The Good Bee
BY ALISON BENJAMIN AND BRIAN MCCALLUM, MICHAEL O’MARA BOOKS, £9.99
Normally, honeybees get all the limelight, so it is encouraging to find two beekeepers tracing back the ecology of their domesticated charges through the wider world of wild bees and a landscape of flower-insect interactions. From the familiar but misunderstood bumbles of the cold northlands, to the tiny stingless neotropical Melipona, bees and their behaviour are shown as an integral part of a healthy biosphere. But bees are under threat. A quarter of British bumblebees are 80 per cent down and a third of Europe’s solitary bees are declining. Writing clearly and fervently, the authors’ message is stark: we can only save these animals if we understand them.