Bees: Nature's Little Wonders by Candace Savage

By Candace Savage

The bee could have a mind the scale of a grass seed, yet in its short, five-week lifestyles it really works as a brood nurse, wax manufacturer, comb builder, honey maker, domestic shield, and floral forager. Bees: Nature's Little Wonders invitations readers to take a brand new examine creatures which are either accepted and wondrously peculiar. It considers the variety and biology of bees, together with their bizarre sociosexual preparations (pity the terrible drone), their quirky relationships with plant life, and their startling psychological skills: What are we to make of bugs that converse via symbolic dances? The booklet additionally addresses the mysterious syndrome often called colony cave in disease and identifies possibilities for the conservation of pollinators. Enriched with cultural sidebars and complemented via a gorgeous choice of pictures, Bees is a must-read for conservationists, gardeners, and everybody else who cares concerning the global round them.

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What really surprised and fascinated Lindauer was the amount of time that Bee 107 spent walking through the hive, poking her head into corners, or visiting areas where comb was being built, for all the world as if she were looking for things to do. In his 177 hours of observation, she spent fully 56 hours just looking around, and in every case, she ended up finding something that needed to be done. ” The subtlety that Lindauer had sensed in r This diligent worker bee is part of a crew preparing honey for storage.

How does a bee, with a brain the size of a flax seed, perceive a need to clean out cells where the queen will lay her eggs? How does a worker recognize which larvae need to be fed or when the honey is thick enough for storage or that rearing nephews is not in the community’s best interests? And beyond that, how can a colony of sixty thousand or more individuals coordinate its activities amid all the bustle and scurry of an insect city? For centuries, from Aristotle right up to the threshold of modern times, most observers had assumed that the hive was governed by a benevolent dictator—an all-knowing king or queen—that understood the big picture and told the workers what to do.

Did they also learn and remember scents? And there was one chance observation that had von Frisch scratching his head. In performing his experiments, he had sometimes left an empty food dish on the table. Although most of his bees soon lost interest and stopped coming around, occasionally one or another of them would drift by and land. ” What had begun as a straightforward investigation—could honeybees see color? yes or no—had suddenly opened out into a world of speculation. From then on, the mysteries of honeybee society would, as von Frisch put it, give him no rest.

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