The Bee: A Natural History – book review
By Gabriel Thoumi
- There are 20,000 species of bees on Earth.
- Bees pollinate 130 of the foods we depend on and are often the sole and only pollinator of the foods we eat every day.
- Bees and other animals cross-pollinate over 90 percent of Earth’s plants.
- Bees co-evolved, along with angiosperms – flowering plants – over 100 million years ago.
- Ancient Egyptians were avid beekeepers possibly as far back as 5,000 BCE – or over 7,000 years ago.
- Bees are divided into three groups depending on the length of their proboscis – or tongue.
- Since the 1980s, bee populations in the US have collapsed – called colony collapse disorder – by some measures of at least 50 percent, resulting in farmers trying to pollinate crops by hand and tech companies designing robot bee pollinators. Some food prices in the US have risen dramatically because of colony collapse disorder.
- Bees are responsible for roughly $200 billion dollars globally each year in economic activity.
- Bees are herbivores. Their diet only consists of flowers.
- Beekeepers do not eat bananas because bananas release a scent that alarms them.
The Bee: A Natural History is a great book for your bookshelf. If you are interested in understanding how bee pollination impacts global ecosystems and economics, and you want an easily readable compendium of information with great graphics, nicely illustrated photos, and accessible information on the lives of bees then The Bee: A Natural History is the resource for you.
Written by Noah Wilson-Rich, PhD., Best Bees Company, CEO, the book lets you dive into the natural history of bees and learn about solitary bees, stingless bees, beehive health as impacted by bee grooming habits, and of course, what you can do to protect vulnerable creatures.
For more information on The Bee: A Natural History and the current condition of bees, listen to Wilson-Rich’s interview on Radio Boston (here) and his great TED Talk – Every city needs healthy honey bees.
Let’s support our bees and urban bee keeping!
How to order:
The Bee: A Natural History
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Authors: Noah Wilson-Rich, PhD. with contributions from Kelly Allin, Norman Carreck, and Andrea Quigley, PhD.
Gabriel Thoumi, CFA, Certified Ecologist, is a frequent contributor to Mongabay.com.