The Bee’s Knees

James Morrissey
€19.99 €14.99

Many view bees as pests or an unwelcome presence. In reality, though, they’re an ultra-essential part of the ecosystem, and James Morrissey’s The Bee’s Knees is a fascinating and entertaining insight as to why that is. Tracing the history of beekeeping in Ireland and beyond from the ancient era until today, Morrissey’s delightfully decorated book explains why the preservation of bees is so vital, more now than ever. For those with an interest in beekeeping already, or anyone with a soft spot for nature, The Bee’s Knees is an excellent selection.

Morrissey’s timeline of beekeeping throughout the years surprises and informs, as most people might not know just how long the practice of farming bees has existed for. In fact, some of the earliest depictions of honey harvesting come from over 3,500 years ago! As the book moves on from history to present, we learn more about the science behind bees and honey, and why they are so important to ecosystems worldwide. One thing Morrissey’s book touches on is that a majority of store-bought honey is processed to the point where it contains absolutely no pollen whatsoever- rendering the medicinal benefits of raw honey null!

The author does a great job of making urgent the need to combat the growing losses of honeybee colonies. Through helpful infographics and illustrations, the growing issue of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is not taken lightly by Morrissey. There is hope, however; Morrissey includes tips and tricks throughout the book on how to treat bees with the respect they deserve for all their hard work.

The Bee’s Knees is a quality and light read with no prior knowledge of beekeeping needed for comprehension. It makes for a beautiful gift this holiday season!

Praise for The Bee’s Knees

“The Bee’s Knees.. a treatise on man’s best-friend-in-the-blossoms battling for survival in a cruel world of pesticides, monoculture and manicured lawns. This book is skilfully designed and illustrated.” – Joe Kennedy, Irish Independent

“The Bee’s Knees – a beautifully designed honeypot of delicious facts and eye-opening insights.” – Ciara Moynihan, The Mayo News

“The title comes from 1920s slang: “Bee’s knees – highly admired person or thing; Something excellent!” This all applies so well to James Morrissey’s tremendous book. As a long-time bee keeper in flowery south Dublin, I simply loved it and warmly recommend it to all.” – Barbara Pierce, The Irish Catholic

Passionate Environmentalist, Fr Simon Sleeman, has been keeping honey bees for over forty years at Glenstal Abbey, working in his apiary. Monks and religious have a long association of bee keeping, a perfect place of quiet activity, contemplation and spirituality. With the help of Fr Simon the bees thrive in this perfect environment. Photo: © Valerie O’Sullivan













Gerard Coyne is a farmer from Ballynew, Moyard in North Connemara. He also has his own apiary and allows his students to maintain many apiaries in the region. A founding member of the Native Irish Bee Society dedicated to support the Apis Mellifera mellifera, he admits to being besotted with bees. Photo: © Joe O’Shaughnessy













An Post’s Head of Procurement and Fingal North Dublin Beekeepers Association, Paula Butler holding a brood frame from the bee colony located on the rooftop of the GPO building in O’Connell Street, Dublin city.