Revery: A Year of Bees by Jenna Butler
A memoir about the joys and strength found in beekeeping
"I hope you're okay in there, lovelies. I hope you're warm." After five years of working with bees on her farm in northern Alberta, Jenna Butler shares with the reader the rich experience of keeping hives. Starting with a rare bright day in late November as the bees are settling in for winter she takes us through a year in beekeeping on her small piece of the boreal forest. Weaving together her personal story with the practical aspects of running a farm she takes us into the worlds of honeybees and wild bees. She considers the twinned development of the canola and honey industries in Alberta and the impact of crop sprays; debates the impact of introduced flowers versus native flowers, the effect of colony collapse disorder and the protection of natural environments for wild bees. But this is also the story of women and bees and how beekeeping became Jenna Butler's personal survival story. (From Wolsak & Wynn)
Revery: A Year of Bees is on the Canada Reads 2023 longlist. The final five books and the panellists who chose them will be revealed on Jan. 25, 2023.
LISTEN | Jenna Butler on making the Canada Reads longlist:
Revery: A Year of Bees was on the shortlist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction.
- The finalists for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction
- What tending bees taught an Alberta author about dealing with pain and hope
Jenna Butler is a writer and farmer currently living in Alberta. Her other books include the poetry collections Seldom Seen Road, Wells and Aphelion; the essay collection A Profession of Hope and the travelogue Magnetic North.
"Working with the bees has given me the sense that my own life is changing in ways that I don't really have a lot of control over, but I do have the ability to navigate and shift in these small ways.
If you want to work with the bees, you want to work with the benefits of the bees. You have to learn how to let bad things go.- Jenna Butler on beekeeping
"If you want to work with the bees, you want to work with the benefits of the bees. You have to learn how to let bad things go. You have to be able to drop a bad energy day to go into the yard and work with the bees."