Food & Culture

Buzzwords: Two New Books by Seattle Authors Celebrate Bees

Just in time for National Pollinator Week (June 18–24), two new books by local authors celebrate bees and remind us of the threats to them

By Danielle Hayden June 6, 2018


This article originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the June 2018 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees Basic Books, $27, July 10 By Thor Hanson
Did you know that, for every third bite of food you take, it’s thanks to a bee, and the direct and indirect impacts of pollination? It’s one of many fascinating facts revealed by San Juan Islands–based nature writer Thor Hanson (whose previous book The Triumph of Seeds was a Pacific Northwest Book Award winner) in this lively look at bees. From exploring the insect’s evolutionary beginnings to profiling celebrity beekeepers, Hanson reminds us that we should appreciate these complex creatures, which are vital to our way of life. Bonus: A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to organizations that preserve and protect wild bees.

Author event: Hanson will be at Elliot Bay Book Company (1521 Tenth Avenue, Seattle) on Saturday, July 14, at 7 p.m.

Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them Timber Press, $25.95 By Paige Embry
Geologist turned writer Paige Embry wants to “seduce people with stories of bees.” In her book, the Seattle author shares fascinating facts about the diversity of bees (there are more than 20,000 different species), showing readers all of the incredible things that bees are able to accomplish during their short lifespans. With vivid color photography, thorough research and humor (such as her children’s horror when they discover bees in the refrigerator), you’ll come away laughing, better informed and ready to heed her clarion call to save these indispensable insects. 

In 2015, in response to the dramatic decline of bees around the world, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to become a certified Bee City, pledging to spread awareness and create more sustainable pollinator habitats.


Seattle Pollinator Week Symposium
Hear from experts as they discuss the preservation and management of wild bees and other pollinators in the Puget Sound region and chat with some representatives of environmental organizations at this collaboration between Common Acre and Town Hall Seattle. $5, 7 p.m. Rainier Arts Center, Columbia City, 3515 S Alaska St.; 206.652.4255;

2018 Proctor Farmers’ Market Bee Festival
As you stroll through the market, learn through demonstrations and speakers about the decline of pollinators like honeybees, native bees and butterflies. Cooking demos will help speed along the digestion of information. Free. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Proctor Farmers’ Market, Tacoma, 2702 N Proctor St; 253.961.3666;

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