The Bees: A Novel
“The Bees is a blend of imagination and gumption. Paull takes the honeybee and places her in the midst of changing seasons, invasions by humans and beasts, transporting the reader into a wonderful and exciting adventure.”
“The mood of the sisters in the Dance Hall was agitated. Crowded wing-to-wing with sisters of every kin, Flora’s mind and body clawed with the need for the Queen’s Love. Other bees were also anxious . . . Still they waited. . . . Then with a jolt the floor trembled, the vibration surged, and the scent of the Queen’s Love began to rise. . . . At the vibration in the comb and change in the air Flora pressed her six feet down into the wax, opened her spiracles and drew the fragrance deep into her body. It had no effect.”
Read this book and you will never look at a bee, a flower, a wasp, or a jar of honey in the same way ever again.
The Bees takes you inside the hive and into the compartmented world of the bee hierarchy. It is hard to imagine the intrigue that exists in this honey-coated but less than sweet natural wonder. The sisters are threatened from without and within. Who can they trust? Is everything they believe nothing more than a political trick?
The author, Laline Paull, takes you on a powerful journey that starts with the birth of Flora 717 and ends with . . . Well, that you’ll need to discover for yourself.
This is a debut novel and Paull has written a page-turner. All the elements are here: intrigue, love, sex, betrayal, life, death, redemption, and politics.
Most people know about the drones and the queen and the worker bees. But what about the intricacy of the bee culture? Or the architecture of the beehive? Or the lengths those in power go to maintain bee society?
“Only the Queen may breed.” That is the rule. Yet there exists within the hive a laying worker—an unforgiveable transgression. When found the penalty is merciless. And every bee accepts the necessity of that punishment.
The drones, “worship to your maleness,” depend on the sisters for everything and have no qualms about taking it all. Yet when pushed, the sisters show they are capable of reclaiming the integrity of the hive.
The mantra chanted by the sisters, “Accept, Obey and Serve,” reflects more than a blind acceptance of a preordained life as a sanitation worker, a nurse, or a forager. It shows the strength that exists among kindred spirits who understand that individuality has no place in a community.
The Bees is a blend of imagination and gumption. Paull takes the honeybee and places her in the midst of changing seasons, invasions by humans and beasts, transporting the reader into a wonderful and exciting adventure.
This is the book you will tell your friends about. They may look askance and you will tell them “trust me, this is a really good book.” When they finish The Bees they will be buzzing.
If the book has any drawback it is that it must end. All good stories end leaving us wanting more—and the The Bees ends all too soon.
The next time you see a bee land on a flower, you’ll stop and watch in wonder, all the while wondering what’s going on in her hive.