Bad BeekeepingBook - 2004
A million pounds of honey. Produced by a billion bees!
This memoir reconstructs the life of a young man from Pennsylvania as he drops into the bald prairie badlands of southern Saskatchewan. He buys a honey ranch and keeps the bees that make the honey. But he also spends winters in Florida swamps, nurse-maid to ten thousand dainty queen bees.
From the dusty Canadian prairie to the thick palmetto swamps of the American south, the reader meets with simple folks who shape the protagonist's character - including a Cree rancher with three sons playing NHL hockey, a Hutterite preacher who yearns to roam the globe, a reclusive bee-eating homesteader, and a grey-headed widow who grows grapefruit, plays a nasty game of scrabble, and lives with four vicious dogs.
Encompassing a ten-year period, this true story evolves from the earnest inexperience of the young man as he learns an art and builds a business. Carefully researched natural biology runs counterpoint to human social activities. Bee craft serves as the setting for expositions that contrast American and Canadian lifestyles, while exemplifying the harsh reality of a man working with and against the physical environment.