It has been long overdue, that review of Mark Winston’s book Bee Time. I started in the gloriously long summer before the honey harvest was over and read it while sitting in a beach chair at a remote Okanagan Lake cabin when I could savour the flavour of his writing without distraction. The review stalled during the fall preparation of our beehives for winter, and ultimately sat for weeks in the queue awaiting publication in The Vancouver Sun. (Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive – Harvard University Press, $24.95)
I am sure Mark had despaired of my ever properly reviewing his lovely book; every once in a while he had gently asked when it might appear, and I guiltily told him to be patient. An author of many other books, he was already familiar with the delays that invariably come with publishing, so he continued to wait patiently.
But now the review has made it into the paper, and as I read over it again for the umpteenth time I am pleased that his book has been well reviewed elsewhere. Here’s his own piece in The New York Times last July.
I first met Mark’s writing through the pages of another book he’d written, the eminently sensibly titled The Biology of the Honey Bee, which continues to be regularly reprinted. That’s a sign of a good book, well written, when the printer continues to send you royalty cheques!
Bee Time may have a shorter shelf life because it doesn’t fall into the category of a text book. But it should enjoy a good run; it too is a good book, well written. What I hope for more is that the lessons that he is trying to impart to us about the need for us to change our ways are heard and recognized.