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The Honey Trap : How the Good Intentions of Urban Beekeepers Risk Ecological Disaster - Dana L. Church

The Honey Trap

How the Good Intentions of Urban Beekeepers Risk Ecological Disaster

By: Dana L. Church

Hardcover | 17 September 2024

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Exposing the misguided assumptions behind an altruistic trend.

The last decade has seen an explosion of urban beekeeping in the US, Canada, and Europe, a well-intentioned response to perceived threats to the global honey bee population. Many thousands of people have taken up this seemingly environmentally friendly hobby, tending backyard and rooftop hives (or paying a company to do so) and encouraging honey bees to make honey and pollinate flowers. What could be wrong with that?

Quite a lot, in fact. In The Honey Trap, scientist and author Dana Church demonstrates that despite reports to the contrary, honey bees are nowhere near extinction. Rather, their nurturing by urban beekeepers is having far-reaching and potentially devastating consequences for the 19,999 other species of bees on the planet, with knock-on effects for plants, both cultivated and wild, and our ecosystems more generally.

With engaging storytelling and a wealth of knowledge about bees and their ways, Church unravels the complexities of human interactions with our winged friends and demonstrates how dangerously selfish our thinking can be. It's a wake-up call for humanity to embrace sustainable practices and protect these vital pollinators before it's too late.

Industry Reviews

"Written in a clear and accessible style, this is convincing, evidence-based myth-busting at its best. Readers will come away from this wonderful book with an understanding of common misconceptions related to honey bees and conservation of wild bees (including deliberate 'bee-washing'), along with a deep appreciation for the nuances and complexities of truly saving the bees."

-Lorraine Johnson, co-author of A Garden for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee.

"The Honey Trap reveals a bitter and counter-intuitive truth: everywhere but in their native Europe, the honey bees we revere are actually an invasive species, living in unnatural concentrations that spread disease just like in factory farms--with dangerous consequences to our native bees and to the plants they pollinate. Bee expert Dana Church writes with calm wisdom, and each page is full of her respect and affection for all bees. Such wondrous, varied animals! But my sympathy is especially with our wild bees, whose numbers are crashing. May we heed her words in time to save our native pollinators."

-Sy Montgomery, New York Times bestselling author of The Soul of an Octopus and The Good Good Pig.

"The topic of Honey Trap may seem specific, but this book broadened and deepened my perspective on big topics from biodiversity and symbiosis to human history and agriculture. I learned something new and interesting on almost every page! The narrative is both nuanced and bold, pulling no punches yet acknowledging the limits of our current understanding."

-Danna Staaf, author of Monarchs of the Sea and Nursery Earth.

"An important and engagingly written book, drawing attention to the under-appreciated scandal of 'bee-washing'"

-Dave Goulson, entomologist and conservationist, author of Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse.

"After years of misinformation around pollinators and bee declines in media, schools, and other mainstream sources, this book is a refreshing resource for people to learn about an environmental issue where good intentions have not lead to the desired outcome of biodiversity conservation and agro-ecosystem resilience."

-Dr. Sheila Colla, York University.

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