The Beekeeper’s Lament

The Beekeeper's LamentNational Bestseller

“The Beekeeper’s Lament is at once science lesson, sociological study, and breezy read…. A book about bees could easily descend into academe, but the author settles for nothing less than literature.”
Boston Globe

A “revelatory, bittersweet investigation into the state of commercial beekeeping in the 21st century.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The Beekeeper’s Lament is not only about bees, or the people who make a living off of them, fascinating as both of these subjects are. It’s about the dying of rural America, the way we grow and sell our food, the reason people take risks…. It is a poignant and keenly observed narrative.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“Nordhaus uses a somber, lyrical writing style to make bees into just about the most fascinating subject you’ve ever encountered while at the same time crafting an elegiac metaphor for the contingency of modern American life.”
The Millions

A “lyrical, haunting book about the complicated lives and deaths of America’s honeybees…. Nordhaus manages to wrap all that nuance up in some of the best narrative and storytelling I’ve had the pleasure of reading since Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

“A dramatic tale of how and why beehives and bees themselves are threatened by everything from mites to moths to bee thieves.”
Washington Post

“A crackerjack story of one American beekeeper’s days, with both his songs of joy and sorrow, presented within the context of beekeeping’s natural and social history.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“…metaphorical and poetic, elegaic and somehow sad….”
Christian Science Monitor, “20 of the smartest nonfiction reads of summer”

“Her book is extraordinary in its breadth and depth, and most of all, it is exquisitely written. She distills information about beekeeping that many authors have attempted, but few command the writing skills of this seasoned journalist and none capture the magic of such a fascinating main character as John Miller — a fourth-generation Mormon migratory beekeeper who serves as the queen bee in this enchanting tale.
Diana Cohn, AlterNet

“This rollicking, buzzing, and touching meditation on mortality brings alive a sociable and lovable but desperately fragile cast of characters who will pull at your heartstrings — and that’s before you’ve even met the humans! You’ll never think of bees, their keepers, or the fruits (and nuts) of their labors the same way again.”
Trevor Corson, author of The Secret Life of Lobsters and The Story of Sushi

“Hannah Nordhaus has written an engaging account of the men and insects who put food on our tables. The Beekeeper’s Lament is a sweet, sad story.”
Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

“…a fascinating read from cover to cover….”
Michelle Wiener, Associated Press

“I loved The Beekeeper’s Lament. With great reporting and great writing, Hannah Nordhaus gives a new angle on an ever-evolving topic. You’ll learn a lot.”
Bernd Heinrich, author of Winter World and Mind of the Raven