'This book has found a special place in my heart. It's as strange,
beautiful and unexpected, as precise and exquisite in its movings,
as bees in a hive. I loved it' HELEN MACDONALD, author of H IS FOR
HAWK `Everyone should own A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, which
moved and delighted me more than a book about insects had any right
to ... Jukes is a gloriously gifted writer and her book ought to
become a key text of this bright moment in our history of nature
writing' Observer `Written finely and insightful' Guardian A
fascinating, insightful and inspiring account of a novice
beekeeper's year of keeping honeybees, which will appeal to readers
of H is For Hawk and The Outrun Entering her thirties, Helen Jukes
feels trapped in an urban grind of office politics and temporary
addresses - disconnected, stressed. Struggling to settle into her
latest job and home in Oxford, she realises she needs to effect a
change if she's to create a meaningful life for herself, one that
can accommodate comfort and labour and love. Then friends give her
the gift of a colony of honeybees - according to folklore, bees
freely given bring luck - and Helen embarks on her first full year
of beekeeping. But what does it mean to `keep' wild creatures? In
learning about the bees, what can she learn of herself? And can
travelling inside the hive free her outside it? As Helen grapples
with her role in the delicate, awe-inspiring ecosystem of the hive,
the very act of keeping seems to open up new perspectives, deepen
friendships old and new, and make her world come alive. A Honeybee
Heart Has Five Openings is at once a fascinating exploration of the
honeybee and the hive, the practices of honey-gathering and the
history of our observation of bees; and a beautifully wrought
meditation on responsibility and care, on vulnerability and trust,
on forging bonds and breaking new ground. 'This is classic modern
nature-writing; a synthesis of scientific learning, observation and
the author's response. If you care for the wellbeing of bees and
the planet and for the state of the human heart, then this book,
with its deft and beautiful prose, is for you... And like all good
nature writing, it also - quietly, clearly and insistently -
requires us, too, to respond' Countryfile Magazine `An intimate
exploration of the heart and home, and a tantalising glimpse into
an alien culture. A brave and delicate book, rich and fascinating'
Nick Hunt, author of Where the Wild Winds Are `Subtly wrought
personal journey into the art and science of beekeeping. Helen
Jukes evokes both the practical minutiae of the work, and the
findings of researchers who have illuminated bee ethology over the
centuries' nature 'A mesmeric, lovely, quietly powerful book. A
gentle but compelling account of the redemption that comes from
relationship and attention' Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast
'A profound, funny and sometimes deeply moving book that describes
a year of inner city bee keeping, while dancing between the history
of bees and us and what it means to be human in our modern world'
Julia Blackburn, author of Threads: The Delicate Life of John
Craske 'A very human story about the aliens gathering in her back
garden - bees, fascinating but almost unknowable. Their wildness
and her duty to them help open up a desk rat's uninspiring life to
all the possibilities of love, care, connection and sheer wonder.
It is a lovely, entirely personal journey into the very heart of
the hive' Michael Pye `I raced through this really terrific,
down-to-earth read. The existential threat to our entire ecosystem
posed by the problems facing bees can be hard to grasp, but Helen
manages to make this a very personal, human story that, hopefully,
might inspire others to action' Luke Turner, The Quietus
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