Bee People and the Bugs They Love

· Citadel Press
2 reviews

About this ebook

“A successful and funny book that is sure to swell the ranks of the world’s beekeepers.”
New York Times 

A fascinating foray into the obsessions, friendships, scientific curiosity, misfortunes and rewards of suburban beekeeping—through the eyes of a Master Beekeeper . . .

Who wants to keep bees? And why? For the answers, Master Beekeeper Frank Mortimer invites readers on an eye-opening journey into the secret world of bees, and the singular world of his fellow bee-keepers. There’s the Badger, who introduces Frank to the world of bees; Rusty, a one-eyed septuagenarian bee sting therapist certain that honey will be the currency of the future after the governments fail; Scooby the “dude” who gets a meditative high off the awesome vibes of his psychedelia-painted hives; and the Berserker, a honeybee hitman who teaches Frank a rafter-raising lesson in staving off the harmful influences of an evil queen: “Squash her, mash her, kill, kill, kill!”
Frank also crosses paths with those he calls the Surgeons (precise and protected), the Cowboys (improvisational and unguarded) and the Poseurs, ex-corporate cogs, YouTube-informed and ill-prepared for the stinging reality of their new lives. In connecting with this club of disparate but kindred spirits, Frank discovers the centuries-old history of the trade; the practicality of maintaining it; what bees see, think, and feel (emotionless but sometimes a little defensive); how they talk to each other and socialize; and what can be done to combat their biggest threats, both human (anti-apiarist extremists) and mite (the Varroa Destructor).
With a swarm of offbeat characters and fascinating facts (did that bee just waggle or festoon?), Frank the Bee Man delivers an informative, funny, and galvanizing book about the symbiotic relationship between flower and bee, and bee and the beekeepers who are determined to protect the existence of one of the most beguiling and invaluable creatures on earth.

“A very entertaining book.”
American Bee Journal 

“A playful storyteller… A compelling memoir.”
Foreword Reviews 

“A useful how-to guide as well as an affectionate ode to nature’s pollinators and honey makers.”
Publishers Weekly 

“This book includes great humor and a use of allegory that reveals tremendous background knowledge.”
—San Francisco Book Review 

“Frank’s personal stories of his beekeeping journey are entertaining, well written, and will quickly have you happily lost in the world of bees.”
Paleo Magazine 

"Bee People and the Bugs They Love is the bee's knees and getting a ton of buzz. Bee smart, people, and read this un-BEE-lievably interesting look at the quirky world of beekeeping."
Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“A delightful portrayal for non-beekeepers of what life is like for those of us who are always thinking about bees.”
Tom Seeley, author of The Lives of Bees
“A fun and exciting tale of the wonder-filled world of beginner beekeeping.”
oah Wilson-Rich, author of Bee: A Natural History , and CEO and partner The Best Bees Company

Ratings and reviews

2 reviews
Kato Justus
May 3, 2021
I highly recommend this book! *The “Bee People Book and the Bugs they Love* by *Frank Mortimer* is a delightful, heartwarming, joyful, inspiring journey of discovery. You’ll fall in love with nature’s most fascinating six-legged creatures—Bees. Besides telling great stories about the quirky, mostly wonderful people who become beekeepers, readers have an opportunity to learn whether or not the world of beekeeping is right for them or not. This book is marvelous for many reasons but one of them is because it’s packed with “Bee Nerd Alerts” and amazing scientific facts about bees like:* *Bees can count to four. *Bees have five eyes. *Bees beat their wings up to 240 times/second and fly up to 20 mph. *The unending battle between beekeepers and the Varroa Destructor—a deadly Darth Vader mite that endangers honeybees. *Bees talk to each other by doing what’s called the waggle dance. The waggle dance communicates the direction, distance, and quality of a source of nectar to within 1 meter. That blows me away. Think about just how amazing that is. The very best GPS technology in the world is accurate to within ~4 meters. *Consider some “Bee math”—just how hard do these extraordinary creatures work? A healthy hive of foraging bees will fly a distance equivalent to an astronaut’s journey from the Earth to the Moon—only they do it every single day! *It takes 12 bees a lifetime of work to bring you 1 teaspoon of honey.* *“Frank the Beeman’s”* primary objective is sharing his passion and love of bee with others—to teach. This book is packed with practical how-to information too. He walks the reader through how to become a beekeeper: how to start, care for, avoid mistakes, harvest your honeybees and their golden treasure. He shares one delightful—and often ridiculous or hilarious story after another to teach readers or the curious about bees and beekeeping. This book is a step-by-step demonstration of how a love for something can positively change an individual’s life. How that positive passion will then spill over; touching hundreds of people, families, communities, and the environment. Whether your new to bees, an experienced beekeeper, an environmental advocate, or just looking for a very positive story, the pure magic of this book has something for everyone. It has been my distinct pleasure to read an ARC copy of this book so that I could share my thoughts with others. Thank you. I marked up my copy with “wows” on amazing facts and have at least another dozen questions. His generosity, big-hearted love and commitment bursts forth on every page of the book. Just like perfect golden honey, this book is very well written. Just like a bee it’s a fuzzy-warm, easy read with some zingers that will capture your heart, make you laugh, and fill you with joy and marvel. *Master beekeeper Frank—“The Beeman’s” book “Bee People Book and the Bugs they Love” is a sweet golden treasure. Don’t miss out. Get it. Read it!*
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Third-party review
Beekeeper Mortimer shares insights gleaned from years of pursuing his avocation in this illuminating debut memoir. He begins with his first hive, procured through a man known as “the Badger” at the ...

About the author

Frank Mortimer is an adjunct instructor at the Cornell University Master Beekeeping Program, Vice President of the New Jersey State Beekeepers Association, and a certified master beekeeper. As president of the Northeast NJ Beekeepers Association since 2011, he has significantly grown his club’s membership; aligned the Northeast NJ Beekeepers with Ramapo College; founded the “Honey Cup,” an annual honey tasting competition, and promoted beekeeping throughout the Northeast. Frank has published multiple articles in Bee Culture Magazine and has led beekeeping seminars across New Jersey and at The New York Botanical Garden. In addition, he successfully campaigned for his hometown of Ridgewood to become New Jersey’s first “Bee City USA.” Frank is married, has three children, and beekeeping is something the whole family enjoys doing together.

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