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Nature Endangered Species


A Year of Bees

by (author) Jenna Butler

Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
Initial publish date
Oct 2020
Endangered Species, Personal Memoirs, Essays
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price

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I hope you're okay in there, lovelies. I hope you're warm. After five years of working with bees on her farm in northern Alberta, Jenna Butler shares with the reader the rich experience of keeping hives. Starting with a rare bright day in late November as the bees are settling in for winter she takes us through a year in beekeeping on her small piece of the boreal forest. Weaving together her personal story with the practical aspects of running a farm she takes us into the worlds of honeybees and wild bees. She considers the twinned development of the canola and honey industries in Alberta and the impact of crop sprays, debates the impact of introduced flowers versus native flowers, the effect of colony collapse disorder and the protection of natural environments for wild bees. But this is also the story of women and bees and how beekeeping became Jenna Butler's personal survival story.

About the author

Jenna Butler was born in Norwich, England, close to the North Sea. Her family emigrated to Canada in the early eighties, initially moving to Toronto and finally settling in Alberta. The sense of belonging to, and simultaneously not quite fitting into, two places—England and Canada—has heavily influenced her work, which often focuses on the varied landscapes of these two countries. Butler holds BA of Arts and B.Ed. degrees from the University of Alberta, in addition to an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She is currently immersed in her Doctorate of Creative and Critical Writing from UEA under the supervision of contemporary British poet Denise Riley. She also runs her own poetry house, Rubicon Press, and teaches English at MacEwan University in Edmonton.

Jenna Butler's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Butler's book reads like a cross between a collection of essays and a naturalist's journal, containing the attentiveness of a love letter and the wistfulness of an elegy." – Event Magazine

"It is Butler's luminous and discerning prose that places this volume with other classics that closely observe a place and its inhabitants, giving us insight into what it means to be fully and powerfully human in a turbulent but beautiful world." – Story Circle Network

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