Meredith May

Books Heather Karpas, +1 212 556 6621 Email Heather Karpas

The Honey Bus

book | Non-Fiction | Mar 2019
US & Canada → Park Row Books (Ed. Erika Imranyi)
UK & Comm → Harlequin Books (Ed. Lisa Milton)

An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature’s most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee.

Meredith May recalls the first time a honeybee crawled on her arm. She was five years old, her parents had recently split and suddenly she found herself in the care of her grandfather, an eccentric beekeeper who made honey in a rusty old military bus in the yard. That first close encounter was at once terrifying and exhilarating for May, and in that moment she discovered that everything she needed to know about life and family was right before her eyes, in the secret world of bees.

May turned to her grandfather and the art of beekeeping as an escape from her troubled reality. Her mother had receded into a volatile cycle of neurosis and despair and spent most days locked away in the bedroom. It was during this pivotal time in May’s childhood that she learned to take care of herself, forged an unbreakable bond with her grandfather and opened her eyes to the magic and wisdom of nature.

The bees became a guiding force in May’s life, teaching her about family and community, loyalty and survival and the unequivocal relationship between a mother and her child. Part memoir, part beekeeping odyssey, The Honey Bus is an unforgettable story about finding home in the most unusual of places, and how a tiny, little-understood insect could save a life.


Film Rights


Contact Heather Karpas for more information

Helen Manders manages the translation rights for The Honey Bus


Translation Rights Sold

Chinese Complex
Locus Publishing Company
Chinese Simple
CITIC Publishing Group
A W Bruna Uitgevers
Editions Fayard
Fischer Verlag, S
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore
Next Wave Media
Wydawnictwo Otwarte Sp. .
HarperCollins Brazil
Los Libros del Lince

Captivating and surprising ... If you've ever been stung by a bee you will instantly forget the venom and remember forever the sweetness and redemption bees offer in this extraordinary book. 

Sy Montgomery

To read about Meredith May's bee family and her human family is to garner heart strength. A true story in every sense. 

Maxine Hong Kingston

The Honey Bus is a rare treat for true storytelling deeply rooted in science. Everyone will leave this book with much more knowledge about bees and humanity, and the compassion that lives at the intersection of the two. [A] captivating coming of age family story. 

Noah Wilson-Rich

If Meredith May's book was simply an ethology of bees I would devour every word; her prose is tender, thoughtful and transporting. But The Honey Bus is so much more - a memoir of aching loneliness, reckoning and redemption. Beautiful and brave. 

Domenica Ruta

The wounded feminine, the missing masculine, healed by a relationship with honeybees. An innocent child’s hard won journey to adulthood - clear eyed, often very funny, and agonisingly compassionate. The Honey Bus is all these things and more - so if you’ve ever been a lonely child, or want the world to become a kinder place, here is your book

Laline Paull, author of The Bees

Chosen as one of the five best nonfiction books coming out in April

A terrific debut memoir.

Caroline Sanderson
The Bookseller

A fascinating and hopeful book of family, bees, and how “even when [children] are overwhelmed with despair, nature has special ways to keep them safe."

Full Review

Journalist May (coauthor, I, Who Did Not Die), a fifth-generation beekeeper in San Francisco, delivers a powerful account of growing up in 1970s California... [Her] chronicle of overcoming obstacles and forging ahead is moving and thoughtful.

Publishers Weekly
Full Review

I loved this perfect memoir so much that I read it twice and already know that it will be one of my favorites of the year. Meredith May learns to withstand pain, loss, and grief through the lessons her beloved grandfather teaches her... I cannot wait to put this moving, emotionally compelling memoir into many hands this spring!

20 Indie Next Great Reads

[A] sharply visceral memoir. 


Sweet, tender, and with the kind of clear-eyed honesty that comes from a compassionate soul

Sunday Express

A book of revelations, clear-eyed, eloquent and so touching… a wise, touching, beautiful reminiscence – and a cry for help for nature’s wonder workers

SAGA Magazine

Heather Karpas
+1 212 556 6621
Email Heather Karpas
Translation Rights
Helen Manders
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Helen Manders