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F.W.L. Sladen's The Humble Bee: Its Life History and How to Domesticate It, originally published in 1912, was the first monograph on bumblebees to appear in the English language. It is by any measure a classic work. With unfailing enthusiasm Sladen weaves together the strands of a simple story of natural history and those of profound scholarship. Young, old, novice or expert – everyone can enjoy sharing Sladen's delight in his subject.
It contains descriptions of both Bombus and Psithyrus, together with accounts of their life histories. There are numerous illustrations and photographs by the author as well as five colour plates. It is, in short, the pioneering work that justifies F.W. L. Sladen's role as the father of bumblebee research. Even today, with so much more still to be learnt, The Humble Bee remains required reading tor anyone embarking on a serious study of one of Britain's most appealing native insects.