136 pages, 8.6 × 6.6 × 0.25 in
March 7, 2011
Greystone Books Ltd.
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1553655311
ISBN - 13: 9781553655312
About the Book
The bee may have a brain the size of a grass seed, but in its brief, five-week life it works as a brood nurse, wax producer, comb builder, honey maker, home guard, and floral forager. "Bees: Nature's Little Wonders" invites readers to take a new look at creatures that are both familiar and wondrously odd. It considers the diversity and biology of bees, including their peculiar sociosexual arrangements (pity the poor drone), their quirky relationships with flowers, and their startling mental abilities: What are we to make of insects that communicate through symbolic dances? The book also addresses the mysterious syndrome known as colony collapse disorder and identifies opportunities for the conservation of pollinators. Enriched with cultural sidebars and complemented by a stunning collection of images, "Bees" is a must-read for conservationists, gardeners, and anyone intrigued by the natural world.
Read from the Book
From Chapter 1: Bees in the World
The Flower's Little Friends
Anyone who takes an interest in bees, whether as a student like Lindauer or as a free and inquiring mind, needs to start with a review of the basics-a kind of Stinging Insects 101-before getting up close and personal with them. What is a bee exactly? How many species are there? What is it about these insecs that, for so very long, has made them fascinating to humans?
As Professor von Frisch once pointed out, "bees are as old as the hills." When the first Homo sapiens woke up and smelled the roses some thirty thousand years ago, bees had already been going about their business for well over 100 million years. ("This [antiquity] may be one of the reasons why they appear to be so mature," von Frisch noted, and "so perfect in many ways.") The oldest known fossilized bee is a tiny relic, about the size of a grain of rice, that was unearthed in Burma in 2006. Completely encased in amber, it dates from the early Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs like Brachiosaurus were still stomping through the swamps, and the gloomy coniferous forests were, for the first time, showing the colors of flowering plants.
Bees evolved from wasps. To this day, some species of bees are so wasplike, and some wasps so like bees, that it is easy for a layperson to get confused. For those in the know, however, the two groups are distinct. Wasps-including the familiar paper wasps, yellow jackets, and hornets-are predators that kill other
Table of Contents
Introduction: Little Things
Chapter 1: Bees of the World
Chapter 2: Bees at Home
Chapter 3: Bees of the Field
Chapter 4: Life Lessons
From the Publisher
With informed and passionate prose, Candace Savage invites readers to get up close and personal with the familiar yet wondrously odd honeybee, whose life span barely exceeds five weeks. She considers the diversity and biology of honeybees, including their peculiar sociosexual arrangements, their quirky relationships with flowers, and their startling mental abilities. Guiding this exploration are audacious and ingenious scientists, from the bees' own Nobel Laureate Karl von Frisch, who studied the sensory perceptions of the honey bee and first described the "waggle dance," in the 1900s, to the Honeybee Genome Sequencing Consortium of the present. This must-read for conservationists, gardeners, beekeepers, and nature lovers also features:
- a report on colony collapse disorder
- opportunities for conservation of pollinators like the honeybee
- cultural sidebars that include historical illustrations and works of art spotlighting bees in myth, poetry, and other writings.
Published in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation.Also available in hardcover.
About the Author
Candace Savage is the author of numerous internationally acclaimed books on subjects ranging from natural history and science to popular culture. She is the author of the best-selling natural history titles Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies and Jays and Prairie: A Natural History, for which she won two Saskatchewan Book Awards and a Gold Medal from ForeWord Magazine in 2004. She is also a frequent contributor to numerous periodicals, including Canadian Geographic. She lives in Saskatoon, SK.
"Bees: Nature’s Little Wonders will be a favorite reference book for years to come. The mix of science, folk-lore, quotes and images is splendid.""Bee Scene[Savage] proceeds to intertwine a thoughtful study of bee biology with poems, fables, and ancient religious texts, weaving a unique history of the honey-makers that have enchanted humans for centuries.”Sierra ClubThis is a honey of a little book in more ways than one. It is all about bees, insects many of us were fascinated by as children, as we watched them move from flower to flower, collecting honey. …This is a wonderful book that makes you appreciate the bee world all the more. Great for children or adults, this book should BEE on your shopping list!”Shelf LifeBehold the honeybee, striped provider of sweetness and light to humans for thousands of years. These bugs certainly make Cheerios taste better, but could it be that we as a species have something to learn from their behaviour? In Bees: Nature’s Little Wonders …Candace Savage maintains that we do. ‘Unlike human groups, which often seem less intelligent than the individuals who make them up, a swarm of bees is always smarter than the sum of its parts.’”National PostA readable and well illustrated account of the natural and human history of bees. This book invites its readers to take a new look at insects that are both familiar and wondrously odd. …Filled with stunning images, this is a must-read for conservationists, gardeners, and everyone else who cares about the