The Bees

The Bees

A Novel

eBook - 2014
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This brilliantly imagined debut tells the story of Flora 717, a devout young worker bee who finds herself in possession of a deadly secretFlora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen. A feat of bravery grants her access to the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's preeminence—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the hive's strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by a greater power: a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, and her society—and lead her to perform unthinkable deeds.Thrilling, suspenseful, and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees and its dazzling young heroine will forever change the way you look at the world outside your window.
Publisher: 2014
ISBN: 9780062331168
Branch Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

Opinion

From Library Staff

A member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, Flora 717, due to her courage and strength, finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum where she discovers secrets about the hive that cause her to challenge authority and perform unthinkable acts.

A member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, Flora 717, due to her courage and strength, finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum where she discovers secrets about the hive that cause her to challenge authority and perform unthinkable acts.

An imaginative story set in a honeybee hive, in which one original and independent thinker can change the course of a whole society.


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d
Dub
Mar 02, 2017

Watership Down it is not. It is good juvenile literature with a simple tale and some interesting bee facts.

d
dawnoflibraries
Oct 07, 2016

Flora 717 begins to suspect deception and corruption in the hive. A bee-view fantasy for fans of Watership Down and Redwall, that is both brutal and captivating.

w
wendyjotaylor
Aug 16, 2016

Immensely enjoyable read, although scientific facts do not seem to get in the way of the story line. Our heroine, Flora 717, gave birth not once but thee times by immaculate conception! But awesome descriptions of sensual delight. A wonderful read.

b
Blue_18
Aug 08, 2016

Interesting read but skip the Epilogue and it's a better book.

t
TomatoMama
Aug 03, 2016

I was completely satisfied with this tale of a bee named Flora. Throughout this story, I was introduced to the communal experiences of apiary life and the culture of the hive. Well-fleshed protagonist and a beautifully told novel. I would love to see The Bees made into a sophisticated animated film. Kids and adults alike would love it. The Bees, by Laline Paull, is an edgy, sweet and imaginative work and I was moved by it.

2
29090010256541
Jul 12, 2016

This book is very detailed in ways that is fascinating and very true; this book goes through the hive's daily activities and includes many of the problems the bees face. The story is very gripping, just as things turns grim the bees finds out how to turn it around, especially at the end, where the climax is.

n
Ndmartin35
Jun 17, 2016

I think the concept of this novel is interesting and having studied animal behavior, most of the bee behavior is pretty accurate, if adapted to make the story better. An interesting read, especially if you're into nature, behavior, or bees!

r
rebmartin31
Jun 01, 2016

In full disclosure, I am terrified of bees, so I was already going out on a limb here with this book.

That said, I think this was just too weird/avant-garde/experimental fiction for me. This is about as unconventional a narrator as you could possibly have in fiction. I just couldn't get into it.

The plot never really went anywhere, I found. I thought there was supposed to be some big reveal--Flora (717) was supposed to find out some big, life-altering secret from the Queen Bee, but this never really happened for me (maybe it did happen and I missed it?). There was no climax to this story. It just fell flat.

The thing that I remember happening most often in the plot was the "kiss of death" executions from the controller bees. Quite relentless and repetitive. Not a way I want to remember this narrative.

Maybe some people find this dystopian fiction to be on-par with something like The Handmaid's Tale, but I'm not seeing it. I don't think this book is somehow illuminating current human society or anything through a parable of bees. Just a weird digression into the inner workings of a bee colony. Nothing too special there. Maybe this book will be interesting in the future when all the bees have disappeared, though I hope that doesn't happen!

b
BWilsoned
Jan 22, 2016

It's a story of royal intrigue: the queen rules with overpowering love while her advisors meddle with the working class, enforce laws with a brutal police force, and secretly plot to secure the royal line. A plucky young heroine breaks rules and crosses boundaries, dispatches enemies, and saves the day.

It's a natural history of a bee hive in an old orchard which is going to be sold soon. After a bad season; raids by the beekeeper, a mouse, and wasps; and a mysterious malady that deforms eggs, the hive has to make it through the winter and beyond.

Flora 717 is not like other bees in her hive. She's too big, too hairy, and she can think and talk--definitely not sanitation worker bee material. Elevated above her status for an experiment, Flora quickly learns much more about hive life than any other single bee. She lives longer, discovers her many talents beyond cleaning, learns the history and secrets of the hive; she's quite unlike any other bee in the hive. She sees behind the hive mind, the pheromone pathways, the foppish and selfish drones; forages beyond the orchard; and finally understands what it is she needs to do.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jul 22, 2015

Watership Down meets The Handmaid’s Tale in this dystopian allegory that tackles class struggle, social conformity, and totalitarianism, all from within a beehive. Flora 717 is born into the lowest social strata of her hive, but there’s something... different about her. Her uncommon skill and insight allows her to move between social roles and gains her the admiration of her peers, but also exposes her to scrutiny of an elite group of bees close to the Queen intent on protecting the hive’s rigid social order.

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stephaniedchase
May 25, 2014

“ACCEPT, OBEY, SERVE.”

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