on 29 December 2008
The Buzz About Bees: Biology of a Superorganism
As a long serving beekeeper ( over 45 years) I think I have probably read over 150 books about bees. Jurgen Tautz's book is by far one of the best books on the subject I have found. His research is not only meticulous and innovative it is also thought provoking. I have to admit I thought I knew a lot about bees but in every chapter of this book something new was found. The book is written in a very readable style even if you know nothing about bees. Helga Heilman has put together a portfolio of photographs that are exceptional.
I can find nothing in the book that I dislike, it was a joy to read and I will be constantly revisiting it in years to come. As a beekeeping teacher this book is at the top of my reading list for my students.
on 20 August 2008
I was absolutely fascinated by Juergen Tautz's book "The Buzz about Bees - Biology of a Superorganism"! The author is an extraordinary talent in presenting excellent top-notch scientific research not only to other members of the scientific world. In fact, Juergen Tautz is able to communicate in a brilliant and entertaining way both his profound and detailed knowledge about the life of bees as well as his stunning new concept of the bees as a super-organism with mammal-like characteristics to a wide range of people. Since this book is so well written and science is made so easily understandable, I could imagine it is of interest to readers with very different backgrounds, ranging from a general interest in biology to a more specific interest in animal behaviour and bee keeping, or even garden designers like me.
From now on, my understanding of the aesthetic value of flowers will forever be linked to the immense ecological importance of their "visitors", the bees, since they are responsible for the evolution of a huge variety of flowers that exist on our planet. A fact, we generally are not aware of when admiring a beautiful bouquet.
I have become especially aware of the fact that the co-evolution of bees and flowers is so closely linked to our own evolution on earth! Consequently, our own (human) survival on earth is strongly dependent on the survival of this "super-organism" as a main pollinator. A fact which gains even more importance in times of global warming (which may weaken a bee hive since bees cannot cope with spring-like temperatures in the middle of winter causing them to leave their bee hive too early) and dying bee hives in some parts of the world.
In addition to this, the detailed information about the behaviour of bees, the communication between them, the innovative concept of the bee-hive as a super-organism, the architecture of a bee hive etc. is supported by the most beautiful photographs which provide the book with a high aesthetic value.
In my opinion, Juegen Tautz's book should be a "must" for anyone who likes to get fascinated by nature's wonders! It provided the most wonderful summer reading for me.
on 26 September 2009
Through a lifetime, one has very few opportunities to meet great writers such as Dr Juergen Tautz. I have had just this pleasure. It started when I read his book "The Buzz about the Bees". I was totally drawn in from the very first page. Further on I was totally hypnotized by the countless stunning photographs, to me they are the cream on the bun.
Juergen's book identifies the honey bee as a superorganism backed up by scientific evidence. The book provides the reader with a constant stream of what's happening in the bee hive from the bees using the comb for communication from one side of the comb to the other very similar to our internet as well as the foraging bees on return use one part of the comb as a dance floor similar to dancing to Glen Millers beat in communicating with other bees. Move that comb and the foragers will hunt out. Like Glen Miller performing at another venue.
If your interest is just wanting to know how much nectar a cherry tree provides in one day, or simply how the bees keep their babies warm then this is the book for you. The book is for non beekeepers as much as beekeepers and a must for any school for education purposes. Every library in the land should have this book on their shelves. If you are not a beekeeper this is the book that will make you want to become a beekeeper.
As a beekeeper and teacher what I really like about this book is that it there is nothing bad at all written about the bees, it portrays the bees as a beautiful insect, the only insect that provides food for man, one of our creators finest, a superorganism in its making. There is nothing bad written about the bees, disease, pests, insecticides, maladies etc, Dr death or Dr Gloom are not in this book.. This book is written with scientific evaluation, ground breaking evidence and most of all written with pure gusty compassion. Compassion that can only be delivered by a great man who really loves his subject, everything you read in The Buzz about the Bees leaves you with feel good factor. Just like the author.
This could be the best Christmas present you could ever give for someone.
Michael Young MBE
Chairman Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers
on 6 December 2009
I am so bowled over by this amazing book that I find it hard to find the right words to describe it. You don't have to be a scientist to understand and enjoy 'The Buzz About Bees', thanks to the excellent communication skills of Author and Scientist, Jurgen Tautz and the superb photography of Helga Heilmann. It has given me a fascinating insight into the organisation and behaviour of the Honey Bee. The photographs alone are worth the cost of the book.
on 25 September 2009
If you think you know about bees then read this!
I couldnt put it down.This was the best book about anything that I have read in years.Money well spent.
on 4 December 2009
Of the 50 beekeeping books on my bookshelf, this book is unique in explaining, in a very readable way, some of the latest research. Most books are a rehash of the same old information but this book presents what is clearly some very cutting edge research in such a way as to be readable by beekeepers and non-beekeepers alike. One of the most entertaining reads and the accompanying photographs are simply stunning.
on 24 January 2011
I had this book for Christmas and it is the best book on bees I have read so far. The photographs are wonderful and the detail in the writing (without too much scientific jargon)is thought provoking and instructive. After each chapter I find myself thinking it all through but the writer is not afraid of stating categorically that there is much more to learn and that he doesn't know all the answers. The aspects of the bees' life that we do not understand are as fascinating as those that we do. I am constantly asking my family 'Did you know that........' and I am in danger of becoming a bee bore!! I am a fairly new beekeeper and beginning to look at my own bees in a different way. If you are interested in these fascinating insects you will not regret buying this book because it is an absolute joy.
on 25 November 2008
Please read this book - it won't particularly help with your bee-keeping skills, except to make you wonder all the more at the astonishing life of bees and their extraordinary abilities, but it will fascinate you.
Respect to the bees! and Jurgen Tautz.
Brilliant photos too.
on 12 May 2011
This is my favourite book on bees. As a beekeeper since 1982 I have read many books on bees and beekeeping, many of which have been frustrating because of the lack of science. There is a lot of waffle said in the beekeeping world, something this book is not guilty of. Although not all areas of bee behaviour are covered, those included are discussed in detail. Although science based the book doesn't go overboard quoting other sources, but explains things that have been discovered through bee research and presents them in simple terms. If there is one niggling criticism it is the translation, which occasionally gives away that the translator does not really understand bees that well. The content of the book more than makes up for this and the photos are a true testament to the wonder of honey bees, they are of the very highest quality I have ever seen. If you are a beekeeper you should have this book, not least so that when you open your mouth to offer an opinion about bee behaviour you will have some science to back up your statement. I could not put this book down, reading it from cover to cover, and have dipped into it many times since I bought it. You won't regret spending the money. Well done and thank you to the author and photographer.
on 3 June 2011
If I was allowed to keep just one book about bees in my large collection about the subject it would be this one. This book is a different class to everything else and is highly readable. It does not tell you how to keep bees, rather it tells you how bees keep themselves. After reading you have question many of clumsy and frankly ignorant practices to maintain bee health that have developed in beekeeping in the last 20 years. For example, the book describes how sensitive and important the bee antenna are to communication, hive organisation, security, brood rearing, temperature control, foraging etc. and yet as common practice has developed in beekeeping to pour oxalic acid over bees to treat for mites. While the book makes no comments on beekeeping practice it makes you sit up and question very carefully everything you do.