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Summary

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner!

Shortlisted for the 2020 Wainwright Prize

The Sunday Times Best Nature Writing Books 2020

A naturalist’s passionate dive into the lives of bees (of all stripes) — and the natural world in her own backyard

Brigit Strawbridge Howard was shocked the day she realized she knew more about the French Revolution than she did about her native trees. And birds. And wildflowers. And bees. The thought stopped her — quite literally — in her tracks. But that day was also the start of a journey, one filled with silver birches and hairy-footed flower bees, skylarks, and rosebay willow herb, and the joy that comes with deepening one’s relationship with place.

Dancing with Bees is Strawbridge Howard’s charming and eloquent account of a return to noticing, to rediscovering a perspective on the world that had somehow been lost to her for decades and to reconnecting with the natural world. With special care and attention to the plight of pollinators, including honeybees, bumblebees, and solitary bees, and what we can do to help them, Strawbridge Howard shares fascinating details of the lives of flora and fauna that have filled her days with ever-increasing wonder and delight.

©2019 Brigit Strawbridge Howard (P)2019 Chelsea Green Publishing

Critic reviews

"Listeners will quickly discern that this is a love story that begins with bees in the backyard and spreads to a wide array of native fauna and flora. One does not have to be a trained naturalist to appreciate the author's point about the critical need for preserving native species, especially pollinators, which are at the heart of our ecosystem. Her lyrical prose translates well to audio and comes across as more of a freestyle tone poem than a chronicle of her growing awareness of the natural world around her." (AudioFile)

"[A] fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of nature.... This satisfying memoir of a woman’s reawakening to the importance of nature in her life will appeal to fans of natural history memoirs, bees, the natural world, or ecology." (Library Journal)

"[An] engaging, richly descriptive tale of natural discovery." (Booklist, Starred Review) 

What listeners say about Dancing with Bees

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wonder, joy, bees!

Will listen again and again as I'm sure I missed lots first time.
This is a book about bees. But so much more than just bees. It's about how we interact with and care for the world.
Brigit's actual voice and her authorial 'voice' are gentle, full of joy and wonder. It's a pleasure to listen, learn, smile, cry (a bit) and walk alongside her through the book

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Thoroughly enjoyed!

I have been totally captivated by this book from start to finish! I have had lots of long car journeys recently and listening to Brigit's wonderfully calming voice, describing in so much detail, her passion and enthusiasm for bees and the natural world, has had me enthralled. I have learnt so much about the wonderful world of bees from this book and I felt like Brigit was in the car with me. In fact, a couple of times, I almost turned to ask her a question!!
If you have a love and a passion for the natural world, and a thirst for learning as I do, then I thoroughly recommend the audio version of this book... it certainly made my long car journeys evaporate. WildlifeKate (www.wildlifekate.co.uk)

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It got me hooked on bees!

I really liked Brigit's book. it is not a technical book on bee ecology, rather the personal (re)discovery of nature, the seasons and so much more through bees and relatives, their looks and even attitudes. I share many of the author's frustrations when you see something new and interesting and want to identify it quickly, and then it's not so easy. But Brigit says it is sometimes ok just to enjoy it, put a bit of effort and find yourself getting better with time.
The fact that I listened to the audiobook made the story-telling even more personal, as you can hear her showing so much enthusiasm and wonder.

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A pot pourri of Nature's garden

Some poetic and sensory writing about birds, insects, Nature's wonders, trees and of course, bees

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A lot of very useful and interesting content

I learnt a lot from this book, even if I am already a country person and a beekeeper..
I went to school in Malvern, and live in West Dorset, so could relate even more closely to the narrative.
But I found the author's reading stilted, unspontaneous and somewhat monotonous.

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A wonderful insight to finding nature again

The author is wonderfully eloquent, and reads at such a wonderful pace, allowing the listener to take in what she is saying. Her enthusiasm is so infectious and I have loved every moment. I have felt like she was were with me, encouraging my already extensive interest in the natural world. I thank the author for this book, for her care of the natural world and for caring enough to not only write it down but record it for us too. I think everyone should listen to this book, so that their eyes will be opened to a wonderful world they may not yet be aquatinted with. I think I will listen regularly to this book as it’s already a favourite.

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Very interesting

Very insightful and full of interesting facts, it really made me think about how I veiw nature

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Thoroughly enjoyed the book and I have learnt so much too.

Such a relaxing and informative book to listen too. My favourite audible book.
I can certainly recommend Dancing with Bees.

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Delightful and gentle inspiration

After a period of reduced health and family issues this really brought me back to my love of ecology and learning. It's not just about the love of wildlife and wild places but of wild learning, to just go forth and follow the rabbit down that hole seeking knowledge. refreshing listen

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Well observed

Well observed, written and narrated. Very informative. Brigit does a good job. But will it support a second hearing?

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  • It's Just Me
  • 14-08-20

Brigit's delight with bees shines through

I found this to be delightful. Brigit offers a look at bees and a wider area of nature with an almost childlike awe; and I mean childlike as a postive! She expresses how she feels in a way that really appeals to me -- there is wonder, there is a desire to learn more, there is connecting with others over this shared interest, there is a sorrow at the damage that is being done, there is her effort to educate. There is more heartfelt joy in nature in this book than in so many others. The joy I got from this book is in the shared joy of experiencing and delighting in nature.

1 person found this helpful