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Bumblebees are popular and well loved insects. Yet, surprisingly, until recently the majority of people knew little or nothing about them. Over the last 4 decades, populations of some of the rarer species have seriously declined and even some of the commoner ones are no longer as numerous as they once were. This has given cause for alarm as they are important pollinators of wild and garden flowers, fruit trees and some crops. Now there is some good news. Thanks to increased awareness of bumblebees and their plight some species have been now been brought back from the brink. Nevertheless, more work is needed if some of the rarer species are to reach their previous levels and be found in their former haunts.
The excellent photographic field guide describes 25 species, with colour photos of both sexes and information on life history. It also decribes habitat requirements for conservation action and how to attract bumblebees to your garden.
New features in the 2017 revised edition are:
- more accurate colour identification icons on the species spreads
- updated distribution maps with the very latest data
- Species Icons Quick Guide
"[...] As a field guide, aimed at beginners and non-specialists, this book works well. The photographs are all of a high standard, the text concise but accurate, and areas of difficulty, such as the cryptic species of the Bombus lucorum complex, highlighted. The book is light, genuinely pocket-sized and reasonably priced. All in all it is an ideal companion for anyone who wants to begin the study of bumblebees."
– Graham A. Collins, Atropos 62, 2018