Dr. Jay Hosler’s “Clan Apis”

Posted on 24th January 2008 by Ryan Somma in Mediaphilism - Tags: , ,
Clan Apis

Clan Apis

Clan Apis chronicles the life and times of a single worker honey bee, Nyuki, who’s delightfully wise-ass and wholly enchanted with her life in a hive where her personal experiences are no different from those of the her thousands of neighbors.

Dr. Jay Hosler’s understanding of entomology, evolution, and natural science allows him to fill Nyuki’s life with all the minutiae of the honey bee’s world. From the details of her life as a larvae, joining the swarm to establish another hive, and defending that hive from other bees and animals. We even learn the physiological effects of the bee ageing process, what happens when bees get old and how they die.

Dr. Hosler’s literary knowledge gives the story another layer. The irony of a dung beetle named Sisyphus, forever rolling his boulder of poop along. The bee characters all have names like Nyuki, Dvorah, Hachi, Zambur, Abeja, and Melissa, which mean “bee” in Swahili, Hebrew, Japanese, Farsi, Spanish, and Greek respectively.

While the his decision not to anthropomorphize his bees’ physiology ensures Disney will never have anything to do with the story (that and its realism, Hosler’s worker bees are female), Dr. Hosler’s choice does not make it difficult to distinguish characters from one another and keeps them entirely bee-like, instead just of being dumb humans with bee-features.

Dr. Hosler’s combination of literary, artistic, and scientific talents create some wonderfully witty moments that stick with the reader long after. My favorite of these is his recounting of the evolution of life in the sea, as things get more complex and more crowded, a lone amphibian, struggling to find some breathing room, struggles to find its way onto land, the first human ancestor to do so:

Clan Apis

Although Nyuki’s life is wholly ordinary and unexceptional for a honey bee, her attitude, her perpetual ionian enchantment with her world makes her exceptional and unique.

You can purchase Clan Apis online through Amazon.


Jay Hosler also has some great comic strips online.

2 Comments

  1. How can I read Clan Apis? I have written about bees, in a manner that is aimed at kids understanding the outdoors. Is it a book 4sale? is there a link?
    thanks

    Comment by Richard W. Crews — January 26, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

  2. D’oh! I’m sorry. Here I went recommending a book without linking to a store.

    You can purchase Clan Apis online through Amazon.

    Comment by ideonexus — January 27, 2008 @ 12:10 pm

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