This classic work by F. W. L. Sladen (1876–1921) was published in 1912. Captivated by the bees in the grounds of his home, he produced his first essay on them in 1892, and later began to keep bees and produce honey as a livelihood, at the same time studying and breeding honeybees. Moving in 1912 to Canada, he eventually received the title of Dominion Apiarist, but unfortunately his work was cut short by his sudden death in 1921. When this book was published, there were no detailed accounts of the life cycles of the humble-bee (or bumblebee) species. Sladen provides these, with a guide to distinguishing the different British species (with colour plates which can be viewed at http://www.cambridge.org/9781108075725), and instructions on how to domesticate these important pollinators. Combining the enthusiasm of a naturalist with the precision of a scientist, this work is of continuing interest and importance in environmental studies.