The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild
Perfect for anyone who wants to know the story behind why bees are so important to crops, livestock and healthy food.
Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. The Lives of Bees is Thomas Seeley’s captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside the beekeeper’s hive—and how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet’s managed honey bee populations.
Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, sheds light on why wild honey bees are still thriving while those living in managed colonies are in crisis. Drawing on the latest science as well as insights from his own pioneering fieldwork, he describes in extraordinary detail how honey bees live in nature and shows how this differs significantly from their lives under the management of beekeepers. Seeley presents an entirely new approach to beekeeping—Darwinian Beekeeping—which enables honey bees to use the toolkit of survival skills their species has acquired over the past thirty million years, and to evolve solutions to the new challenges they face today. He shows beekeepers how to use the principles of natural selection to guide their practices, and he offers a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees.
Engagingly written and deeply personal, The Lives of Bees reveals how we can become better custodians of honey bees and make use of their resources in ways that enrich their lives as well as our own.
#7565 • Copyright 2019 • Hardcover • 376 pages
About the Author
Thomas D. Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University. He is the author of Following the Wild Bees, Honeybee Democracy, and Honeybee Ecology (all Princeton) as well as The Wisdom of the Hive. He lives in Ithaca, New York.
Praise for The Lives of Bees
"Thomas Seeley is the great detective of the bee world, unearthing clues that make this fascinating creature even more compelling. This is science at its most congenial!" -Bill McKibben, author of Falter
"Using beautifully crafted arguments, Seeley challenges us to let bees be bees. Drawing from his life study of colonies in the wild, Seeley provides a timely reminder of all the amazing strategies that honey bees have evolved to survive on their own." -Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota
This book should be required reading, not just for beekeepers, but for all concerned with the demise of bees being experienced in the world.
I have been amazed at the depth of research which has been done on wild bees - which is obviously very valuable for those of us who keep bees. Details on the size of the cavity - the size of the access opening - height of the opening above ground level - orientation of the opening. Not just "guess work" this book has documented research to back up the information. An excellent read - good photos and charts as well.