OCTOBER 13-16, 2022

and year round


Where Honeybees Thrive - Heather Swan - <span class="date-display-single">10/13/2018 - 11:00am</span>

Where Honeybees Thrive

10/13/2018 - 11:00am

Discovery Building - DeLuca Forum

Colony Collapse Disorder, ubiquitous pesticide use, industrial agriculture, habitat reduction—these are just a few of the issues causing unprecedented trauma in honeybee populations worldwide. In this artfully illustrated book, Heather Swan embarks on a narrative voyage to discover solutions to—and understand the sources of—the plight of honeybees.


Through a lyrical combination of creative nonfiction and visual imagery, Where Honeybees Thrive tells the stories of the beekeepers, farmers, artists, entomologists, ecologists, and other advocates working to stem the damage and reverse course for this critical pollinator. Using her own quest for understanding as a starting point, Swan highlights the innovative projects and strategies these groups employ. Her mosaic approach to engaging with the environment not only reveals the incredibly complex political ecology in which bees live—which includes human and nonhuman actors alike—but also suggests ways of comprehending and tackling a host of other conflicts between postindustrial society and the natural world. Each chapter closes with an illustrative full-color gallery of bee-related artwork.


A luminous journey from the worlds of honey producers, urban farmers, and mead makers of the United States to those of beekeepers of Sichuan, China, and researchers in southern Africa, Where Honeybees Thrive traces the global web of efforts to secure a sustainable future for honeybees—and ourselves. 


Presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Heather Swan

About Presenter Heather Swan


Heather Swan is the author of the nonfiction book, Where Honeybees Thrive: Stories from the Field (Penn State Press), winner of the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award;  the chapbook of poems, The Edge of Damage (Parallel Press), winner of Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Best Chapbook Award; and the forthcoming book of poems, A Kinship with Ash (Terrapin Books). Her nonfiction has appeared in such places as  Aeon, Belt Magazine, Catapult, Minding Nature, Basalt, ISLE, and Edge Effects. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, The Hopper, Phoebe, Cold Mountain Review, Midwestern Gothic, The Raleigh Review and several anthologies. She has been the recipient of the Martha Meyer Renk Fellowship in Poetry, the August Derleth Prize, and an Illinois Arts Council Artist Grant.  She teaches writing and environmental literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


Where Honeybees Thrive

Madison Public Library logo

201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703

© 2013-2022


join the conversation #wibookfest

we couldn't do it without you: