Recommended Reading:

A Buzz in the Meadow

A Buzz in the Meadow The Natural History of a French Farm, by Dave Goulson (Macmillan 2014).  A very enlightening and engaging follow-up to A Sting in the Tale. Full of good humour, this book widens our world-view of bees, invertebrates, flowering plants and the habitats which support them all, ending with an indepensible look at neonicotinoid pesticides and aspects of the legal systems which perpetuate them.

a sting in the taleA Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson (Jonathan Cape; Vintage, 2013) In this compelling, and at times immensely entertaining book, Goulson details history’s relationship with the bumblebee, groundbreaking research into these curious creatures, the disastrous effects intensive farming has had on our bee populations, vital information about industrial bumble bee rearing and management, and the potential dangers if we are to continue down this path.


Droege Packer Bees up Close

Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World  (Voyageur Press, 2015) Authors “Sam Droege and Laurence Packer present more than 100 of the most eye-catching bees from around the world as you’ve never seen them: up-close and with stunning detail. You’ll stare into alien-like faces. ” Each incredible and unique bee presented with intriguing facts by the authors.

keeping the beesKeeping the Bees, by Laurence Packer (HarperCollins Canada, 2010) Browse inside the book.  Mellitologist Laurence Packer researches the world’s diversity of bee species from the jungles of South America to the deserts of Arizona. In this book he explores the worldwide trend of disappearing bee species, debunks myths about bees, investigates variations of bee biology and dynamics of bee populations in changing landscapes, and discusses what we can do to assist bees. With chapter sub-titles like, “Sexualy Transmitted Child-eating Female Impersonators on a California Sand Dune”.

The Forgotten Pollinators, by Stephen L. Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan (Island Press, 1995) The authors explore the vital relationships between plants and the animals and, especially, the coevolution of flowering plants and pollinators. The book is a lively and fascinating account of the ecological and cultural context of plant-pollinator relationships.


Bumblebee EconomicsBumblebee Economics, by Bernd Heinrich (Harvard University Press)  This book details the energy economy of bumble bees, with in-depth analysis of the physiology of body temperature regulation. It also includes chapters on competition between species (of plants and pollinators), pollination and energetics (of plants and pollinating animals), and, ecology and coevolution.


A Guide to Toronto’s Pollinators pocketbook is available from the David Suzuki Foundation (by Laurence Packer and Victoria MacPhail). This easy reference booklet describes 21 species of wild, (mostly) native bees and a few other insect pollinators which can be easily spotted in our gardens, yards and parks. With fascinating notes about lifestyles, habits, biology and the flowers they visit – including cuckoo bees and wanna-bees – each page includes charming pictographs citing traits such as “stinger”, “solitary bee”, “twig or wood nester”, etc.

Bees of Toronto coverBees of Toronto A Guide to their Remarkable World. City of Toronto Biodiversity Series, 2017.

An excellent, thorough and accessable publication, free from the City and from Toronto Public Libraries.  Pdf online.

managing alternative pollinators

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and   Conservationists, By Eric Mader, Marla Spivak, and Elaine Evans, published by SARE.  A hugely informative book on alternative pollinators to honey bees which can be managed, along with land-management suggestions and vital information about disease control of managed bees (including leaf cutter bees, mason bees and more).

Resonating Bodies - Bee Trading Card
Resonating Bodies Bee Trading Cards (series 1, 2009) feature macro photography of bee anatomy, life facts and colour-coded DNA barcode snippets of some E. Canada and E. North America bumble bee, leaf cutter and spring (mason) bee species. Available through Pollinator Partnership’s online bookstore.

Pollinator Monitoring for Citizen Scientists: A Handbook Available for $2.99 at Smashwords and Apple iBooks Store under ‘pollinator monitoring’ (via free iBooks app for iPhone or iPad).

#Beeoftheday on Twitter courtesy BeesYU @BeesYork: Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation An interdisciplinary team of researchers studying @yorkuniversity / Our tweets are like bees, #buzzing

metallic mondays


Downloadable files:

Life Cycles of Bees (pdf)  Natural Areas Pollinators (pdf)  Urban Forestry (pdf)  Bee Trading Cards preview (pdf 5mb)  About Bees, Habitat & Coevolution (pdf)

Sites and Articles

Nico’s wild bees & wasps – an extraordinary Flickr photostream by Dr. Nicolas J. Vereecken (Free University of Brussels, Belgium).

The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. See their guide to building nests for native bees on our site. Pollinator Partnership provides information on pollinator-habitat conservation, pollinator gardens, co- evolution and more. Pollinator Partnership is a tri-national organization; this site brings together information regarding Mexico, the United States and Canada (via NSERC-CANPOLIN was a five-year NSERC Strategic Network that addressed the growing problem of pollinator decline and crop pollination in agricultural and other ecosystems in Canada. With 26 member institutions and research sites across the country, CANPOLIN was truly national and interdisciplinary in scope, bringing together leading experts in entomology, pollination ecology, plant physiology, prediction and economics to deliver critical insights into the pollination crisis.

“A tough new row to hoe” by Alex Roslin (Globe and Mail July 19, 2008; Agriculture: world food crisis) “The Green Revolution that began in 1945 transformed farming and fed millions in developing countries. But its methods over the long run are proving to be stunningly destructive…”

Ana’s Bee World  from Anna Howell, University of Arizona Masters degree holder in Entomology. Awesome bee blog!

Bee-BOL, the campaign that aims to obtain DNA barcodes for the bees of the world. This information should be of interest to: bee biologists, pollination biologists, agricultural researchers, conservation biologists and anyone who enjoys their food.

Discover Life An excellent bee ID site

“Portland’s Sabin Elementary School Tickle Bees” Will you get stung?

Pollinator Gardens The Pollinator Gardens project is creating gardens for native birds, bees, and butterflies.

Farmed Solitary Bees & Wasps, Data Set (generations 1997-2008). An excellent resource by P. E. Hallett (2011) at T-Space, The University of Toronto Research Repository. The Data Set consists of downloadable documents, spreadsheets, photographs, computer programs and slide shows that record the growth of farmed communities of cavity-using solitary bees and wasps, and their parasites, at three locations in Southern Ontario. Peter Hallett’s trap nests are also featured on this blog at Pink Bee Condo – Up Close and Building Houses for Native Bees.