“The sociology of urban beekeeping occupies most of this entertaining and enjoyable book. Written by two academic sociologists, it betrays a great deal more about the odd ideological fashions, delusions, and pretensions of its human subjects than it does about bees or beekeeping.”
"The text lacks the convoluted writing style that often typifies books by social scientists; it is an interesting and highly readable works that offers an intriguing glimpse into the unique culture of beekeeping, a popular and fast-growing urban phenomenon. Buzz will interest not only general readers, but also students of sociology, natural history/ecology, and entomology, and, of course, anyone with an established or burgeoning passion for beekeeping."
—D.A. Brass, Choice
"In this fascinating blend of sociology, ecology, ethnographic research, and personal memoir, the authors range through all of the aspects of the human relationship with the honeybee."
—Nancy Bent, Booklist
"[A] book valuable in an academic setting."
"The authors thoughtfully allude to the euphemism, the story of the birds and the bees, to broaden an assumption we share about a bee. They reveal their behavior and the reasons for it, further elucidating their activity in a way that provides a deeper understanding of their nature and yields an even deeper mystery of their existence. The book makes me feel glad that someone out there cares enough about this humble creature to cast them in a light they deserve. Thanks for the Buzz."
—San Francisco Book Review
"Buzz contains some genuinely surprising insights, both in terms of what we learn about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves through bees and in terms of what we learn about bees' behavior and their adaptation to urban living . . . Buzz helps illustrate what may be the most important sociological warrant for studying animals: they do not merely reflect the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, they shape society's stories."
—American Journal of Sociology
"Covering everything from the place of honey in artisanal food shops and health-related goods, to cultural and media images, the authors describe how the bee has manifested as a cultural representation of the natural world and how people respond to it . . . readers with a keen desire to understand how bees fit into society and sustainability will find this text on human/insect relations an intriguing read."
"For almost as long as I have been working in the field of human-animal studies, I have wanted someone to seriously investigate people's relationships with insects. With Buzz, Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut have made a unique, important, and fascinating addition to the literature. Both authors are talented and observant believers in hands-on research. After reading Buzz, you will forever see bees and those who care for them differently."
—Clinton Sanders, author of Regarding Animals
- "Buzz is a fascinating reminder of the interconnections between humans and animals, even in that most urban of environments, New York City. Lisa Jean Moore and Mary Kosut properly remind us that this tiny insect, the humble honeybee, carries much cultural baggage--a source of honeyed food and occasionally the vector of death. As we come to recognize the limits and dangers of environmental change, Buzz reminds us that we should remember not only what bees mean to us humans, but how humans shape bee colonies. The accounts of urban beekeepers and the recent growth of tended hives throughout the boroughs emphasize that the diversity of human interests matches the diversity of nature. Ultimately, as Moore and Kosut recognize in this intrepid and lively tour of beedom, nature is cultural."
—Gary Alan Fine, author of Sticky Reputations: The Politics of Collective Memory in Midcentury America
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