The Bees by Laline Paull is the official July 2020 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club for Recovering Readers.
I keep a running list of book ideas that are recommended to me from a wide variety of friends all in the name of ensuring that every month of book club has something fresh and fun to look forward to.
Over the course of each year, we rotate through a wide variety of genres so that there is always something for everyone on the list.
Most of our members come to the club looking to be pushed a little outside of their comfort zone.
With that in mind, I selected something that veers a hard left from the light, fluffy romances we’ve had for a few months.
The title of this book club pick felt just right for the hot days of summer and reading in the back yard where you just may be surrounded by the subject of this fictional world . . .
Peanut Blossom Book Club
This book club pick is one of the awesome books from our sixth year of book club.
We’re still going strong! Want to join us?
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What Is The Bees About?
“Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion.
But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset.
She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen.
She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.
But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen’s fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power.
Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.”
The Bees Book Club Discussion Questions
I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.
You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!
Be sure to check out the official discussion in our book club group right here.
What did you think of The Bees? Will you ever look at your backyard bees the same way after reading this book?
What book genre would you classify this book as? Why?
What comparisons between the hive community and your own community can you draw? Why do you think the term “hive mentality” is so common? What does it mean to you?
Why do you think the author centered this story on bees?
How do the bees view the world outside the hive?
Would you ever consider being a beekeeper?
Did this story inspire you to research that hobby?
What did you think about the Epilogue to the book? Were you familiar with the tradition of “telling the bees” when someone has passed?
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
Book Club Party Menu
When planning a book club menu for The Bees, the obvious choice would be to offer lots of appetizers with honey!
Head to the store and pick up a variety of honey flavors: orange blossom, tupelo honey, and even a bottle of hot honey infused with peppers.