Thursday, June 16, 2011

Solitary Bees North Fife

Solitary bee tucking into pollen on a dandelion, one of the Colletes species ( Colletes daviesanus) that nest in the ground in friable soil. A first I thought it was a hover fly or honey bee though honey bees are larger. They pose no threat being stingless. Right now we have a bumble bee nest at the entrance to the house, the queen having found a small hole at ground level leading to the cavity wall. Over the years masonry bees have used gaps between stones and even unused door keyholes, sometimes filling in with mud reducing the hole to bee size. Fascinating. There are a multitude of small life forms that share our living space, happily and respected.

Bugs Britannia. (Hard cover).
As with Flora and Birds, Bugs is not a biological guide but a richly-illustrated cultural one, seen through the eyes of writers, musicians, artists and naturalists – from the great Tudor naturalist, Thomas Muffet (father of Little Miss Muffet) to Irvine Welsh’s talking tapeworm in Filth – as well as contributions by ordinary men and women who are fascinated by creepy-crawlies of all kinds.

The book is structured along a roughly evolving path, from simple cell life-forms – amoeba, worms, crustaceans (proof, say the authors, of ‘just how far you can go on very little’) – to bugs we all might recognise – spiders, butterflies, bees – and back into the water to meet molluscs and ‘almost-fish’… The book works so triumphantly because author Peter Marren has examined bugs in the dusty corners of our houses and gardens as well as traversing mountains, lakes and fields. In addition to the fascinating habits of the bug world, he also includes the eccentric behaviour of the bug obsessives themselves.

But of course, the true heroes of the book are the bugs themselves: the nimble-dicks, clock ladies and coffin-cutters. From the Boring Sponge (its official name!) to the Mermaid’s Glove and Penis Worm, via the glamourous Dark Crimson Underwing and Ruby-Tailed Wasp – this rich compendium of bugs is a must not only for naturalists but for anyone who cares about the crawling, buzzing swarms at our feet.
"...a colourful, illustrated chronicle of why insects are important."--The Times

"The information in it was so wide-ranging and so well written that I am sure it would be a great buy for anyone with an interest in the so-called lower forms of animal life, natural history or just in the smaller creatures, good, bad or indifferent, that you find in the garden"--Gardens Illustrated

"Bugs Britannica is a celebration of the life that swarms at our feet and in the air."--The Scotsman

"The insect world is teeming with wonder in this outstanding cultural guide to the interaction of invertebrates and man."--Sunday Times

"...rare turns of phrase, gentle humour and quaint anecdotes about often-overlooked creatures"--BBC Wildlife Magazine

"Gorgeously produced and illustrated... each bug and its accompanying text is so fascinating that I wanted to read them all."--Charlotte Sleigh, Sunday Telegraph

"A cultural natural history - a record of what we think about invertebrates and how they...continue to influence our lives."--Bristol Evening Post

"Bugs Britannica is full of amazing facts and figures... A book to savour like a fine wine."--

"Marren...lights up every invertebrate family, writing with zesty humour and sympathy... It is quite magnificent"--The Independent

"The book works...magnificently"--Eastern Daily Press

"A veritable feast and inspiration to delve into"--Highland News

"A sumptuous new book... its 500 gorgeous pages are comprehensive in their scope"--Manchester Evening News

"The book is a delight of illustration, information and anecdote about the world of invertebrates."--Current Biology

"It is easy to lose hours in this book."--The Guardian

"Enormous fun... The book is a delight, a rich but digestible potage of the arcane and the unexpected."--Country Life

"a delightful book"--The Spectator
Book Description
From sea squirts to slugs to swallowtails, the third, fabulous and gorgeously illustrated book in Richard Mabey’s series, a companion volume to the bestselling classics Flora Britannica and Birds Britannica.

512 pages of wonderment.

RRP: £35.00
Price: £20.24 & this item Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery. See details and conditions
You Save: £14.76 (42%)

A very worthwhile addition to the home. Click to buy now. Bugs Britannica

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