266 pages, no illustrations
In A Buzz in the Meadow Goulson tells the story of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow and how, over a decade, he has created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, a myriad insects of every kind, many of them ones that Goulson has studied before in his career as a biologist. You will learn about how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. Goulson is brilliant, and very funny, at showing how scientists actually conduct experiments.
A Buzz in the Meadow is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. Goulson has that rare ability to persuade you to go out into your garden or local park and get down on your hands and knees and look. The undiscovered glory that is life in all its forms on planet Earth is there to be discovered. And if we learn to value what we have, perhaps we will find a way to keep it. A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson's account of a lifetime studying bumblebees, was one of the most gratifying success stories of 2013. Brilliantly reviewed, it was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book of the year. A Buzz in the Meadow is another call to arms for nature lovers everywhere.
"A gripping account of the importance of insects to our environment [...] . Goulson has an easy-going style and an enthusiastic yet rigourous approach to material that could seem dry [...] Goulson's patient attempts to establish a link between [bees' colony collapse disorder and a new class of insecticide] become as gripping as any forensic thriller."
- Suzi Feay, Financial Times
"For those who think of science as being dry and boring this book will be a revelation. Goulson's book is juicy and delicious, layered with flavours and steeped in culture."
- Nicola Davies, 5 stars, Daily Telegraph
"Buy this book, give it as a present. It is required reading for being a human in the 21st century."
- Matthew Cobb, professor of zoology at the Univerity of Manchester, New Scientist
"Glorious [...] The real pleasure of reading this book is hearing the hum of biodiversity rising from every page."
- Damian Whitworth, The Times
"A wonderfully entertaining one-man campaign [...] A blend of scientific evidence and amusing travelogue that engages the reader as much with the eloquence of its argument as with the charm of its humour."
- Mark Cocker, 5 stars, Mail on Sunday
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Dave Goulson studied biology at Oxford University and is now Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex. He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006. A Sting in the Tale was published by Jonathan Cape in 2013 and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.