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Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide Paperback – Mar 30 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide
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  • The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees
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  • Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (March 30 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691152225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691152226
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Winner of a 2015 Outstanding Reference Sources Award, Reference and User Services Association, American Library Association

"A very helpful guide for any one interested in bumble bees."--Amanda Williams,

"As bee populations plummet and environmental concerns continue to make the news, there is widespread interest in bees. This attractively priced guide helps users identify the 46 species found north of Mexico and offers insight into their ecology and habitats. . . . This guide will be useful in public and academic libraries where there is an interest in bees or the environment."--Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist

"Identif[ies] the 46 species of bumblebee that are found in North America (Mexico is not included), far more than previous guides. The introduction presents clear information on these bees generally, their distribution, colony cycle, and interactions with plants. . . . An attractive, worthwhile purchase."--Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal

"Because of their importance as a pollinator, their ubiquity (in various species, of course) across the continent, and simply because the lives and behaviors bumble bees are so fascinating, Bumble Bees of North America should be considered as a must-read by all amateur naturalists. Professionals--be they entomologists, ecologists, general biologists, and most especially teachers of life science subjects at all levels--would also do well to add it to their reading lists for both its superb introduction to the genus as well as its value as a reference guide."--John Riutta, Well-read Naturalist

"The timely arrival of Bumble Bees of North America on bookstore shelves is as welcome as its namesake insects are in gardens. . . . Given that the last comprehensive guide to North American bumble bees was published in 1913, Williams, Thorps, Richardson, and Colla's Bumble Bees of North America offers a much?needed review of the status and identification of the 46 bumble bee species north of Mexico. . . . [A] much?needed milestone in the ability of scientists and citizens alike to sort bee species found afield and at home. With bees on the decline, the ability to identify and inventory the buzz in our backyards may prove critical in future conservation efforts."--Matthew Bettelheim, (bio)accumulation

"[T]his book [is] a useful addition to any gardener or wildlife watcher's library. The really nice thing about this guide is the number and quality of the photographs they provide: I really need to get a copy of this book to help me identify the bumble bees I catch in my surveys."--AC, Wildlife Activist

"Accessible to both the layman and serious apiologist. Carefully organized, it begins with an introduction that is a must-read before moving on to the comprehensive bumble bee ID guide. . . . I commend this book to all lovers of native plants."--Harold Smith, Blazing Star, publication of The North American Native Plant Society

"This reasonably priced, attractive volume with excellent photographs and color plates will be valuable to professionals as well as anyone interested in identifying or learning more about bumblebees."--Choice

"I encourage all melittologists to obtain a copy for ready use, as well as anyone interested in the conservation, ecology, biology, natural history, or simple appreciation of bumble bees."--Michael S. Engel, Entomologist's Monthly

"[A] most desirable book. Each species is beautifully photographed and then described in detail, with maps and identification markings as well as comprehensive text to inform you about the particular bee in question."--Mary Montaut, An Beachaire

"This is a very well-written book which presents and updates information from a wide range of sources in a very readable and clear way."--Mike Edwards, Journal of the British Entomology and Natural History Society

"Bumble Bees of North America has not only provided casual observers and professionals with a comprehensive treatment of North American bumblebees, it has delivered utility while preserving aesthetics."--Samuel O'Dell, Prairie Naturalist

From the Back Cover

"I enjoyed Bumble Bees of North America and learned new things that will be useful in my work. This is a lovely book."--Sam Droege, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

"A better team of scientists couldn't have written this amazing new book on bumble bees. Filled with diverse content, it will be popular with its broad audience. Readers will want to get out and find bumble bees, observe them, and learn what they can do to conserve them."--Stephen L. Buchmann, University of Arizona

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent guide to the Bumblebees. It is illustrated with sharp colour photos of each species, and detailed technical descriptions of both the visible characters and microscopic characters of each species. It also shows the common variations among the queens, workers and males and shows the differences between species. The large range maps and additional comments about occurrence and food plants, etc. make it easier to identify the species. It's a very good book for entomologists and naturalists.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book over the summer, and it is excellent. It is an updated, exhaustive and extremely informative field guide for bumble bees. I have used it to identify a half-dozen species already. Identification is still tricky, but I think that this book does a remarkable job of facilitating a very challenging genus. Great pictures, maps, schematics and identification notes. I have used the keys somewhat, but they really require collecting the bees and observing them with a microscope. In the field, using the maps to narrow things down helps a lot more - though I am in the northeast and the situation is a little less complicated.

One thing this book does lack is a good guide to the anatomical terms used in the detailed descriptions with some basic foundations of the anatomy of bumblebees. The authors make an effort to avoid using technical language to some degree, but you can't avoid using terms like "basitarsus" to refer to the basitarsus. There is a glossary that is reasonable buried way in the back, but a handful of simple, labeled diagrams or photos would have been a tremendous help for amateurs like myself who do not come from entomological backgrounds. Some of this can be inferred from the photos from the keys, but I mostly ended up just Googling - not so helpful in the field. As I get more comfortable, that stops being an issue.

But that is a small nit. I have been waiting for a field guide just like this for several years, and it was definitely worth the wait.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is perfect for the information we needed for our Nature Centre set on Bumblebees. It only had two bees not listed in the book for our region here in Southern Alberta Canada! That is pretty darn good! Nice photos for identification as well. I got one for myself, and we got one for the Nature Centre too. Will be great for the public to look through once the set is up at end of May. The information was collaborated with a Scientist here who studied the Bumblebee for many years! Perfect addition to any collection. Thank you!
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