A perfect combination of funny pictures and simple educational texts. And the undisputed protagonists, our beloved bees.
We can not think of a better way to aproach the bee-universe and reach all audiences. The Polish Piotr Socha is to blame.
Illustrator Piotr Socha became interested in bees by family history: his father is an amateur beekeeper.
But this point of departure is not enough for a subject to take you to the point of dedicating one of your works completely. Something must «sting» inside.
Interview with Piotr Socha
–What was the determining factor to approach this project? It was perhaps a project long desired?
At first, we ( me and Wydawnictwo Dwie Siostry – publisher of «Bees») wanted to publish any illustrated book for children. But we didn’t know what it would be about. We had no subject of such a book.
I sent them one illustration which looked like taken from old botanic atlas.
It presented invented, funny insects (see attached)
When I told them that my father is a bee keeper and they answered me: -«then make a book about bees».
So it wasn’t my idea but I found it very interesting at once. My imagination started to work very fast from this moment. I thought that it’s a good ocasion to dedicate the book to my parents who have had an apiary for 40 years. I worked with them several times. I was affraid of bees but this world seemed to me very mysterious and fascinating. First I started to read a lot about bees life and about people and the bees in the history of mankind.
I found many fascinating information, even much more than were published in a book.
–How long it takes to do an illustration?
That depends. One of them are more laborius, others I made faster. First I make a pencil sketch on a paper. When I’m satisfied with it, I scan it to the computer and colour it. It takes few days to finish such illustration like those from “Bees”. This illustrations are more laborious than other because they have many details.
For example when you have to draw different flowers pollinated by the bees.
It’s a lot of work when you have to prepare more than 30 such illustrations to the book. I worked like a bee.
–Do you like honey? Which is your favorite honey?
Yes, I like honey very much. I know only few kind of honey: linden, acacia, buckweat, mixed flower, honeydew.
Of course I would like to taste many other, for example: onion, manuka, mint, eucalyptus, orange, etc..
My favourite is buckweat honey because of its recognizable, strong taste.
–What have you discovered about bees they you didn´t know before making this book and that has surprised you?
There is so many informations I didn’t know after preparing the book. Its difficult to choose only few.
Thirst of all I realized that bees are so important to the people for thousand of years all over the world: in Europe, Asia, Africa and other continents.
In ancient Egypt they told pharaon “prince of the bees”. But main think is that pollination is more important then a honey.
I wasn’t aware of it earlier that they “produce” our food, 70% of most important vegetables and fruits are pollinate by bees.
Their work is worth many billions of euros every year and bees work for free!
Moreover I wasn’t aware that one bees family have fly even about 150 000 kilometers to gather nectar for 1kg of linden honey.
All of the people have to be aware of it. We have to protect them, because they work for us. Wergilius, ancient Roman poet, wrote in his poem “Georgiki” that bees are powerful and strong like Cyklops – mithological giants and he was absolutely right.
–Have you thought someday becoming amateur beekeeper like your father?
I’m very proud of my father and the fact that he was a bee keeper.
A year and a half ago, he lost his bees, they left almost all of his hives. My father didn’t know why it happened. Bees left the hives full of food. He was very sad. I told him, that bees left his apiary because they start to work for me.
I was thinking about my book which turned out to be very popular in Poland and was published in: Spain, German, Italy, France, Great Britain, Finland, Netherlands and soon will be available in USA, Russia, China, South Korea and in some other countries too next year.
I think I would never could be as good a bee -keeper as my father was, but «never say never». Maybe one day…? Now I’m concentrating on drawing but I’m really satisfied that I made this book. It’s the best of my works so far.
Where to buy The Book of Bees
It does not matter if you are a child, young or younger, if you are an amateur beekeeper or just passing by, if you read a lot of books or you read nothing.
«Bees» will surprise you. Enjoy it.
Buy the book in your favorite bookstore, or through an online store, the thing is to have close to the Bees of Piotr Socha.Libro Abejas de Piotr Socha (Spain) and The Book of Bees. Piotr Socha for UK.
Biography of Piotr Socha
Piotr Socha (Poland, 1966) graduated in Fine Arts in Warsaw in 1992 and since then has worked as an illustrator in many Polish publications and has also collaborated with the television of his country, which has allowed him to obtain some quality prizes worldwide.
Draw for newspapers, magazines, books and even for electronic games.