Dave Goulson has always been obsessed with wildlife, from his childhood menagerie of exotic pets and dabbling in experimental taxidermy to his groundbreaking research into the mysterious ways of the bumblebee and his mission to protect our rarest bees.
Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the short-haired bumblebee now only exists in the wilds of New Zealand, the descendants of a few queen bees shipped over in the nineteenth century. Dave Goulson’s passionate drive to reintroduce it to its native land is one of the highlights of a book that includes exclusive research into these curious creatures, history’s relationship with the bumblebee and advice on how to protect it for all time.
One of the UK’s most respected conservationists and the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Goulson combines Gerald Durrell-esque tales of a child’s growing passion for nature with a deep insight into the crucial importance of the bumblebee. He details the minutiae of life in their nests, sharing fascinating research into the effects intensive farming has had on our bee populations and on the potential dangers if we are to continue down this path.
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[Goulson’s] book is not only enormously informative, but also hugely entertaining: its light touch and constant humour make cutting-edge research a pleasure to read about… For anyone interested in the natural world, this is essential reading. - Independent
Goulson reminds himself that he ‘began studying bumblebees not because they are important pollinators but because they are fascinating, because they behave in interesting and mysterious ways, and because they are rather loveable.’ It’s worth reading A Sting in the Tale for the same reasons. - Literary Review
A worthy book of the year. - Observer
Goulson has plenty of wondrous biological stories to tell, as well as the tale of his own struggle to return the short-haired bumblebee to Britain. - Guardian
This isn’t one of those natural science books that simply tells you things – it admits how much we don’t know. - Spectator
Goulson combines enthusiasm with academic authority, addressing the amateur beekeeper and professional apiarist in well-judged proportion. - The Times
Goulson's case for the importance of bumblebees will live long in my memory for its sheer passion and scientific detail. - Guardian
Entertaining and enlightening… Wholly engaging…A must for all gardeners. - Garden Answers
A very readable introduction to the remarkable world of bees and bee conservation. - Good Book Guide
This book will make you bee-conscious. You will learn a lot, not just about bumblebees, and you will never have a dull moment… So read this book. Do it for the bees. - Guardian
A lovely book - Big Issue
As relief and instruction, I haven’t read a more entertaining and endearing book on matters biological than Dave Goulson’s - Guardian
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About the Author
Dave Goulson studied biology at Oxford University and is now Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex. He has spent the last 20 years studying bumblebees, and has published over 200 scientific articles on their biology. He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006. A Sting in the Tale was published by Jonathan Cape in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. A Buzz in the Meadow was published in 2014.