I’m not sure how I missed it, but the Governor General’s Literary Award winners were announced last week. Guy Vanderhaeghe’s Daddy Lenin and Other Stories took the prize in the fiction category, but I was more intrigued by the non-fiction category’s winner, Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive by Mark L. Winston.

I removed the lid of the first hive. The bees were surprisingly calm, gentle, going about their business. There was no onslaught. My fear dissipated, and I began to pay attention to the activity in the hive. The gloves came off, then the veil. I pulled out the frames one by one to inspect the combs.

It was one of those moments in life when everything shifts.

It’s a full body experience being among the bees. First you hear the sound, the low hum of tens of thousands of female workers flying in and out of their hives, each circling the apiary to get her bearings and then heading off purposefully in a literal beeline toward blooming flowers.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve not yet read any of the nominated books. It’s been a busy autumn. Get it? … busy … BEE!

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