cover image Following the Bloom: Across America with the Migratory Beekeepers

Following the Bloom: Across America with the Migratory Beekeepers

Douglas Whynott. Jeremy P. Tarcher, $16.95 (246pp) ISBN 978-1-58542-280-7

Whynott (Giant Bluefin) has been enamored with bees since he was a boy and his uncle kept a hive near an apple tree; later his passion led him to become a bee inspector in Massachusetts. From these experiences, and from research conducted by following his contacts--the migratory beekeepers--he has gathered a wealth of information on the fascinating habits of bees, the history of bee farming and the current state of beekeeping legislation. Whynott begins by explaining the discoveries, like 'bee space,' that allowed for the development of migratory farming, which allows beekeepers to move apiaries from location to location in search of""bloom."" Whynott then travels to the blueberry barrens in Maine to Florida, to North Dakota clover country and finally to Washington, D.C., where Glenn Gibson, a honey lobbyist, tries to gain federal support for the migratory beekeepers who comprise the lion's share of the honey market. With a relaxed, storyteller's pacing, Whynott gets to know the migratory beekeepers, and much of the book's pleasure lies in the colloquial dialogue about""plugged out"" frames of honey and""bearded"" hives. More than a book about bees per se, this volume presents a sociological narrative about truckers' lives, and the (mostly) men who seem to fall by chance into beekeeping. This reprint of the 1991 edition includes a helpful glossary that explains bee terminology.