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The Lives of Bees
The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild
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"A wealth of information about honeybees based on decades of scientific research." * Kirkus * "Thomas Seeley's lifetime of work, study, and love of honey bees has given us the inspiration we need to stop inventing temporary solutions to honey bee problems, and just listen to what the bees are telling us by example. They've been shouting to us for hundreds of years, but only with Seeley's help have we been able to hear."-Kirk Webster, Champlain Valley Bees and Queens "The Lives of Bees answers the complex question that has bugged beekeepers for decades: Why do some wild colonies thrive while their managed brethren collapse? Seeley meticulously guides us through the natural history of honey bees while examining the tension between what is best for the bees versus what is best for their keeper. You and your bees will benefit from this compelling work."-Rusty Burlew, HoneyBeeSuite.com "Thomas Seeley gives us the knowledge we need to rethink beekeeping. He deftly articulates how honey bees survive-and thrive-living naturally inside trees. Meanwhile, within vast beekeeping industries, honey bee mortality remains at an all-time high. This marvelous book enables the thinking beekeeper to learn from the natural life systems of resilient and healthy honey bees."-Nicola Bradbear, Director of Bees for Development "Honey bees have had a close relationship with humans for thousands of years, but they are endangered due to over-domestication. Seeley gives a view of many still living free in the wild, providing a model of their healthy lives. A must-read for anyone interested in the fascinating social behavior of this species, and for those who keep honey bees for fun or profit."-Bernd Heinrich, author of The Hot-Blooded Insects "Using beautifully crafted arguments, Seeley challenges us to let bees be bees. Drawing from his life study of colonies in the wild, Seeley provides a timely reminder of all the amazing strategies that honey bees have evolved to survive on their own."-Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota "This remarkable book eloquently explains how to be a better partner with honey bees, using nature as a guide. Seeley draws on insight and wisdom gleaned from a lifetime of research and hard work-and provides plenty of instructions and illustrations. The Lives of Bees is for everyone who has, or wants to have, honey bees in their lives."-Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine "In a patch of forest near Ithaca, New York, Thomas Seeley has spent decades studying the behavior of honey bees that have thrived in the wild without human intrusion. Those feral bees have much to teach us about how to manage the struggling domesticated colonies that pollinate much of our crops. The Lives of Bees is an absorbing, meticulous, and important book, exploring an unseen corner of the natural world."-Hannah Nordhaus, author of The Beekeeper's Lament "Thomas Seeley is the great detective of the bee world, unearthing clues that make this fascinating creature even more compelling. This is science at its most congenial!"-Bill McKibben, author of Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? "This is a first class work that should be read by anyone concerned with the alarming decline in pollinators of all taxa, but is especially important for bee keepers and their future as honey producers, and for biologists and landowners anxious to preserve habitat for wild honey bees."---David M. Gascoigne, Travels with Birds "This book is a surprise and one heck of a good read."---Scott Shalaway, WV News "[The Lives of Bees] both celebrates and chronicles the natural history of the honey bee."---Barry Silverstein, Foreword Reviews
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Thomas D. Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology at Cornell University. He is the author of Following the Wild Bees, Honeybee Democracy, and Honeybee Ecology (all Princeton) as well as The Wisdom of the Hive. He lives in Ithaca, New York.