Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

by Thor Hanson


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As seen on PBS's American Spring LIVE, the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers presents a natural and cultural history of bees: the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round.

Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.

As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465052615
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 140,148
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Thor Hanson is a conservation biologist, Guggenheim Fellow, and author of award winning books including Feathers, The Impenetrable Forest, and The Triumph of Seeds. He lives with his wife and son on an island in Washington State.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Acknowlcdginenls xi

Preface: A Bee in the Hand xiii

Introduction The Buzz About Bees 1

Becoming Bees

Chapter 1 A Vegetarian Wasp 15

Chapter 2 The Living Vibrato 31

Chapter 3 Alone Together 55

Bees and Flowers

Chapter 4 A Special Relationship 77

Chapter 5 Where Flowers Bloom 103

Bees and People

Chapter 6 Of Honeyguidcs and Hominins 123

Chapter 7 Keeping Dumbledores 141

Chapter 8 Every Third Bite 157

The Future of Bees

Chapter 9 Empty Nests 175

Chapter 10 A Day in the Sun 201

Conclusion The Bee-Loud Glade 213

Appendix A Bee Families of the World 217

Appendix B Bee Conservation 227

Notes 229

Glossary 251

Bihliogyaphy 255

Index 271

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Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Michaela_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Buzz by Thor Hanson is a wonderfully written book about bees - all sorts of bees. The author does not focus on honeybees, but "celebrates bees in general, from leafcutters and bumbles to masons, miners, diggers, carpenters, wool-carders, and more." This is not a book about honey-bees and how to cultivate them. Hanson starts off with why bees are important, then delves into their evolution from wasps, bee anatomy, habitats and habits, as well as the special relationship bees and flowers have. Without bees the colourful and fragrant flowers we have today would not exist. There is also a fascinating section on honeyguides (a species of bird), early hominins and their possible evolutionary honey munching habits. Hanson also briefly covers Colony Collapse Disorder, the decrease in wild bees in connection with current mono-culture farming habits, how farmers are working to provide more habitat for wild bees, and how our food is reliant on bee pollination. This book is well-written, informative, wide-ranging book on a fascinating topic, made more personal with Hanson's observations and experiences. Thor Hanson loves bees and this is evident through out the book. NOTE FROM BOOK: "A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to help preserve and protect wil bees."
GNan More than 1 year ago
My Goodness! Anything you ever wanted to know about bees is in this book! The author tells in great detail the evolution of bees from wasps and then comes back to this theme throughout the book. He explores most of the 20,000 different species of bees, telling what they see, how they see, what they eat, why they eat it, etc. He goes into great detail about the propagation of bees. For example, a queen bee can designate the sex of the offspring! Who would have thought that? He has made an unbelievably detailed study of bees into a fascinating read. Highly recommended for people interested in bees in particular or nature in general.