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Thread: Honey Bee Novel

  1. #1
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    Default Honey Bee Novel

    Hello!
    For the past several months, I have been researching honey bees. I am writing a novel from the perspective of a bee, and trying to capture all of the different aspects of their experience. I have become incredibly interested in bees. They are fascinating, and about a week ago I actually got a honey bee tattoed on my arm. I'm trying to learn everything I can. I have read excerpts from books, articles, and watched videos. Any particular aspects of the honey bee that anyone thinks I should include, I'd really appreciate suggestions!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Have you done much research into what has been written before? I'm not sure about novelizations, but there was that Jerry Seinfeld CG animated movie a couple years ago that was terrible.

    Here's a list of why (factually speaking):
    Bee families
    Male foragers
    The whole honey production system was wrong
    Individuality of the honeybee
    The true role of the queen (she's not a queen)

    There's a bunch more stuff too. If you have any questions, there will be plenty willing to answer them.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Have you done much research into what has been written before? I'm not sure about novelizations, but there was that Jerry Seinfeld CG animated movie a couple years ago that was terrible.

    Here's a list of why (factually speaking):
    Bee families
    Male foragers
    The whole honey production system was wrong
    Individuality of the honeybee
    The true role of the queen (she's not a queen)

    There's a bunch more stuff too. If you have any questions, there will be plenty willing to answer them.
    OMG...Yes, if you are referring to The Bee Movie, (was it dream works?) I am also horrified by the mangled perversion they made of honey bees...I have heard of The Secret Life of Bees as a novel but have not read it...I'm really trying to be accurate. There are some details I don't know if I'll be able to stay true to. For example, bees not being able to see red. But on the whole I'm basing a lot of the plot on things that actually happen in nucs that people don't know about. My opening scene is at a drone congregation. The thing I have not done that I really want to do is visit an actual apiary to do some observation there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Why is seeing red a problem?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Quote Originally Posted by lonewolf.sprigg View Post
    Hello!
    For the past several months, I have been researching honey bees. I am writing a novel from the perspective of a bee, and trying to capture all of the different aspects of their experience. I have become incredibly interested in bees. They are fascinating, and about a week ago I actually got a honey bee tattoed on my arm. I'm trying to learn everything I can. I have read excerpts from books, articles, and watched videos. Any particular aspects of the honey bee that anyone thinks I should include, I'd really appreciate suggestions!
    I think a book can be done. Keep in mind that an average bee barely lives for two months, so you will have to keep that in mind if you want a "Main Character", a queen would be a better choice, however, she never sees Adventure. She lays eggs all day!

    I was bouncing around an idea of making a beehive video game, Making it an Real Time Strategy game, but it would be way too complicated! If you write this book, Send me the link to buy it!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    So in response to the red thing, I have read that bees cannot see red. They can see some frequencies of light not visible to humans, such as ultraviolet, but cannot distinguish red from other colors (I forget specifically what color they confuse it with). I don't know if that's something I'll include in the book because red is a good color for imagery, very symbolic in a lot of ways, so it's probably going to be necessary to be inaccurate and pretend they can see red. In response to Ravenzero, thanks for your comment! I am keeping in mind the short lifespan. So far, I've got 54,000 words (which is a lot) and my main character bee is only 5 days old. I may do a part from the perspective of one member of each bee caste.

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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Of course, each worker bee goes through every caste with the exception of being queen or a drone, so the caste system is more like a phase system, and the bees "come of age" for each phase at a certain time of their lives. I'm sure it's been a challenge to write, since the inside of a hive is dark and bees communicate through scent and touch. I created a bee board game that I play with my family, so I understand how a creative idea like this can grab you.

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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Five days old? Is that five days from emerging or five days from hatching from the egg? I'm sure you came across this in your research, bees spend 3 weeks in the cell, 3 weeks in the hive, and 3 weeks in the field. I've read many books that take place over the course of a much shorter time.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    > For example, bees not being able to see red.

    Saying bees can't see red is exactly as accurate as saying humans can't see black or infra red. It is exactly the same thing. We can certainly make out something that is black...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Five days old? Is that five days from emerging or five days from hatching from the egg? I'm sure you came across this in your research, bees spend 3 weeks in the cell, 3 weeks in the hive, and 3 weeks in the field. I've read many books that take place over the course of a much shorter time.
    That's five days after emerging.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Welcome LS! Jon, bees do not change caste. Workers go through temporal polyethism, a progression of responsibilities from cleaning brood cells to foraging for propollis.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    Welcome LS! Jon, bees do not change caste. Workers go through temporal polyethism, a progression of responsibilities from cleaning brood cells to foraging for propollis.
    Yay! You make me happy That's what I was thinking, because by caste I sorta meant queen drone worker, but I was afraid to say it and be wrong since I'm not actually a bee keeper just an enthusiast. I've read about polyethism, though, in the Beekeeper's Handbook, which is really informative! I discovered that artificial insemination for queen bees is actually a thing yesterday and am fascinated all over again. Anyone have any thoughts on that topic?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    A bee could live for months if it were born in the fall. It would winter in the hive with all her sisters and gossip about how beautiful spring is even though none of the bees have seen it. (they would only taste of it in the honey) In the end they reach their bee heaven when the snows defrost and the flowers emerge. And they could pass all of their knowledge to their unhatched sisters through sound and dance.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    >Anyone have any thoughts on that topic?

    Most queens are not instrumentally inseminated (II). Most are open mated. The II queens are VERY expensive... so if you paint the picture that most are II it is misleading...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Honey Bee Novel

    AmericasBeekeeper, of course you are right that bees don't have a caste system, but if you read my post further you'd see that I say rather than a caste system, the bees go through phases, as you express as a progression.

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