Signing “Bee Time” at Munro’s Bookstore, Victoria BC
Winston, M.L. and R.J. Saklikar 2018. Listening to the Bees. Nightwood Editions, Gibson’s B.C.
I’m available for:
Bee Time: Lessons From the Hive. (Governor Generals Literary Award for Nonfiction, 2015)There are powerful lessons to be learned from bees about how we humans can better understand our place in nature, engage the people and events surrounding us with greater focus and clarity, interact more effectively in our relationships and communities, and open ourselves to a deeper understanding of who we are as individuals, communities and a species. I’ll talk about my experiences over 30 years of walking into apiaries, and the lessons learned from a life spent among the bees.
Value or Values: Audacious Ideas for the Future of Beekeeping. We often support the value of bees with economic arguments, neglecting the dimension of values, the principles we hold important and the personal and environmental standards that should be at the heart of beekeeping rather than at its fringes. The current and serious issues facing bees suggest it is time for a new manifesto to guide beekeeping, one that might recognize beekeepers as stewards of both managed and wild bees, promoters of healthy environments, owners of economically sustainable apiaries and paragons of collaboration and cooperation. It’s time for some audacious thinking about the future of beekeeping.
The Artistry of Bees: There is much to learn about honeybees, and ourselves, through art that takes bees as subject and topic. Best described as inspiration, it’s expressed in the way that the magical, mystical essence of the hive inspires our creativity and wonder. The most powerful translators of the marvels presented by bees may be artists, who provide distinctive insights through various media. Because we routinely conduct business with bees, we often overlook the profound lessons they provide in spheres beyond data and commerce. Bees yield insights into the spiritual, religious, and philosophical realms for those who pause to view their message through art.
My six books have had strong reviews in the popular press, been translated into a number of languages, sold well in North America and internationally and have had considerable impact on issues including pesticide use, genetically modified crops and development of sustainable beekeeping and agriculture. Titles include:
The Biology of the Honey Bee
Killer Bees: The Africanized Honey Bee in the Americas
From Where I Sit
Nature Wars: People vs. Pests
Nora and Ted Sterling Prize in Controversy, SFU 1998
Short listed, BP Natural World Book Prize
Travels in the Genetically Modified Zone
The Biology of the Honey Bee: Winston’s writing is brisk and enthusiastic and the book’s illustrations clear and informative. This is a delightful study of an odd, yet oddly familiar, creature.—John R. Alden, Wall Street Journal
Nature Wars: [An] erudite and fascinating book . . . The lesson here reads like a Greek tragedy: The more modern agriculture removes biodiversity from the land, the more susceptible it becomes to pests, which ultimately means more pesticides. This deadly cycle explains why the promise of biological controls of the use of natural predators has remained just that, a promise. Andrew Nikiforuk, Globe and Mail [Toronto]
Nature Wars: Winston is probing and thoughtful, whether he is exploring what he contends was an unwarranted public outcry over a 1992 spraying in Vancouver of the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis to thwart a gypsy-moth invasion, or the likelihood that the public will view as a failure the ongoing effort in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia to stop the spread of codling moths (an apple pest) by releasing sterile male moths. Robert Braile, Boston Globe
Nature Wars: In an articulate and accessible writing style, Winston explains the pesticide dilemma, the threat that our reliance on synthetic pesticides poses both to human health and safety and to the preservation of what is left of the natural environment. Lawrence M. Hanks, Nature
Travels in the Genetically Modified Zone: Winston’s lucid new book…[is] both timely and valuable, not least because it is easy to read and understand, even for the non-scientist. As the issue confronts the whole of the planet, this book deserves to be as big a seller as any Harry Potter adventure. Nicholas Lander, Financial Times
Travels in the Genetically Modified Zone: Winston writes fluidly, in a style accessible to the general reader. He opts for simplicity rather than…obfuscation…His description of how genetic engineering works–like the cut-and-paste functions of a computer program–is both basic and elegant. Ingeborg Boyens, Globe and Mail