Review by C.J. Bunce

The incredible, beautiful, buzzing bee is the subject of a new guide book from Running Press books.  Lela Nargi’s The Book of Bees is the perfect overview for kids and adults alike, highlighting 40 key varieties of the insect family.  Can’t tell the difference between yellowjackets and bees?  Want to know how bees function and interact with each other and why only some produce honey?  Beginning with the biology of the bee, readers dive into honeybees, who, like dogs and cats, have been domesticated by humans for thousands of years.  Many species are also endangered and some have become extinct–this book will get readers on the pathway to understanding what they can do about it.

The full-color hardcover book is a handy guide book to take along for identifying bees.  It’s all delivered in a smartly designed format, divided into honeybees, bumblebees, cuckoo bees, mason bees, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, sweat bees, banded bees, long-horned bees, digger bees, mining bees, and other bees.  And that’s only an overview of the 20,000 species of bees on the planet.  Author Lela Nargi incorporates varieties of bees in the selected categories, noting how to identify the bee, when to look for them, where they live geographically, specifications of their size and behavior, special features, and rarities, along with several close-up photographs.

Readers will also learn what buzzing insects aren’t bees, like cicada killer wasps and hoverflies.  Did you know female Asiatic honeybees can evict hornets from their hives by heating up the hive just enough to get them to move along but not kill them?  Did you know humans have been studying bees for decades, but have only learned how these rounded body, tiny-winged insects are able to fly via aerodynamics studies conducted in the past 20 years?

Planting flowers to attract bees is the first step in keeping bees thriving in your area, and the book recommends a variety to try, including zinnias, pansies, and rhododendrons.

Perfect for young people fascinated with bees and other insects and wanting to know more, adults who have waded through life without fully appreciating the value to Earth of these incredible creatures, and all aspiring entomologists, The Book of Bees is available now here at Amazon and via all brick-and-mortar and online book stores.