The Hive

The Story of the Honeybee and Us

A brilliant examination of a natural phenomenon we all take for granted.”

Sunday Express (London)

Ever since men first hunted for honeycomb in rocks and daubed pictures of it on cave walls, the honeybee has been seen as one of the wonders of nature: social, industrious, beautiful, terrifying. No other creature has inspired in humans an identification so passionate, persistent or fantastical. 

In this gem of a book, Bee Wilson explores the magical world of the honeybee. From the hive to honey, from beekeepers to honeymooners, via Aristotle, Shakespeare, Napoleon and Sherlock Holmes, here is a book that delights and surprises at every turn. And there is even a recipe or two.

Praise for The Hive

A light and delicious book, in an exceptionally pretty honey-coloured jacket gilded with bees, and it is written with sparkle and charm … some of her best writing is about the deliciousness of honey, and it is hard to read her chapter of recipes without drooling.”

The Tablet

Can hardly be bettered.”


Bee Wilson’s little book is a small hive of treasure. It is a sweet celebration of our appreciation of the honeybee”