By @SimonCocking review of Buzz, The Nature and Necessity of Bees by Thor Hanson, available from Amazon here. From is a fantastic, public domain, free usage bee images website, that we thoroughly recommend, see here. 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
From is a fantastic, public domain, free usage bee images website, that we thoroughly recommend, see here.
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.
You may have heard a few stories about bees recently, including news about massive hive die offs, and that without bees we could be in series trouble in terms of the pollination of plants that are vital to our diets. The truth for many of us is that we actually know very little about bees. We read this book to get up to speed, ahead of potentially getting a bee hive, to potentially create honey, and simply to do our bit to help protect nature and encourage biodiversity and also to get up to speed around a very interesting Irish IoT bee project called Apis Protect.
This book is an excellent introduction for the newbee (ha ha yes terrible pun, and according to the Apis guys they get this all the time. But it really is. Someone recently challenged us to tell them three bee facts. After confessing our ignorance this book was able to allow us to inform them that 1. not all bee species have stings, 2. in those species that sting, it is only the females that sting and 3. there are some amazingly coloured bees too, which can be seen in the gorgeous colour images in this book also.
The book is well written, in a light and accessible way. Very quickly you realise there is much much more to the world of bees than just honey bees. As one exasperated expert in the book says ‘talking about honeybees in relation to the whole bee ecosystem is like talking about chickens in relation to palaeontology’. That said most bee experts often tend to keep honeybees too, for all the benefits that they bring. This book is a great example of a popular science book, which helps to give the rest of us, uninitiated bee beginners an entry point into the world of bees. As they are potentially vital to our survival it makes sense to upskill ourselves in terms of our knowledge and understanding of them. Hanson’s book is a fun and engaging way to come a little further along the path into this world. Check it out, and also the awesome photo resource too for some beautiful images of bees, who knew!
See more about Irish bee stories here.