Disclaimer! Princeton Publishing provided the copies for review!
Who doesn't love bees?
Price listed on book - US $29.95
Authors - J.S. Wilson and O.M. Carril
Pages - 288
Size - 7"x10" - almost an inch thick
Topics covered - All sorts of bee's! An introduction, how to help bee's, then discussion of the various families.
Photographs - Who knows! 300? 400? There are many in this rich and colourful book.
The skinny: bee's are all the rage these days with honeybee colony collapse, listing of bumblebees by COSEWIC or SARA, lots of research - so now is the perfect time to learn more about bee's. The authors want everyone to know just how awesome (and variable) our North American Bee's are! (4000+ species in the United States and Canada!)
The good: This book is bright, colourful, and has a lot of information that will keep a budding (to avid) naturalist entertained for a long time. I can't help but feel the excitement the authors have for their subjects and that is the type of situation where things begin to rub off on others. I don't currently have any need to put the book to use, and the cold weather isn't going to provide many opportunities, but I can only imagine that it would help answer many questions you wouldn't easily find elsewhere.
The bad: based on my early impressions - I can't find anything bad to say about the book. I mean, I can say things, but I will cover those in the "who-should-buy-it" below! It has great images, range maps, packed full of facts, great ID tips (oh yeah, this is the "bad" section - moving on...)
Who should buy it: I recommend it to all naturalists! All the naturalists! If you're interested in anything in the natural world, it's an easy progression to move onto something new - espicially when you have great information to start with. This is that book!
Also - if you want to get a gift for a naturalist friend, I think this book is a slam dunk. There may be those who aren't terribly keen on dropping 30 large ($30.00 for the older folk) on a subject-specific book they aren't 100% keen on, but getting a colourful bee-slap in the face from this book will keep them happy throughout Christmas and beyond (note - Christmas is coming!)
and with that said, here's where I have some trouble....Who else buys this book?
It's not really a kids book, despite it having the appearance of a kids book (heeey kids, should we read about Halictus tonight? Or Hoplitis?) It's not really a field guide, given the large size... It isn't quite a coffee table book... Although I'm sure non-naturalist-people will be happy to just look at the awesome photos when they come over for tea... It's just a really pretty reference book? But doesn't exactly cover all 4000 species?
BEEKEEPERS! If you are, or know a Beekeeper, they'll probably like it too...
Be sure to check out the introduction to the book online here:
Also, Princeton put out a slideshow (with more of these awesome images) and an interview here:
It's available online, out in mid December!