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A honeybee heart has five openings : a year…
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A honeybee heart has five openings : a year of keeping bees (edició 2018)

de Helen Jukes

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1385188,644 (3.48)8
"Helen Jukes is entering her thirties and feeling disconnected and trapped by her office job. Then, for good luck, she is given a colony of honeybees. According to folklore, a colony, freely given, brings good fortune, and the author embarks on an emotional, rewarding journey during the course of a year as she cares for these wondrous beings and learns the art of beekeeping." --… (més)
Títol:A honeybee heart has five openings : a year of keeping bees
Autors:Helen Jukes
Informació:London ; New York ; Sydney ; New Delhi : Scribner, 2018.
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca

Informació de l'obra

A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings: A Year of Keeping Bees de Helen Jukes

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The Publisher Says: 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.


My Review
: After getting a new, longed-for position, Author Jukes finds that wanting and having are not the same sensation.
I sometimes think that life must be a bit like tessellation for some people. You take one shape and fit it to the next and they sit comfortably together – you don’t mind a bit of repetition because it’s what makes the pattern form. Life is not like tessellation for me. Sometimes the shapes don’t fit, or I don’t fit into them, or I’m looking at the patterns but they don’t feel real or right to me.

It's a key realization, and it leads to her keeping a beehive as a means to create value and meaning in her world.

A lot of people have compared the book to H is for Hawk, which read I very much did not like. It felt deeply hypocritical to me to read of someone's love for a wild thing as they're describing how they un-wilded it. Author Jukes does not un-wild her bees, as that's been done millennia ago. And her possession of a colony evokes some very good meditative thinking in her:
Here I am pondering impermanence, having just tasked myself with the responsibility of keeping something—with sustaining it. A colony is not a book or an archivable object and you can’t hold it in a glass cabinet or on a shelf. It is live and shifting and if this one doesn’t take to our little rectangular space it’ll be put of here faster than you can say swarm.

What makes the book less than a four-star, upper-heap read is that it's too long for how short it is. Cut some chapters, bring the philosophizing to some conclusions earlier for example and don't repeat the same ruminations, and there'd be another star up there. As it stands I can't agree with myself to overlook this to grow it over three-and-a-half smiling stars. ( )
  richardderus | Jul 22, 2022 |
Disappointing. I've been trying to learn about bees, and would like to have a hive or two some day when life allows it. When she sticks to the bees, it's a fairly interesting read, though sometimes she seems more interested in reading about them and telling us for the tenth time that bee scholar Francois Huber was blind, than in the bees themselves. She also seems to be far more interested in herself and her own musings and worries and courtship than in the bees. A pretty slight product. ( )
  JulieStielstra | May 17, 2021 |
Helen Jukes' thoughtful, introspective recounting of her first year as a beekeeper, and how it changed her, is absolutely beautiful. ( )
  BeckyTM | Mar 21, 2021 |
I was expecting this to be something like H is for Hawk or The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating where an element of nature becomes a focal point for an introspective look at life. But it isn't. It’s primarily the journal of a novice beekeeper’s year of setting up and keeping a hive in Oxford, England, and is full of facts about bees as well as the history of beekeeping and pioneering beekeepers. So in a way I was disappointed, but in another I was glad to be spared the navel gazing some memoirs can slip into. The author included just enough about herself to share her enthusiasm and awe for these fascinating creatures and to show how tending them influenced her own personal growth. ( )
  wandaly | May 23, 2020 |
It was supposed to be a positive move, but Helen's new job in Oxford feels like a bit of a dead end. Uninterested in the office politics and finding the work tedious she is looking for something to inspire her once again. Having helped a friend look after a few hives, having a colony of bees of her own really appeals, however they are an expensive hobby, especially when starting from scratch. However, the generosity of her friends, who club together to buy a colony of bees for her, gives that spark of enthusiasm for the project. A hive is purchased, delivered and built ready for the for the influx of these winged wonders. And then late spring cam round, and it was time to go and collect her present.

However, will they like their new home? There are a few nervous moments as she checks each week to see if they are surviving and it turns out that they want to stay there, but take a while to fully expand into their new residence. Spending time watching the bees as they go about their business adds a different perspective to Helen's life. It also prompts her to start finding more out about the history of bee-keeping. On one research trip to London, she meets with a friend of a friend and tentatively there is a blossoming of friendship.

Not only is this an exploration of the hive and the bee, but this is a tender and personal memoir of Helen's life and a touching story of her falling in love; something that she wasn't expecting when the thought of having a beehive of her own occurred to her. I thought that it was really sensitively written too as well as being well researched and positive story. Can highly recommend it. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
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"Helen Jukes is entering her thirties and feeling disconnected and trapped by her office job. Then, for good luck, she is given a colony of honeybees. According to folklore, a colony, freely given, brings good fortune, and the author embarks on an emotional, rewarding journey during the course of a year as she cares for these wondrous beings and learns the art of beekeeping." --

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