by Amanda Cox
I can’t recall the moment that I first became enchanted by honeybees. I’m sure it had something to do with watching the film adaptation of Fried Green Tomatoes as a girl, and meeting Idgie Threadgoode, the proclaimed bee charmer. There was something magical about the idea of wild stinging things being able to be tamed.
I admired bees from afar for quite some time, but the spring of 2020 brought me much closer. The pace of life shifted for us all that year. There were a couple of ways that I coped with slow moving days that existed inside of a world that spun with anxiety. I took mini-vacations throughout the day, stepping outside for quiet strolls through my clover-dotted yard. On these walks I fell deeper in love with some daily visitors—the multitude of honeybees that found my clover even more delightful than I did. Though the whole world seemed to wobble on its axis, their existence stayed constant. There was something comforting about the way the bees industriously continued doing what they were made to do without a care.
Researching niche topics is another way I tend to take a break from reality. The year 2020 marked the beginning of my full-blown bee obsession. After watching hours upon hours of YouTube videos and reading countless books and blogs, I decided I would finally take the leap and keep bees the following spring. With a little fear and trembling, I put in an order of bees for my first two hives. There was no going back at that point! It was time to move from daydreaming to doing.
I will be the first to admit that I am no Idgie Threadgoode. Bees are intimidating. A single bee is one thing. A hive full is something else entirely. I will forever be in awe of the amount of wind those tiny wings can stir. And the way the sound of their collective hum can tell me their mood. It is a breathtaking moment, opening a hive that was nothing but empty frames a couple of weeks prior and see their waxwork world teeming with new life. Their efforts are intricate, precise, and ruthlessly industrious. They seem to possess the power to create entire worlds from nothing. Though my skills have improved over time, I am sure I will always feel like a bumbling giant trespassing in their delicate universe.
The hand of our Creator is so evident in these tiny societies. No one tells the bees how to harvest pollen and nectar, or how to store it. No one teaches them how to maintain the exact humidity level needed within the hive to transform stored nectar into honey. There is an entire hierarchy with unique job rolls that changes over the course of their short lives. No one tells them what to do, or how, or when to perform the required tasks. They don’t fight for rank or position. (Unless you are a usurping queen bee, of course.) They simply know their purpose and who they serve. It is incredible.
During my summer of the bees, I was finishing up The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery, my second published novel. When considering what to write next, I wasn’t completely sure about the storyline, but I was certain honeybees and strong female figures would take center stage. My mind was filled with both the strength and resilience of women, the indomitable honeybee, and the beautiful parallels I see between the two.
The women you’ll meet in He Should Have Told the Bees, are a lot like the honeybee. Delicate but strong. (And even stronger when they band together.) They face trials, but they are also resourceful, resilient, and skilled at learning how to “survive the elements” of their lives.
I hope you enjoy glimpses into the world of the honeybee that I have woven into this story as you dive into the entangled lives of my protagonists, Callie and Beckett. I hope the fingerprint of our Creator is evident, and that the words I have penned serve as a reminder that His is the voice that tells the bees where to go, how far to fly, and the way back home. His is the voice that whispers that we are deeply loved and cared for even when the world tries to convince us otherwise. A little bee told me this story over and over again as I wrote my forthcoming novel. I hope you hear it too when you read He Should Have Told the Bees.
About the Author
Amanda Cox is the four-time Christy Award–winning author of The Edge of Belonging and The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and theology and a master’s degree in professional counseling, but her first love is communicating through story. Her studies and her interactions with hurting families over a decade have allowed her to create multidimensional characters who connect emotionally with readers. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her husband and their three children. Learn more at AmandaCoxWrites.com.
About the Book
Beekeeper Beckett Walsh was living her dream, until her father's death sent her world into a tailspin. She suddenly finds she must deal with Callie Peterson, a new part owner of the family apiary—one who is looking to sell the property—and she cannot fathom why her father would put her in the position to lose everything they built together. With an entangled past behind them and an uncertain future ahead, Beckett and Callie must discover why they've been thrown together before all is lost.
Did You Know?
During World War II, MI9, the British Directorate of Military Intelligence, devised ways to send tools to British POWs in Nazi POW camps.
Some of these tools were hidden inside board games.
Certain charitable organizations such as the Red Cross were allowed to deliver gift boxes which contained these games to the POWs inside the camps.
The “top secret” status of these games was kept over fifty years after the war before the public knew about them.
The British government created many ways to infiltrate enemy lines. Placing tools inside games to help POWs escape was one of the ingenious plans. No one knows how many prisoners were aided in their escapes by these games.
-Marilyn Turk, The Escape Game
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“I love my Christian bookstore because I like being able to flip through the pages of a book to get a better idea of what to expect and whether it appears to meet my needs and expectations.”
-Linda W. Rooks, Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light