Saturday, April 29, 2006

Books with B(ee) in the Title

Ever mindful that blog posts should have a theme, today we discuss books with "B(ee)" in the title.
The Backyard Beekeeper, an absolute beginner's guide to keeping bees in your yard and garden by Kim Flottum who is " editor of Bee Culture magazine and chairman of the Eastern Apiculture Society, a noncommercial beekeeping club." If you are thinking of getting into the bee business, the BeeCare site even has a discussion board called the Swarm. Who could resist? Bees really are serious business though and important to agriculture, so if you want information about bees in New Jersey, go to the New Jersey Department of Agiculture website. Here you will find everything you need to know about raising bees, beekeeper registration forms, bee law in NJ as stated in the NJ Statutes, and, an exciting bonus, you can email the state apiarist at
Could it Be B12? An epidemic of misdiagnosis by Sally M. Pacholok, R.N. and Jeffrey J. Stuart, D.O. For the official National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Health sheet on vitamin B12, click here. It would be great for this B(ee) theme if honey contained B12, but it doesn't. Here is the nutrient fact sheet on honey. Based on this chart, it's safe to say that honey is basically a sugar with no appreciable nutrients. (Caveat Emptor, when surfing the net for nutrition and medical advice, the FDA and NIH/NLM sites are more credible than the dot coms that are trying to sell something.)
And finally, the weirdest short story with a bee theme is "Royal Jelly" by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) which can be found in several of his short story collections including the Umbrella Man. An overzealous father feeds his infant royal jelly from bees with surprising and macabre results. Yellow, downy fuzz, anyone?
What got me going on bees? A reference question of course. Several days ago a patron, flapping his barncoat pockets, came in asking simply for, "BEES!" I answered, "The Secret Life of Bees?" That usually works, but he looked puzzled. "The Bee Season," I offered? Still puzzled, the patron repeats, "BEES." Time for the "Reference Interview." "Can you bee (sic) more specific? What would you like to know about bees?" And so we found The Magic School Bus Inside a Beehive by Joanna Cole. Miss Frizzle to the rescue!

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