I refer to a number of books when I am writing some of my articles. Some of these are identification guides, some are conservation books, and others a combination of both.
Here's a selection of books I recommend - I have managed to write fuller reviews for some of these books, and my intention is to update this page further with more reviews.
If you are a publisher or author, and would like me to review a book, please contact me via my Contact Page. Please note that I whilst I will not write negative reviews, I will not include or promote a book I do not like on my website. Thank you.
This is a really excellent book, detailing the 275 species of Britain and Ireland. It's especially impressive to have a guide (at last!) which so comprehensively covers the solitary species. You can read my review here.
A superb, and highly readable book, suitable for a wide range of audiences, and one of my favourite 'bee books'. This book not only helps with identification of species, it answers common questions and many ad hoc, fascinating facts and insights. A full review can be found on this page.
Bumblebees Behaviour And Ecology - by Dave Goulson is an excellent
conservation book, which also provides detailed information about the
bumblebee life cycle, foraging behaviour etc. Please note, this is not a
book providing an identification guide, and is not UK species
specific - for example, it refers to scientific studies both from the UK and overseas, yet
is easy to read.
Professor Goulson is a well-known 'Bee author' and academic.
A further review can be found here.
An I.D. guide to North American bumblebees - see my review here.
A handy guide complete with key, from Princeton University Press.
Attracting Native Pollinators: The Xerces Society Guide to Conserving
North American Bees and Butterflies and Their Habitat.
The title speaks for itself - a publication from the excelllent Xerces Society.
Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain & Ireland - by Mike Edwards & Martin Jenner, is a very handy bumblebee identification guide, for species specific to Great Britain and Ireland. Some useful general information about bumblebees, is included, with great information to help you identify the different species. Ideal for packing into a small rucksack and taking with you on a walk.
Written by Will Allen. Will has had an interesting past, serving in the Marine Corp as a chemical warfare paramedic, then gaining a Phd in Anthropology, teaching, and later co-managing an organic farm.
Bees, Wasps, and Ants: The Indispensable Role of Hymenoptera in Gardens. A quote:
"Few insects are more important than bees, wasps, and ants. They maintain the garden’s biological balance, fertilize vegetables, fruits, and flowers, and recycle nutrients within the soil. It’s no exaggeration to say that a garden can’t be understood without an understanding of its insects."
Meadowland: The Private Life Of An English Field - by John Lewis- Stempel, is a wonderful book, perhaps a classic in the making within the genre of nature writing books. It is not a conservation book, or an identification/field study guide - it's actually a beautifully written diary. I add it here, because if you are interested in wildlife and conservation, it may be the kind of book you'll appreciate. I have a full review of it on this page. Lewis-Stempel is an accomplished author, and it's the ideal kind of book for curling up on the sofa with - preferably on a dull or rainy day, in front of a log fire, perhaps with a cup of hot cocoa or warm soup to look forward to
You can read a Q&A with the author here.
A Wasp Builds a Nest: See Inside a Paper Wasp's Nest and Watch It Grow
With beautiful illustrations, fear can turn to fascination!
Bees, Wasps, and Ants: The Indispensable Role of Hymenoptera in Gardens
It really amazes me that more noise is not made about the value of wasps in gardens!! Yes, I know, there are times when having wasps around is not convenient, but there are things we can do about that - see this page).
The Sting of the Wild
This is actually a book not just about wasps, but about why some creatures sting generally. It even looks at the differing severity of stings!
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