Bumblebees - Dr John Feltwell front cover

Bumblebees need no introduction. There are 25 species in Britain and they are experiencing a big decline in populations, mostly through habitat loss. They are very loveable creatures that get on with their business in the garden compost heap and bumble away in flowers in the herbaceous border. Their colours are very variable and they have 'cuckoo' bees that parasitise their nests. Working early in the day than honeybees they also work later in the evening, but they only store honey in very small quantities, in little 'honey pots'. These are the sorts of things that are described in the book.

The book is full of colour photographs of bumblebees on flowers. There is lots about bumblebees in gardens and they are seen on a variety of yellow, blue, purple and white flowers. The book also shows the different habitats that bumblebees are found in, and which they are no longer present (bumblebee deserts). There are also pictures of 250 year old bumblebees from the collection of the famous Carl Linneaus. Bumblebees are shown pollinating a variety of flowers, using their either short or long tongues. When it comes to probing flowers for nectar the long-tongued bumblebees are able to reach the base of some of the flower tubes, but sadly a lot of nectar sources are disappearing due to habitat loss. Bumblebees, like honeybees, are experts at breaking a hole in the base of many flowers and stealing the nectar without going in through the main entrance. The book is rounded off with further information, websites, societies and books, articles and CDs.

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