I just finished reading this and although I'm not a big reader of fictional books, I enjoyed it. It is an attempt to recreate the personal journal of Francis Burnens, who was Francis Huber's man servant. Mr Burnens executed, observed, and documented the beekeeping experiments for Huber's(who was blind) New Observations on Bee
(which I think is a must read). Although it didn't get into the details as New Observations, it had just enough beekeeping to keep my interest. It also shed some light on some of the non-beekeeping aspects mentioned in New Observations, like more details of the other Naturalists, and common beekeeping practices of the day. It was really interesting to see how they struggled to scientifically prove some of the things about bees that we just take for fact these days.
The one draw back was that it didn't talk about Huber's book or leaf hive. I did talk about glass observation hives and some of the struggles then had with them.
I would recommend it for anyone interested in the early days of beekeeping and especially those that have read New Observations. And yes there is even a love story involved http://www.amazon.com/Beekeepers-Pupil-Sara-George/dp/0747270414/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225408257&sr=8-1