The Good Bee

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild At Home - Richard Jones En­to­mol­o­gist

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.

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