The History of Bees by Maja Lunde
(Translated by Diane Oatley)
Imagine for one moment a world without Bees. When you think of the vital work Bees do in pollinating plants, that keep the planet and its inhabitants alive then it is a scary thought that a world without Bees could be. China 2098 and Tao is just one of a group of people that is hand pollinating plants after Bees disappeared from our world in the year 2040. This is the novel The History of Bees by Maja Lunde. The International number one bestseller and translated in 20 languages.
It is 1851 and Bees are plentiful. William took to his bed months previous depressed that his ambitions in becoming a famous researcher did not work out and depression has set in. But now he has a vision and this vision is to design a new type of Beehive and enjoy the rewards that will surely follow.
We then move to 2007 and in the United States a beekeeper is trying to keep up the old family traditional ways in farming practices against a backdrop of the ultra-modern practices. But will George succeed?
2098 and Bees are now extinct and the world faces a world food shortage since Bees disappeared. Now people are doing the word of the humble Bee and hand pollinating. Now just imagine that on a world wide scale. The task in itself is mammoth. For Tao and his family, they are now facing a tragedy of their own and now they face a journey to try and uncover what has happened to their son and why were the authorities hiding the truth.
Throughout this novel Bees play a significant role in the various storylines through the various generations. Did the world take the bee for granted and what role did the human race and global industries play in the demise the Bee?
I loved the way that Maja Lunde created each of the characters and their narrative through the generations and each in turn bees play such a vital role. Lunde has created a dystopian novel with a worrying concern for the planets future at the hands of mankind. But do not worry too much as there is ‘hope’ and this plays a part towards the end of a brilliant book so beautifully constructed and written. The History of Bees is really worth discovering for yourself. I promise you will look at bees differently after you read this fascinating novel.
Thank you to Jessica Barratt for the advanced review copy.
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde is published by Scribner and was published on 7th September and is available in hardback through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.