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Twenty-five thousand species of bees certainly create a loud buzz. Yet silence descended a few years ago when domesticated bee populations plummeted. Bees, in particular honey bees, are critical links in the vibrant chain that brings fruits, vegetables, and nuts to markets and dinner tables across the country. Farmers and scientists on the agricultural frontlines quickly realized the impact of this loss, but many others did not see this devastation. Why Do Bees Buzz? reports on the mysterious "colony collapse disorder" that has affected honey bee populations, as well as other captivating topics, such as their complex, highly social lives, and how other species of bees are unique and different from honey bees. Organized in chapters that cover everything from these provocative pollinators' basic biology to the aggressive nature of killer bees, this insightful question and answer guide provides a honeycomb of compelling facts. With clarity and depth, bee biologist Elizabeth Capaldi Evans and coauthor Carol A. Butler examine the lives of honey bees, as well as other species such as orchid bees, bumblebees, and stingless bees. Accessible to readers on every level, and including the latest research and theory for the more sophisticated reader, the authors reveal more than one hundred critical answers to questions about the lives of bees. Concepts about speciation, evolutionary adaptation and pollination, as well as historical details about topics such as Mayan beekeeping and the appearance of bees in rock art, are arranged in easy-to-follow sidebars that highlight the text. Color and black and white photographs and drawings enhance the beauty and usefulness of Why Do Bees Buzz?
In the last 25 years progress in information gathering and dissemination has surpassed that of any other period of history. Apiculture and apicultural research have been very much a part of this progression. This book has a very simple format. It lists, in alphabetical order of first author, just about everything that has been written on bees, the practical application of bee science, beekeeping and hive products for all the countries of the Commonwealth. Besides titles and authors, most of the entries have an abstract of the work or a note to amplify the title. Each entry is accompanied by various symbols and abbreviations, explained in a key, which indicate such things as original language, when published, where published and details of where a full version may be obtained.Bees are recognised as very efficient pollinators: furthermore, they are consistent and diligent foragers. They will visit hundreds of flowers of the same kind in a single day. Because of this they have a vital role in increasing food production. It has been shown, but is often forgotten, that we depend for a huge percentage of our food production on the unmanaged pollination services of wild bees. Pollination is essential for the reproduction of many flowering plants. It results in seeds which in turn mean crops which can be sold an eaten: for example, beans where the seed itself is eaten and fruits like apples and plums which develop around the seed. In short better bee husbandry means better crops, a better environment and, as a bonus, there are the cash crops to be found in hive products themselves.
Ever since men first hunted for honeycomb in rocks and daubed pictures of it on cave walls, the honeybee has been seen as one of the wonders of nature: social, industrious, beautiful, terrifying. No other creature has inspired in humans an identification so passionate, persistent, or fantastical. The Hive recounts the astonishing tale of all the weird and wonderful things that humans believed about bees and their "society" over the ages. It ranges from the honey delta of ancient Egypt to the Tupelo forests of modern Florida, taking in a cast of characters including Alexander the Great and Napoleon, Sherlock Holmes and Muhammed Ali. The history of humans and honeybees is also a history of ideas, taking us through the evolution of science, religion, and politics, and a social history that explores the bee's impact on food and human ritual. In this beautifully illustrated book, Bee Wilson shows how humans will always view the hive as a miniature universe with order and purpose, and look to it to make sense of their own.

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