This month, our Book Club met to discuss The History of Bees by Maja Lunde. It is three tales of people and their connection to bees - two stories from the past, and one from the future. It follows a family researching bees who design hives for commercial honey collecting, a family who run a 'honey' farm and sadly experience the reality of hive collapse and a family who live after 'The Collapse', in a time when pollinators have died out and to survive, humans must pollinate the plants by hand to try and grow enough food to feed the population.
We found that jumping around to read bits of each person's story was confusing sometimes and agreed that we were most interested in Tao's story. Her situation, set in the future, was terrifying as she set off in search of news of her son. More terrifying still was that the scene set after 'The Collapse' could actually be a reality with bees under constant threat.
The hardship suffered after 'The Collapse' was evident and it was interesting to read that the population in Asia, in general, was surviving better than the West due to the willingness of their citizens to work hard for not much pay to manually pollinate the trees and plants needed to grow food. The story of Tao's son was particularly upsetting and in a time when antibiotics no longer worked and sick people were left to fend for themselves away from society we understood her fight to find out what happened to him.
We were surprised and delighted to find that the leader of the new order there was female as usually this kind of role is portrayed by a man.
General consensus is that we enjoyed the book and that sadly, without crucial changes now, the future set out by Maja Lunde is one which will come true. There is a sense of hope at the end of the story though... Definitely worth a read.