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At the heart of every bee hive is a queen bee. Since her well-being is linked to the well-being of the entire colony, the ability to find her among the residents of the hive is an essential beekeeping skill. In QueenSpotting, experienced beekeeper and professional "swarm catcher" Hilary Kearney challenges readers to "spot the queen" with 48 fold-out visual puzzles – vivid up-close photos of the queen hidden among her many subjects.
QueenSpotting celebrates the unique, fascinating life of the queen bee chronicles of royal hive happenings such as The Virgin Death Match, The Nuptual Flight – when the queen mates with a cloud of male drones high in the air – and the dramatic Exodus of the Swarm from the hive. Readers will thrill at Kearney's adventures in capturing these swarms from the strange places they settle, including a Jet Ski, a couch, a speed boat, and an owl's nesting box. Fascinating, fun, and instructive, backyard beekeepers and nature lovers alike will find reason to return to the pages again and again.
Hilary Kearney is the author of QueenSpotting and the creator of Girl Next Door Honey, a beekeeping business that offers educational opportunities to hundreds of new beekeepers each year. She maintains the blog Beekeeping Like A Girl and her writing on bees has appeared in Modern Farmer and Grit magazines. Her work has been the subject of features in Huffington Post, Vogue, Mother Earth News, and other outlets. She rescues wild bee colonies and manages around 90 hives in her hometown of San Diego, California.
"[...] Hilary Kearney has produced a delightful book that combines interesting factual information about the life of honeybees in general, and the queen in particular, with 48 full-colour, fold-out images that challenge the reader to locate the queen among a host of other honeybees. The images are graded in difficulty with the early ones being relatively straightforward to the later images being frustratingly difficult. [...] This is a highly readable account that summarises the events that occur both inside and outside a typical beehive and will appeal to young naturalists, amateur beekeepers and nature lovers who want a relaxed yet informative introduction to the lives of bees with the added challenge to 'spot the queen'."
– Alan Woollhead, The Biologist 66(5) October/November 2019