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(Animal Series)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  8 reviews
"How doth the little busy bee improve each shining hour / and gather honey all the day from every opening flower!" This famed Isaac Watts verse reveals the enduring fascination that bees have held for humans: bees have long been admired for their remarkable socialization and architectural skills, and since the earliest times they have carried profound symbolic meanings. Cl ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 20th 2006 by Reaktion Books
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Sarah Yes it does matter. If you can't trust the simple facts then I don't see why you should trust anything else.

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3.63  · 
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 ·  54 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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Given how often I absolutely adore the Reaktion Animal Series books, I was rather deeply disappointed in this one.

I was wary rather immediately when I saw other reviewers point out some mistakes that the author had made in the biology section of the book. Further, it was mentioned in previous reviews how often the author relied upon narratives from the 1600s rather than talking about innovations in apian science and our understanding of bees in general. Only briefly was bee communication and dan
Anna George
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
Okay, I love to read, I'm in love with my bees, and I started out with high hopes for this book. But reading this book was like slogging through a swimming pool filled with honey. I can't tell you how bored I was. Was it the overly pretentious compound-complex sentences? The excruciating detail paid to the 1600s in every chapter (even the Bee Movie chapter?)? The tiny pictures on the corners of the page that should have replaced text instead? Seriously, it's a miracle that this book is on my "re ...more
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Some pretty pictures, some glaring factual errors in the biology chapter and elsewhere, and the language was pretty turgid and the sections unstructured. If it had not been about bees I would have looked at the pictures and then abandoned it.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
For anyone with a vague fascination with bees, this is an insightful, engaging, and accessible book. What are some things I learned from this book?
• honey can be used as a preservative (you could be embalmed in honey!)
• Joan of Arc was represented with a beehive
• Pythagoras and Democritus attributed their long lives to the consumption of honey
• witches were sometimes accused of taking the form of bees in Medieval Scotland
• Virgil claimed bees balanced themselves for flight with tiny stones carr
Mrs. Musrum's Mum Keleher
Mar 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: verity
One of the best general bee overview books out there (of which there are several) that cover lore, legend and fact about bees. This one delves a bit more, and has many wonderful illustrations. Did you know St. Ambrose was the patron saint of beekeepers? Or there's an African bird that eats honey and leads people to bees' nest so the humans can harvest the honey and share it with the bird? Lots of fascinating tidbits.
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biology-brain
disappointing. more is said about what is said about bees rather than bees themselves. didn't finish.
Aug 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a great book--it was just what I was looking for: a cultural overview of the bee and how it's been viewed through history and it's various cultural incarnations. Great!
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature-green
I love this publisher/series. I need to pick up a more science-y bee book but this was a good overview/intro.
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Animal Series (1 - 10 of 63 books)
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