Books about bumblebees
As a simple birdwatcher I have always been a bit scared by the bewildering world of insects. Bumblebees provide an inviting introduction to this world, and this book is an excellent gateway into the fascinating life of bumblebees.
Found right across the Uk, including in my back garden, bumblebees are familiar as a group, but this book provides the means to identify those species and to understand much more about their variety of behaviour, ecology and lifestyles.
The threats to bumblebees are very similar to those to birds – changes in agricultural practice are of great importance. Recognition of this provides opportunities for the promotion of practices that should benefit the survival of healthy populations of both groups.
I’m delighted that this excellent book has been revised, enlarged, updated and republished. So delighted that, as I write these few words with snow on the ground outside my home, I am waiting with some impatience for the first sunny days of spring when I resolve to banish my fears and start getting to grips with these wonderful little beasts. Why don’t you too?
Dr Mark A very
Conservation Director, RSPB
This is a facsimile of the original, much sort of and very expensive, 1975 edition, but without any of the original plates. The originals were of very poor definition and considerably better reproduction are presently available. For example the descriptive booklet at £2.50 or the Field Guide by Edwards and Jenner and the most excellent facsimile of Sladen. Dr Alfords work provides an overall and up to date picture of the existing (1975) knowledge of the natural history of these fascinating and enigmatic insects.
Bumblebees are familiar and charismatic insects, occurring throughout much of the world. They are increasingly being used as a model organism for studying a wide range of ecological and behavioural concepts, such as social organisation, optimal foraging theories, host-parasite interactions, and pollination. Recently they have become a focus for conservationists due to mounting evidence of range contractions and catastrophic extinctions with some species disappearing from entire continents (e.g in North America). Only by improving our understanding of their ecology can we devise sensible plans to conserve them. The role of bumblebees as invasive species (e.g Bombus terrestrials in Japan) has also become topical with the growing trade in commercial bumblebee nests for tomato pollination leading to the establishment of non-native bumblebees in a number of countries.Sine the publication of the first edition of the book, there have been hundreds of research papers published on bumblebees. There is clearly a continuing need for an affordable, well-illustrated, and appealing text that makes accessible all of the major advances in understanding of the behaviour and ecology of bumblebees that have been made in the last 30 years. Bumblebees is aimed at students, researchers, and interested amateurs. Technical jargon has been kept to a minimum and sufficient background information given to enable anyone to follow the text without difficulty.
This book is based on presentations made by a number of experts at a symposium organised by the I.B.R.A. It deals with the importance of bumble bees, bumble bees at home and at school, their role as pollinators, both in nature and the glasshouse and the commercial rearing of bumble bees.
Sladen’s The Humble Bee: It’s life-history and how to domesticate it, originally published in 1912, was the first monograph on bumblebees to appear in the English language. It is by any measure a classic work. With unfailing enthusiasm Sladen weaves together the strands of a simple story of natural history and those of profound scholarship. Young, old, novice or expert – everyone can enjoy sharing Sladen’s delight in his subject.It contains descriptions of both Bombus and Psithyrus, together with accounts of their life histories. There are numerous illustrations and photographs by the author as well as five colour plates. It is, in short, the pioneering work that justifies Sladen’s role as the father of bumblebee research. Even today, with so much more still to be learnt, The Humble Bee remains required reading for anyone embarking on a serious study of one of Britain’s most appealing native insects
More than ever before, there is a widespread interest in studying bumble bees and the critical role they play in our ecosystems. Bumble Bees of North America is the first comprehensive guide to North American bumble bees to be published in more than a century. Richly illustrated with colour photographs, diagrams, range maps, and graphs of seasonal activity patterns, this guide allows amateur and professional naturalists to identify all 46 bumble bee species found north of Mexico and to understand their ecology and changing geographic distributions.The book draws on the latest molecular research, shows the enormous colour variation within species, and guides readers through the many confusing convergences between species. It draws on a large repository of data from museum collections and presents state-of-the-art results on evolutionary relationships, distributions, and ecological roles. Illustrated keys allow identification of colour morphs and social casts.A landmark publication, Bumble Bees of North America sets the standard for guides and the study of these important insects.
This handbook deals with the annual life cycle,foraging behaviour, predators and parasites, bumblebee conservation, raising bumblebees & suggestions for research projects. Written by two American academics this is an important addition to the literature of these insects.