Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees (Hardcover)
Most literature about bees is focused on the popular honeybee, but countless other species are also vital to our planet. Conservation biologist and Pacific Northwest resident Thor Hanson aims to broaden the scope. He guides us through the history of bees, from their ancient roots as carnivorous wasps to their current role as the world's most effective pollinators. One might expect such a text to be dry and academic, but this is an enchanting personal account of those tiny beings. Hanson's love for them is evident on every page and his message is of the utmost importance: we must do all we can to protect our bees. -Liz— From Summer Booknotes 2018
As seen on PBS's American Spring LIVE, the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers presents a natural and cultural history of bees: the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round.
Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.
As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.
About the Author
Thor Hanson is a conservation biologist, Guggenheim Fellow, and author of award-winning books including Buzz, Feathers, The Impenetrable Forest, and The Triumph of Seeds. He lives with his wife and son on an island in Washington State.
Winner of the 2019 Pacific Northwest Book Award—-
"Buzz shines the most brightly...when Hanson's own adoration of bees comes through: he wanders around the landscape observing them and musing about their natural history in ways that light up the page...A rewarding choice for readers keen on science and nature."—NPR
"Charming...Hanson is an upbeat and often humorous guide...If you have time to read one book on what is happening with modern bees, you couldn't do better than Buzz."—Science
"In Buzz, Thor Hanson reminds us that the apian community is incredibly diverse...[He] expertly explores the history and ecology of bees around the world."—New Scientist
"Buzz provokes thought and promotes action."—Coast Weekend
"Hanson...is surprisingly optimistic that we can reform and protect our bees, citing recent research and improved agricultural practices. In Buzz, he states his case while entertainingly recounting human-and-bee history and his own experiences with many bee species."—Booklist
written natural history book, brought to us by a graceful and talented author,
packs surprise after surprise with every turn of the page. Who knew bees were
just evolved wasps? Or that ancient Egyptians ferried bees up and down the Nile
to pollinate their crops? Don't pass this one up."
"Thor Hanson is a magician at making entomology and taxonomy exciting, highlighting the fascinating world of bees. Buzz hums with science and history, exposing how bees have shaped our world. A delightful, buzzworthy must-read!"—Daniel Chamovitz, author of Whata Plant Knows
"As he did for feathers and seeds, Thor Hanson has written a wonderfully engaging work of natural history that will delight readers with its elegant prose, surprising stories, and deep humanity. Bees, so important to life on earth, are fortunate to have someone as passionate and knowledgeable as Hanson tell the tale of their evolutionary past, turbulent present, and precarious future. After reading Buzz, you will look at bees with a profound mixture of awe and gratitude."—Eric Jay Dolin, author of BlackFlags, Blue Waters, and Leviathan
"This book hums with the unique mixture of science, adventure, intelligence, wonder, linguistic virtuosity, and great storytelling we have come to expect from Thor Hanson's work. But it offers something new and rare as well. Here we are drawn into a surprising and enchanted world that is hidden in plain sight. All who read Buzz will eat dinner, walk in the neighborhood, search the flowers, and yes-listen to the drone of bees-with changed minds and hearts, ones that are freshly attuned to our beautiful and essential interconnection with the six-legged beings who share and co-create our history, our mythology, our sustenance, our planet, and our future."—Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Crow Planet and Mozart's Starling