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.
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.
PRAISE FOR BEE PEOPLE AND THE BUGS THEY LOVE
"Frank Mortimer's 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
"If the world of beekeepers has a top ambassador, it’s Frank (The Beeman) Mortimer. Bee People and the Bugs They Love is 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
"Bee People is a fun and exciting tale of the wonder-filled world of beginner beekeeping. It’s a relatable story that every beekeeper can easily identify with, and filled with helpful tips for those thinking of getting started." —Noah Wilson-Rich, author of Bee: A Natural History , and CEO and partner The Best Bees Company
"Bee People takes a long look at your first beekeeper’s meeting, that first bee sting, capturing your first swarm and tasting your first honey…My advice, read Mortimer’s book first, before you become a beekeeper. If you do, you will become a beekeeper. He gets it right. And Bee Nerd Alert: You will meet some of the best people in the world – beekeepers." —Kim Flottum, author, The Backyard Beekeeper, and editor-in-chief of Bee Culture Magazine
"Bee People gently provides a synopsis not just of beekeeping, but the principals themselves. Dear reader, you know these people. They may have delightfully funnier names, but make no mistake, as you read, Mortimer has conjured the eccentric beekeepers from every corner of the world, including yours." —Tammy Horn Potter, Author of Bees In America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation