Bees pollinate more than 130 fruit, vegetable, and seed crops that we rely on to survive. Bees are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate, threatening food supplies and ecosystems around the world. In this richly illustrated natural history of the bee, Noah Wilson-Rich and his team of bee experts provide a window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet.
Earth is home to more than 20,000 bee species, from fluorescent-colored orchid bees and sweat bees to flower-nesting squash bees and leaf-cutter bees. This book takes an incomparable look at this astounding diversity, blending an engaging narrative with practical, hands-on discussions of such topics as beekeeping and bee health. It explores our relationship with the bee over evolutionary time, delving into how it came to be, where it stands today, and what the future holds for humanity and bees alike.
- Provides an accessible, illustrated look at the human–bee relationship over time
- Features a section on beekeeping and handy go-to guides to the identification, prevention, and treatment of honey bee diseases
- Covers bee evolution, ecology, genetics, and physiology
- Includes a directory of notable bee species
- Presents a holistic approach to bee health, including organic and integrated pest management techniques
- Shows what you can do to help bee populations
Noah Wilson-Rich is founder and chief scientific officer of The Best Bees Company, a Boston-based beekeeping service and research organization. Kelly Allin was lab manager at the Best Bees Company’s Urban Beekeeping Laboratory and Bee Sanctuary during the writing of this book. Norman Carreck is scientific director of the International Bee Research Association. Andrea Quigley is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to beekeeping journals.
"The natural history of solitary, bumble, honey and stingless bees is as gripping as our lengthy alliance, as urban beekeeper Noah Wilson-Rich and contributors show in this charming compilation. They cover evolution, biology (including a unique proboscis made of two organs), behaviours (such as honey bee 'quacking'), the causes of catastrophic die-offs, and more."--Barbara Kiser, Nature
"You don't have to be a scientist or even a beekeeper to understand the material or to grasp the importance of bees to our way of life. The author's passion for his subject is obvious without being weighty, the diagrams are on point, and the photographs are a joy. . . . The Bee: A Natural History illustrates the entire story in a quick but fascinating portrait. Be sure to put this one on your wish list."--Rusty Burlew, Honey Bee Suite
"A well-illustrated introduction to the biology of bees."--Ian Paulsen, Birdbooker Report
"A comprehensive guide to the bee and covers every topic imaginable, including bee evolution, behaviour, beekeeping, anatomy and reproduction. Each section in the book is filled with stunning, detailed photography that compliments the informative accompanying text. . . . You could spend hours simply perusing the pictures in this book and finding something new every time. The Bee: A Natural History is a perfect coffee-table book, but offers so much more than pretty pictures. The author is clearly an expert in his field and the chapters go into quite a lot of depth, without alienating the reader. It strikes an appropriate balance between appearance and content."--Bookbag
"This book is a valuable addition the bookshelves of anyone with an interest and love of the bee."--Sue Closs, Welsh Beekeeper
Table of Contents
Broken-Belted Bumble Bee
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Mechanics of Bee Flight
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