning of bee keeping, the period when bee colonies first started encountering difficulties and what the future might look like without hard working bees. Even more than a study of bees told in a very moving way, this book also touchingly delves into the bond of parents and their children.Most highly recommended.This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Rafal
    2019-03-20 16:13

    Świetne czytadło. Połknąłem ją w kilka dni. Czytałem z wypiekami. A kilka razy łza zakręciła mi się oku. Ale mimo to mam do tej książki sporo zastrzeżeń.Żeby jednak nie było, że jestem marudnym pierdzielem - zacznijmy od zalet. Największą jest wspaniałe ekologiczne przesłanie. Po przeczytaniu tej książki człowiek aż chce zatroszczyć się o środowisko, zaczyna kochać pszczółki a zanim rozgniecie komara, zastanowi się dwa razy. Piszę to prawie bez ironii. Bo ja i bez tej książki mam takie podejście do życia, ale mam szczerą nadzieję, że parę osób, które naturą się nie przejmuje - po lekturze - zmieni zdanie. To przesłanie jest wg mnie lepsze niż na przykład w "Sekretnym życiu drzew", które jest raczej nudne. Zaletą jest także język. Prosty, bez nadęcia nawet w szczególnie wzruszających czy ważnych momentach. Zalet jest wiele innych, ale są pomniejsze więc przejdźmy to drobnych problemów. Przeszkadzało mi to, że to tak naprawdę ckliwa historyjka. Bardzo przewidywalna w wielu aspektach. Powód choroby chłopca zgadłem od razu. Powiązania między bohaterami też prawie od razu były oczywiste, niespodzianką (ale nie zaskoczeniem) było tylko - jak konkretnie zostaną te powiązania przedstawione. No i najważniejszy dla mnie zarzut - który stawia dla mnie pod znakiem zapytania literacką wartość tej książki. Forma. Krótkie rozdziały z imionami bohaterów jako tytuły i bardzo plastyczne opisywanie rzeczywistości. To podobne rozwiązanie do "Gry o tron". I tak jak w przypadku GoT tak i tu miałem wrażenie, że autorka pisała książkę, ale oczyma duszy wiedziała już scenariusz i film, jaki na podstawie tej książki powstanie. To ma na pewno wiele zalet. Krótkie, dynamiczne rozdziały powodują, że świetnie się czyta w autobusie. Ale niestety literatura na tym cierpi. W pewnym momencie ma się wrażenie, że to "Serial o pszczołach" a nie "Historia pszczół". Ale poza tym na pewno warto to przeczytać i kocham pszczoły (oraz miodek)

  • Susan
    2019-03-10 21:18

    This is a beautifully written story with an incredibly terrifying message. If the bees die, so do we. Simple as that. The three interconnected timelines focus on bees in the past, present and future. The past timeline deals with the invention of better beehives to aid in the study of bees. It doesn't sound super exciting but this family has a lot going on and they are quite interesting. I especially loved Charlotte, the budding feminist who doesn't let her gender hold her back from reading and, gasp, thinking! The present timeline concerns a bee farm and the family who tends it. They also have a ton of personal issues which come to a head when CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) hits their farm and the bees disappear. This is happening in real life RIGHT NOW which is absolutely horrifying and infuriating. No one knows the cause but it seems to be linked to pesticides and climate change. If we don't start taking better care of the Earth and the plants and animals on it we will be doomed.This leads directly to the future timeline which is a world without bees and other pollinators. There is mass starvation, the United States collapses completely. China survives, although barely, mainly because they have enough of a workforce to pollinate fruit trees by hand. The main character in this section is one of these human bees and spends long days in trees painting pollen on pear tree flowers. This idea blew my mind! Just imagine all of the labour required to pollinate every tree and plant by hand. It's insanity! Despite all this work the Chinese people are still starving and there are some truly bone chilling scenes in this section.The story is not linear but moves back and forth between the three timelines. I didn't find it confusing at all as it was very clear which time we were visiting. All of these stories are connected by bees but also have another connection that we don't discover until near the end. The timelines tie together very neatly and it all concludes in a satisfying way. The stories are all quite sad but not without hope. In the end I'm left even more committed to save the bees by avoiding buying products using pesticides and by planting a bee friendly garden. I hope this book inspires others to do the same.

  • Karen
    2019-03-09 17:19

    I received this ARC from in exchange for a review. This story is told from three exceedingly different views. William lives in England 1852, George in the U.S. 2007 and Tao in China 2098. Each character shows us how important bees are to our society.As with many translated books, I feel things are lost in the translation. Just like watching a bee buzzing around languidly from flower to flower, the story wandered from here to there to here to there to here .... 3.25☆

  • Semjon
    2019-03-10 21:18

    Ich habe lange zwischen 2 und 3 Sternen geschwankt und mich nun letztlich für die bessere Note entschieden, weil das Buch durchaus unterhaltsam geschrieben ist. Zudem mag ich es, wenn verschiedene Handlungsstränge neben her laufen und am Ende verwoben werden. Zudem wird ein interessantes Thema mit dem Bienensterben aufgegriffen. So viel zu den positiven Aspekten. Ich war aber auch enttäuscht von dem Buch, denn der Titel lässt vermuten, dass die ökologischen Aspekte der Bienen und die Konsequenzen ihres möglichen Aussterbens für die Menschheit und die Flora, stärker im Mittelpunkt stehen. Hier hat aber die Autorin ihren Schwerpunkt nicht darauf gelegt, denn ihr sind die drei Einzelschicksale wichtiger in der Darstellung. Lunde ist eigentlich eine Kinder- und Jugendbuchautorin und so kam mir das Buch auch vor. Das soll jetzt gar nicht abwerten klingen. Empfängergerechter Schreibstil ist generell wichtig. Mir waren die Sätze aber zu einfach und zu kurz gehalten. Man könnte jetzt sagen, dass William, George und Tao, ihre Geschichten ja quasi selbst aus der POV-Sichtweise erzählen und ihre Art Tagebucheinträge in der einfachen Sprache authentisch sind. Wenn ich aber Authentizität will, dann kann ich nicht William im Jahr 1852 dieselbe Sprache sprechen lassen wie Tao im Jahr 2098. Vielleicht bin ich da aber auch von der hohen literarischen Qualität des Wolkenatlas geprägt, der auf geniale Weise die Sprache an die Zeit anpasst. Fazit: ein unterhaltsames Buch, das man am besten ohne große Erwartungen an Stil und Hintergrund lesen sollte. Stattdessen einfach nur die locker leichte Erzählung genießen.

  • Lena♥Ribka
    2019-02-20 19:19

    Let see it as a coincidence: a big egg insecticide scandal in Germany that has spread to food stores across Europe, "emissionsgate", Trump's energy policy and me, reading The History of Bees. Actually I can add many other scandals to this list, those that are happening because of our reckless behavior or indifferent attitude to flora and fauna, those that lead to damage which can never be made good. The History of Bees is a book about bees. One could guess. It is Well not really. But it is so clever framed, so beautifully told that it is impossible not TO think about what will we leave to our future generation. We follow the stories of three different families living in three different periods of time: in the past, in the present and in the future. Three different fates, three different lives, three different places, three different social backgrounds. cultures, mentality. There is a connection between all these fates, but which one? It couldn't be only bees, it has to be more. You won't get the answer up to the end. Truly clever solved. I had many theories and partly I was right, but still I had a WOW-moment waiting for me.What I really enjoyed, along with a melancholically beautiful way of telling, an enthralling story with an unusual building and interesting characters was a strong feeling of hope. A single, unifying feeling: hope. And this is a good thing. Very recommended.***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

  • Aleksandra
    2019-03-10 19:24

    Mam problem z ocenieniem Historii pszczół- a nawet nie bardzo chcę to robić, ponieważ są to trzy całkowicie inne historie. Wszystkie miały one swoje lepsze i gorsze strony, każda była inna i na innym poziomie, więc nawet wyliczanie jakieś średniej jest bezsensowne. Każda z nich jest materiałem na pełnoprawną osobną powieść ale całkowicie rozumiem dlaczego autorka postanowiła to przedstawić akurat w takiej formie. Całość jest bardzo przyjemna ale raczej jako odskocznie od jakieś innej powieści ponieważ tą można się znudzić. Do tego mogę dodać że styl pisania jest piękny ale nie przesadzony a wręcz bardzo subtelny i delikatny. Podsumowując: polecam przeczytać i przemyśleć i nie napalać się na fajerwerki.

  • Marianne Søiland
    2019-03-17 20:20

    Denne boka hadde jeg skyhøye forventninger til etter å ha hørt forfatteren fortelle om boka på Kapittel-festivalen i Stavanger. Boka er god, misforstå meg rett, derav 3 stjerner og "liked it". Men... jeg forventet meg kanskje mer? En mer komplett historie på et vis? De tre parallelle historiene i boka er interessante nok forsåvidt hver for seg, men jeg følte aldri på intensiteten jeg mente burde være der. For meg endte boka opp midt på treet, selv om emnet biedød er veldig interessant.

  • Øyvind Berekvam
    2019-03-17 22:26

    Har endelig somlet meg til å lese denne. Fabelaktig! Engasjerende øko-thriller og familiesaga av internasjonalt format. Ble så engasjert at jeg snekret mitt første bie-hotell her på hytta tidligere i dag...

  • nettebuecherkiste
    2019-03-11 21:19

    England, 1852: William hat zu Gunsten seiner großen Familie auf eine große Karriere als Biologe verzichtet und verkauft stattdessen Saatgut. Als sein Mentor ihm sein eigenes Versagen vorführt, verfällt er in Lethargie. Bis er eine Idee hat, die ihn wieder aus dem Bett holt: ein neuartiger Bienenstock.Ohio, USA, 2007: Georges Familie betätigt sich seit Generationen hauptberuflich als Imker und diese Tradition soll nach seinem Willen fortgeführt werden. Doch sein Sohn Tom scheint andere Interessen verfolgen zu wollen. Derweilen erreichen den Bienenfarmer immer mehr Gerüchte von der seltsamen Erscheinung „Colony Collapse Disorder“: Farmer weiter südlich in den USA finden ihre Bienenstöcke plötzlich fast leer vor – frei sowohl von lebenden als auch von toten Bienen.Sichuan, China, 2098:Tao ist eine von unzähligen Bestäuberinnen, die in mühevoller Handarbeit die Arbeit der ausgestorbenen Bienen verrichten. Dennoch reicht die Ernte jährlich kaum zum Überleben. In anderen Regionen wie Europa ist die Lage noch schlimmer. Tao hat mit ihren Mann einen dreijährigen Sohn und erhofft sich für ihn eine weiterführende Ausbildung, damit er nicht wie die anderen Kinder mit acht Jahren mit der Arbeit als Bestäuber beginnen muss. Doch dann stößt der Familie ein Unglück zu, das ihr Leben über den Haufen wirft.Maja Lundes Roman erzählt jeweils einen entscheidenden Abschnitt im Leben dieser drei Familien, deren Leben sich mehr oder weniger um Bienen dreht – oder eben um deren Fehlen. Lunde wechselt dabei in mit dem Namen des jeweiligen Protagonisten betitelten Kapiteln zwischen den drei Schauplätzen bzw. Zeitstellungen. Der Sprachstil ist recht einfach, was in Kombination mit den kurz gehaltenen Kapiteln für hohe Spannung und ein hohes Lesetempo sorgt.In einigen Rezensionen wurde geäußert, dass Maja Lunde sich stärker auf die Geschichte der Familien konzentriere als erwartet. Das habe ich nicht so empfunden, ich behaupte, die Bienen sind vielmehr der eigentliche Protagonist des Romans, auch wenn es scheinbar nur indirekt um sie geht. Ich konnte keine Seite des dystopischen Zukunftsszenarios ohne Bienen, das für mich den stärksten der Handlungsstränge darstellt, lesen, ohne daran denken zu müssen, wie wahrscheinlich es ist, dass der Kollaps der Bienenpopulationen tatsächlich eintritt. Und darin liegt auch die eigentliche Motivation, die ich hinter diesem Buch sehe: uns wachzurütteln und vor Augen zu führen, wie es der Welt ergehen kann, wenn wir es nicht schaffen, das Insektensterben aufzuhalten, und die Bienenhaltung in der traditionellen Form infrage zu stellen. Jeder hat wohl schon einmal etwas vom Bienensterben gehört, aber wie viele (außer Imkern und anderen Experten) haben sich deshalb ernsthafte Gedanken gemacht oder sogar etwas dagegen getan? Auch ich war mir des Problems bewusst, wir hatten sogar einen Fall von Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in der Familie, die Stieftochter meiner Schwester ist Gärtnerin und hatte im Garten meiner Schwester einen Stock aufgestellt. Eines Tages war er leer. Richtig aufgerüttelt hat mich erst dieses schöne Buch, dem ich möglichst viele Leser wünsche. Ich weiß nicht, ob wir das Bienensterben noch aufhalten können. Ich für meinen Teil habe vor, zum nächsten geeigneten Zeitpunkt bei Wildbiene + Partner ein Beehome zu bestellen und einen kleinen Beitrag zur Verbreitung der Mauerbiene zu leisten.

  • Ibrahim
    2019-02-27 16:15

    قليلة هي الأعمال الروائية المترجمة إلى اللغة العربية التي تتطرق لمواضيع بيئية كهذه الرواية. ذكية جداً بربطها الثلاثة شخصيات من عصور مختلفة في الفصول الأخيرة. ويبدو أن الكاتبة بحثت كثيراً في موضوع تربية النحل والتقارير عن تناقص عددها وانقراض بعض أنواعها. رواية تستحق القراءة