This novel is a story of life on Earth as it was in the past and into the future with and without the honey bee. It takes us through the story of three different families from various parts of the world at different times and delivers an impactful snapshot of how bees have affected their lives.
In 1851, William had given up hope with his research as a scientist in England until he is brought out of a deep depression by one of his children to design a contraption that can be used to study the honey bee.
Generations later in 2007, an Ohio beekeeper is still using his ancestor’s hive design when he is shocked by the complete disappearance of his bees, like that of many other beekeepers across the country. A futile attempt to rebuild the hive was abandoned when George and his son realize that the bees are dying and cannot be recovered.
Jumping ahead to 2098 in China during The Collapse, Tao is hand pollinating trees with her coworkers to ensure the growth of crops for their survival. Food is scarce for the remaining people who have survived on the planet since the disappearance of the bees. China, unlike other parts of the world, developed a way to hand pollinate fruit trees in order to secure its survival. In her story, Tao ventures outside the boundaries of her confines to find out what happened to her only child when authorities take him after a tragic accident.
This is a good read.