233 pages, no illustrations
A hunt for the world's most elusive bees leads Dave Goulson from the Salisbury plains to the Sussex hedgerows, from Poland to Patagonia. Whether he is tracking great yellow bumblebees in the Hebrides or chasing orchid bees through the Ecuadorian jungle, Dave Goulson's wit, humour and deep love of nature make him the ideal travelling companion. But perhaps Bee Quest is most magical when Dave Goulson explores closer to home, amongst the secret places hidden right under our noses: the abandoned industrial estates where great crested newts roam; or the rewilded estate at Knepp Castle, where, with the aid of some hairy, bluebell-eating Tamworth pigs, nightingale song has been heard for the first time in generations. This utterly charming book will inspire you to think about the ways in which we are all responsible for the future of our world. Through his scientific expertise and passion for conservation, Goulson shows us nature's resilience against the odds, and that beauty hides in the most surprising places.
"You'll learn all sorts of interesting things without effort because he's a natural storyteller with a particular gift of understatement that is often laugh-out-loud funny – which you don't expect from a bee book [...] It's warmly personal, and stuffed full of the inescapable poetry and beauty of the natural world [...] Going on Bee Quest with him puts the natural world within our reach – to enjoy but also to protect [...] This is a truly positive and empowering read – you closed it better informed, filled with poetry, pies and ready to get out there and make a difference."
– Laline Paull, Observer
"This is a quest that takes us from Patagonia to Poland, from Ecuador to Essex, fueled by Dave Goulson's extraordinary passion for the bumblebee [...] Goulson's search for some of the world's rarest bees has led him on a geographical and intellectual exploration that combines bizarre facts about bumblebees [...] with passionate ideas about conservation."
– Martha Kearney, The Times
"In this delightful book [Goulson] tells us of the discoveries he has made during his 'bee travels' [...] a humorous, beautifully written tribute to these insects, and hope-filled examples of nature's resilience."
– Outdoor Photography
"Dave Goulson [...] has perfected the art of turning the entomologist's technical expertise into easy-reading everyman's prose. He also laces his stories with rich helpings of wit and humour."
– Mark Cocker, Spectator
"Every now and then you come across a book that changes the way you look at the world. This is one of those books. Ostensibly about bumblebees and Goulson's quest to find some of the most endangered ones around the globe, it proves to be much more than that [...] Bee Quest is as much a travel guide as a bee compendium [...] Along the way he conjures up the history, atmosphere and landscape of his surroundings with an infectious enthusiasm and descriptive flair that more than makes up for the lack of illustrations [...] You may well find yourself building a bee hotel and ordering wild flower seeds long before you reach the end of the book."
– Patricia Carswell, WI Life
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Dave Goulson studied biology at Oxford University and is now Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex. He has spent the last twenty years studying bumblebees, and has published over 250 scientific articles on their biology. He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, A Sting in the Tale, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, and A Buzz in the Meadow.