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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Buzz About Bees, written by Kari-Lynn Winters. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2013. $19.95 ages 8 and up

"In medieval times, people would soak bandages in honey in order to reduce joint swelling and cure cataracts. Some of these honey cures continue to be used for health purposes today. For example, honey is a primary ingredient in several cough syrups and drops. And when a person has laryngitis (an inflamed larynx), a common home remedy..."

It seems that we have numerous books in the past few years concerning bees and their benefits. Albert Einstein recognized this and made the scientific and greater community aware of it when he said: "If bees disappeared, humans would have only 4 years left to live."

That should give each one of us pause!

A quick look at the table of contents allows readers a glimpse at Kari-Lynn Winters' sense of humor. Chapter titles are: Bee-n There, Done That, The Whole Ball of Wax, Bee-ing Together, Bee-ing Alone, Bees of the World, Disperse and finally, Stinging Effects on the World. In addition, the chapters include such subjects as To Be or Not To Bee, The Bee's Knees, and my personal favorite (with a bow to Mr. Gandhi) Bee The Change the World Needs.

Sure to give her target audience incentive to jump from place to place in the book in order to check out what might be most interesting, this book will inform and entertain with a wealth of current data. It begins with a quiz, an inviting challenge for those who wonder about the value of bees and their contributions to our lives as we live them. The author provides lots of detail about their physiology and the way that they work together. Using clear captioned photographs and clearly drawn and labelled diagrams, she lets her readers know about the relationship between bees and humans.

By educating ourselves and others concerning bees, their habitats and the benefits that they bring to our lives, we can encourage badly needed change. We can create gardens that will attract them, support local beekeepers by buying their honey, realize the significance of pollutants as hazards to a healthy bee population. There are instructions for building a nesting site, a gargle recipe and even a game...all add appeal.

A glossary and index are included, and a list of books that help build knowledge and understanding.

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