Meredith May

Books Zoe Sandler, +1 212 556 5600 Email Zoe Sandler

The Honey Bus

book | Non-Fiction | Apr 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.


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Claire Nozieres 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

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

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

[A] sharply visceral memoir. 


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

Sunday Express

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

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

Filled with hope, grace, beauty, and wisdom, this book is like warm honey in the sunshine. It beautifully illustrates how nature - even honeybees - can teach and heal us, if only we open our minds and hearts. It's the kind of book that stays with you long after you've finished it—a rare treasure—and you don't have to be a bee lover to be deeply moved by May’s wonderful story. I'm recommending it to everyone I know

Stacey O'Brien
New York Times bestselling author of Wesley the Owl

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

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

Zoe Sandler
+1 212 556 5600
Email Zoe Sandler
Translation Rights
Claire Nozieres
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Claire Nozieres