books

Helen has written for BBC Wildlife, Caught by the River, The Junket, Port Magazine and Litro. A Honeybee Heart has Five Openings, a memoir about bees, bodies and beekeeping, is her first book. It’s published in the UK with Simon & Schuster, across Europe and Australia, and is coming out in the US in May 2020 with Pantheon Books. It was listed as Best of 2018 by Landlines Nature, Five Books and Glamour Magazine, was awarded Book of the Month by BBC Countryfile, and Book of the Week by the London Review of Books and the Nan Shepherd Prize.

Press: Observer/Guardian review, Caught by the River review, Nature magazine reviewSunday Times interview, Guardian interview, The Clearing interview, Five Books interview

Buy in Germany, Holland, Australia, or in the UK.

Praise for A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings:

“Beautifully written and timely”

Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

“It’s a book as strange, beautiful and unexpected, as precise and exquisite in its movings, as bees in a hive. I loved it.”

Helen MacDonald, author of H is for Hawk

“Everyone should own A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings, which moved and delighted me more than a book about insects had any right to … Jukes is a gloriously gifted writer and her book ought to become a key text of this bright moment in our history of nature writing”

Alex Preston, The Observer

“A mesmeric, lovely, quietly powerful book. A gentle but compelling account of the redemption that comes from relationship and attention.” 

Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast

“A profound, funny and sometimes deeply moving book that describes a year of inner city bee keeping, while dancing between the history of bees and us and what it means to be human in our modern world.”

Julia Blackburn, author of Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske

“This is classic modern nature-writing; a synthesis of scientific learning, observation and the author’s response. If you care for the wellbeing of bees and the planet and for the state of the human heart, then this book, with its deft and beautiful prose, is for you.”

BBC Countryfile Magazine

“Lyrically beautiful”

Philip Hoare, author of Rising Tide, Falling Star

“So beautifully written, it’s become part of my life. Definitely one of my books of the year.”

Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3

“An intimate exploration of the heart and home, and a tantalising glimpse into an alien culture. A brave and delicate book, rich and fascinating.”

Nick Hunt, author of Where the Wild Winds Are

“Helen Jukes shows how we’ve long felt a close and profound connection to honeybees and their colonies. Her honest and heartfelt book shows how individuals are touched by the natural world in ways that give us hope.”

Hattie Ellis, author of Sweetness & Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee

“A Honeybee Heart is a window onto the world of the hive, its intricate strangeness and beautiful patterns. It’s a tenderhearted account of life at its most tenacious and most vulnerable. Jukes’ writing will make you see the details around you differently: you’ll see new shades of blue and pollens and poisons and small acts of care everywhere. This book is a special kind of treasure.”

Naomi Booth, author of SEALED

“This charming account of a novice beekeeper’s first year is also a subtle meditation on humanity’s relationship with nature. Open and wise, Helen Jukes brings us a little closer to the heart of the real.”

Caspar Henderson, author of A New Map of Wonders

“Finely written and insightful.”

Melissa Harrison, The Guardian

“A very human story about the aliens gathering  in her back garden – bees, fascinating but almost unknowable. Their wildness and her duty to them help open up a desk rat’s uninspiring life to all the possibilities of love, care, connection and sheer wonder. It is a lovely, entirely personal journey into the very heart of the hive.”

Michael Pye, author of The Edge of the World: How the North Sea Made Us What We Are

“I raced through this really terrific, down-to-earth read. The existential threat to our entire ecosystem posed by the problems facing bees can be hard to grasp, but Helen manages to make this a very personal, human story that, hopefully, might inspire others to action.”

Luke Turner, author of Out of the Woods

“I love suddenly finding a book you can’t wait to read. It doesn’t happen often… A Honeybee Heart is enchanting, real and full of insight.”

Mary Colwell, author of Curlew Moon