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Keeping the Bees Hardcover – May 11 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (May 11 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155468109X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554681099
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Packed with information but never dull, this books shows what nature writing for the general reader should be. Packer's good-humored take on his adventures as a scientist reads as travelogue, natural history, and environmentalist essay.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By DAVID W BARR on July 13 2010
Format: Hardcover
The title of his book suggests that it is about something many of us have heard a lot about already - the one-two punch of the central role of bees in human food production followed by the spectre of colony collapse disorder and a world without bees. And it is about these things, in part. But this book is so much more.

This book is actually a biology of bees, from the tiniest solitary bees to communal, semisocial and eusocial species. It is a biology in the grand tradition of Jean Henri Fabre, the 19th century French polymath whose books introduced the world to the engaging lives of insects.

Bumblebees play a leading role in Packer's narrative. He touches on everything from their life history to their social behavior and their diseases, parasites and predators. Packer tells us why bumblebees (and indeed all bees) appear to be at greater risk of extinction than other organisms.

Packer isn't afraid to introduce us to some of the specialized terminology that goes along with his field of study (a bee biologist, for instance, is a melittologist). But in general he works hard to keep his story in everyday language. He has a tremendous knack for making even the most complex subjects understandable in human terms. Bees that maintain a communal nest burrow system are just like human condo dwellers, he tells us, with a common entrance and private apartments.

Those who are looking for fresh evidence that we need bees and that bees are endangered will find it here. And there is also advice for those who want to do something to help bees, including the completely original and delightful suggestion of walking on the grass.

This is a book for anyone concerned about the future of the environment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David H. Small on June 20 2010
Format: Hardcover
Laurence Packers clear and interesting writing style make this a great book for anyone interested in knowing more about the world of bees. Highly recomend this to naturalists, managers, gardeners who want to undrstand these important insects and thier role in pollination and some of the other interesting facets of thier life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carol on Oct. 10 2010
Format: Hardcover
Laurence Packer has written about the bee crisis in terms that everyone can understand. The book is clear and, at time, humorous but gives good information about the state of the native bee. It's a book everyone who likes to eat should read.
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