The Honey Fac­tory

BY JÜRGEN TAUTZ AND DIEDRICH STEEN, BLACK INC., £16.99

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild at Home -

Honey­bees are about the best known in­sects in the world, but they are also one of the most mis­un­der­stood. They don’t make honey for hu­man con­sump­tion, they make it so they can sur­vive winter (or nec­tar-free dry sea­son). Com­bined with con­tin­u­ous worker turnover in the nest, and a queen-re­place­ment fa­cil­ity if the monarch fails, this ef­fec­tively makes a colony im­mor­tal. Do­mes­ti­ca­tion has made honey­bees com­mon­place, but the sci­ence that un­der­lies their com­plex for­ag­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion, worker caste sys­tem and honey creation is key to un­der­stand­ing how and why these in­sects ex­ist. A mel­liflu­ous tone, as golden as the honey they dis­cuss, en­ables the au­thors to re­lay this sweet mes­sage. Richard Jones En­to­mol­o­gist

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