The Joy of Bees (Translated by Paul Tout)

Bees as a model of sustainability and beekeeping as an experience involving nature and human history

Paolo Fontana is an Italian naturalist and researcher at the Edmund Mach Foundation in Trento (Italy). President of the World Biodiversity Association, he has also been a beekeeper for more than 30 years. As an entomologist he has taken part in numerous research expeditions, studying the faunas of Mediterranean as well as tropical countries and describing dozens of species new to science. The author of over 240 publications, in recent years he has focused on the sustainability of agricultural ecosystems, the conservation of biodiversity, beekeeping and its associated problems, the natural management of honeybees and their use as indicators of environmental quality.

In this text Paolo addresses these issues. His enthusiasm shows as his thoughts, ideas and explanations pour out through the uncluttered and homely text. Analogies, paraphrases, exaggerated images some taken from great literature others taken from the literature of folk culture, films and television. It bubbles as if he is speaking in his own dialect. It is to the credit of Paul Tout, Paolo’s translator, that even in a different language it has not lost the pace, character and exuber­ance of the language of the author’s beloved Isola Vicentina.

The text can be contentious, it is thought provoking and, at times, debatable but surely that is what makes a good book.

“This book may not suit traditional scientists but it will certainly appeal to beekeepers and to the large sector of the public who are now concerned about our present natural world and the way it is being abused. In other words it has something for just about everyone and everyone would be better informed and hopefully a more thoughtful citizen for reading it.”
Richard Jones, Chairman, The Eva Crane Trust

“In spite of it being a scientific publication, we read it with the same pleasure as a great novel.”
Susanna Tamaro (Italian Novelist)

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