A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson

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Though his conclusions and observations are occasionally benign, they are frequently peppered with fascinating observations, a sense of good cheer, and Goulson's undeniable passion for an oft-uncelebrated subject, here presented for appreciation by the casual armchair naturalist.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GREAT NATURE WRITERS SUCH AS E.O. WILSON AND CHARMING MEMOIRS LIKE GERALD DURRELL'S MY FAMILY AND OTHER ANIMALS, THIS FASCINATING BOOK WILL ALTER THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT BUMBLEBEES.

Dave Goulson became obsessed with wildlife as a small boy growing up in rural Shropshire, starting with an increasingly exotic menagerie of pets. When his interest turned to the anatomical, there were even some ill-fated experiments with taxidermy. But bees are where Goulson's true passion lies—the humble bumblebee in particular.

Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the English short-haired bumblebee went extinct in the United Kingdom, but by a twist of fate still exists in the wilds of New Zealand, the descendants of a few pairs shipped over in the nineteenth century. Dave Goulson's passionate quest to reintroduce it to its native land is one of the highlights of a book that includes original research into the habits of these mysterious creatures, history's relationship with the bumblebee, and advice on how to protect the bumblebee for future generations.

One of the United Kingdom's most respected conservationists and the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Goulson combines lighthearted tales of a child's growing passion for nature with a deep insight into the crucial importance of the bumblebee. He details the minutiae of life in the nest, sharing fascinating research into the effects intensive farming has had on our bee population and the potential dangers if we are to continue down this path.

 

About Dave Goulson

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DAVE GOULSON studied biology at Oxford University and is now Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Stirling. He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, whose groundbreaking conservation work saw him win the Heritage Lottery Award for best Environmental Project and 'Social Innovator of the Year' from the Biology and Biotechnology Research Council in 2010.
 
Published April 29, 2014 by Picador. 283 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for A Sting in the Tale
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 12 2014

A delightful book by an author filled with enthusiasm for the natural world and in possession of just the right touch for sharing it with others.

Read Full Review of A Sting in the Tale | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Mar 24 2014

Though his conclusions and observations are occasionally benign, they are frequently peppered with fascinating observations, a sense of good cheer, and Goulson's undeniable passion for an oft-uncelebrated subject, here presented for appreciation by the casual armchair naturalist.

Read Full Review of A Sting in the Tale | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Apr 22 2014

The bumblebee is the most charming of the lot; even its Latin name, Bombus, is amusing, and in the way Professor Goulson tells its story, we are never far from a smile...The story of the extinction of whole species of native bumblebee in this country alone is one that needs to be more widely known. So read this book. Do it for the bees.

Read Full Review of A Sting in the Tale | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Patrick Barkham on May 17 2013

I would have liked more about bees in our culture, but Goulson has plenty of wondrous biological stories to tell...

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