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There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must Reads: 'Honey and Venom'

“I bleed honey. It runs deep in my veins. I am a fourth—generation beekeeper, intimately familiar with the world of honey bees and the aberrations of those who maintain them.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are the first lines from the prologue to Andrew Cote’s book Honey and Venom: Confessions of an Urban Beekeeper. Although he learned his beekeeping skills from his father while living in Connecticut most of his turf today “includes skyscrapers, community gardens, ancient cemeteries, international territory and other hidden pockets of New York City.”

His book is filled with fascinating details of the life of a honeybee apiary, his work to keep beekeeping alive in New York City, jobs he has done for films that include swarms of bees and even one installation of a famous sculpture for the MOMA where the reclining woman’s head was a swarm of live bees.

He recounts some of the times his help has been enlisted to remove swarms of bees from inappropriate places including the top of the seventeen story New York Times building.  He has met many famous people through his bees including Yoko Ono, Paul Newman and Bill Clinton. He is also the founder of BWB, Bees Without Borders and travels worldwide teaching beekeeping skills to developing countries.

Cote describes apitherapy where clinicians use bee stings as therapy, particularly to alleviate arthritis and how bees can be trained to detect bombs and cancer. Bees have five eyes, four wings, sort-of two stomachs and no ears and their bodies are completely covered in hair -- even their eyes and tongue.

If you’ve ever wanted to become better friends with bees, then you must read Honey and Venom by Andrew Cote.

Betty Martin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Lutheran pastor and his organist wife. Betty’s love of books was inspired by her father who read to all four children each night.
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