48 books like Bees

By Karl Von Frisch,

Here are 48 books that Bees fans have personally recommended if you like Bees. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There

Greg M. Peters Author Of Our National Forests: Stories from America's Most Important Public Lands

From my list on people who love outdoors and want to learn more.

Who am I?

I love being outdoors and I’ve been fortunate to spend much of life under the open sky, both professionally and personally. Learning about the landscapes I’ve visited on my outdoor adventures or helped protect through my professional conservation and writing work is both fulfilling and inspiring. Skilled writers deepen my understanding of the diverse, intricate, and complicated natural world. Whether I’m reading to better understand the policies and histories that have shaped our public lands or about the adventurers who inspire me to get out there, I always find immense value and enjoyment when reading about the landscapes we share. 

Greg's book list on people who love outdoors and want to learn more

Greg M. Peters Why did Greg love this book?

Aldo Leopold was a Forest Service ranger stationed in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest when he first began advocating for a new approach to managing national forests. Leopold’s visionary thinking and diligent advocacy resulted in the first-ever Wilderness Area in the U.S.—the Gila Wilderness Area, established in 1922—more than 40 years before the Wilderness Act was passed by Congress in 1964. A Sand County Almanac is Leopold’s best-known work and follows his efforts to restore a patch of cut-over farmland in Wisconsin while also articulating his vision of a land ethic where humans and nature are intertwined and care for people cannot be separated from care for the land. His beautiful writing resonated strongly with me when I first read A Sand County Almanac more than two decades ago, and his vision remains as important now as ever.

By Aldo Leopold,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked A Sand County Almanac as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac has enthralled generations of nature lovers and conservationists and is indeed revered by everyone seriously interested in protecting the natural world. Hailed for prose that is "full of beauty and vigor and bite" (The New York Times), it is perhaps the finest example of nature writing since Thoreau's Walden.
Now this classic work is available in a completely redesigned and lavishly illustrated gift edition, featuring over one hundred beautiful full-color pictures by Michael Sewell, one of the country's leading nature photographers. Sewell, whose work has graced the pages of Audubon and Sierra magazines, walked…


Book cover of The World of the Tent-Makers: A Natural History of the Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Bernd Heinrich Author Of Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival

From my list on nature and the study of life.

Who am I?

Biology is the study of life, and I cannot think of anything more important. It’s like being interested in what’s happening to the ball when you are playing the ball game. I was very fortunate to have grown up in close contact with nature and it led me down this path. I love discovering intricate mechanisms not by thoughts but with data. Those discoveries almost always turn out to be surprising and more than what had, or could be, imagined and assumed. 

Bernd's book list on nature and the study of life

Bernd Heinrich Why did Bernd love this book?

This book is by an insect physiologist named Vincent G. Dethier. This book reveals the amazing and beautifully intricate behavior and physiology of a common moth (generally considered a pest). Expectations were high as his previous book To Know a Fly went beyond the physiology and elevated the common housefly to a comic character through his sketches. Tent-Makers is about the common "Tent caterpillars" that infest fruit trees and he includes sketches of these animals in their natural environment. This book, though small in size, is concise, succinct, and explores the physiology and behavior of these animals as they face one problem after another throughout their whole life cycle of a year. It is a work of sound scholarship derived from a close look at natural history. It is an in-depth view in non-technical language on a topic not generally penetrable to a general audience but here presented for the…

By Vincent Gaston Dethier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World of the Tent-Makers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Study of the life cycle of a colony of eastern tent caterpillars. This book traces this insect's special life history within the total context of nature, discussing both the larger and smaller worlds these creatures encounter during their life span.


Book cover of The Red Gods Call

Bernd Heinrich Author Of Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival

From my list on nature and the study of life.

Who am I?

Biology is the study of life, and I cannot think of anything more important. It’s like being interested in what’s happening to the ball when you are playing the ball game. I was very fortunate to have grown up in close contact with nature and it led me down this path. I love discovering intricate mechanisms not by thoughts but with data. Those discoveries almost always turn out to be surprising and more than what had, or could be, imagined and assumed. 

Bernd's book list on nature and the study of life

Bernd Heinrich Why did Bernd love this book?

This book is less about Biology and more about becoming a biologist. Errington spent his youth outside, hunting, trapping, and fishing in the still largely pristine environment of South Dakota. Although hunting later "became ritualistic" he then continued the rest of his life feeling "called" into the wild and learning about nature there, leading him to go to graduate studies, but continuing all his life to long "for the authentic." It was a romantic activity to be close to nature, and a joy to learn that there are rules of order driving the complexity of "natural relationships." He validated for me loving the wild and wanting to be part of it all, noticing and savoring it, imprinting on it, being one with it. It made getting close to the land to feel the freedom of it in the wild outdoors, as from the 1893 Rudyard Kipling poem, "The Young…

By Paul L. Errington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Red Gods Call as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Errington, Paul Lester


Book cover of The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey Into the Alaskan Wilds

Kathy Elkind Author Of To Walk It Is To See It: 1 Couple, 98 Days, 1400 Miles on Europe's GR5

From my list on strong women walking.

Who am I?

I had always wanted a grand adventure and I’ve always loved reading about epic journeys. When I was a teen, I read an article in National Geographic about walking the Appalachian Trail and thought, I need to do that. I grew up in an outdoorsy family and married a man who loved the outdoors even more. But we never got to an adventure until we were empty nesters. In our late fifties we decided to walk 1400 miles from the cold North Sea to the warm Mediterranean on the legendary long-distance trail the GR5. After finishing our epic journey, I needed to share my love of European walking with others.

Kathy's book list on strong women walking

Kathy Elkind Why did Kathy love this book?

I love this amazing adventure memoir because Van Hermert is much more courageous than I. As she and her husband row, trek, ski, and canoe 4,000 miles across Alaska, I get to come along for the ride without breaking a sweat. 

Van Hemert, who studied birds, uses the birds she observes as metaphors for what she is feeling, and this increases the depth of her writing. She and her husband take this journey before having children, and I like comparing it to my husband and my journey after our kids had flown the nest. I highly recommend this well-written wild journey of a book.

By Caroline Van Hemert,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Sun Is a Compass as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During graduate school, as she conducted experiments on the peculiarly misshapen beaks of chickadees, ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert began to feel stifled in the isolated, sterile environment of the lab. Worried that she was losing her passion for the scientific research she once loved, she was compelled to experience wildness again, to be guided by the sounds of birds and to follow the trails of animals.

In March of 2012 she and her husband set off on a 4,000-mile wilderness journey from the Pacific rainforest to the Alaskan Arctic. Travelling by rowboat, ski, foot, raft and canoe, they explored northern…


Book cover of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Brenda Z. Guiberson Author Of Into the Sea

From my list on that spark a lifetime of investigation.

Who am I?

I'm an award-winning, best-selling children’s author who writes about unexpected “wow” moments that stick with me. I look for books and articIes that take me on a deep journey into unknown environments. I aim for nonfiction that reads like a story with an emotional connection to new creatures with fascinating lifestyles. As a writer of dozens of books for children, I always learn much more that can go into each effort. Each book comes into a hazy focus after tons of research. The best “wow” details get woven into an incredible story full of surprise, joy, and admiration for those struggling to survive on our changing plant.  

Brenda's book list on that spark a lifetime of investigation

Brenda Z. Guiberson Why did Brenda love this book?

This book became a “wow” moment for me as it celebrates the life of a honey bee. “Can I fly now?” the bee wants to know. With poetic language and exquisite close-up illustrations, the reader has to wait, just like the bee, who has only 35 days to get through many chores before she can fly off for the final flower and honey mission. Who could ever swat a busy bee after reading this amazing life story? Extra information is provided about the special skills and plight of our important pollinators.  

By Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Honeybee as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner
 
Take to the sky with Apis, one honeybee, as she embarks on her journey through life!

An Orbis Pictus Honor Book
Selected for the Texas Bluebonnnet Master List
Finalist for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books

A tiny honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell. Driven to protect and take care of her hive, she cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen. But is she strong enough to fly? Not yet!

Apis builds wax comb to store honey, and transfers pollen from other bees into the storage.…


Book cover of The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild

Luke Dixon Author Of BEES and HONEY myth, folklore and traditions

From my list on bees and beekeeping.

Who am I?

I have been enthralled with the natural world since childhood, but it was not until I had enjoyed a career as a theatre director, that my life changed course and I became a professional beekeeper. My new job took be across the rooftops of London, managing bees and hives for The Bank of England, Kensington Palace, The London College of Fashion, Heathrow Airport, Bloomberg, and many others. Now I run a small environmental charity, The Bee Friendly Trust, helping to make the world a little more hospitable to honeybees and some of the many other pollinators that make human life possible.

Luke's book list on bees and beekeeping

Luke Dixon Why did Luke love this book?

Tom Seeley is a genius. He is a professor at Cornell University in America, but this engaging book is no dull academic thesis.

He tells ‘the untold story of the honey bee in the wild’ with an enthusiasm that carries the reader along as if on an adventure of discovery. I was fascinated as, through the book, I joined him on his field research and learnt wonders with him. A joy for the novice and the experienced bee person.

By Thomas D. Seeley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lives of Bees as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How the lives of wild honey bees offer vital lessons for saving the world's managed bee colonies

Humans have kept honey bees in hives for millennia, yet only in recent decades have biologists begun to investigate how these industrious insects live in the wild. The Lives of Bees is Thomas Seeley's captivating story of what scientists are learning about the behavior, social life, and survival strategies of honey bees living outside the beekeeper's hive-and how wild honey bees may hold the key to reversing the alarming die-off of the planet's managed honey bee populations.

Seeley, a world authority on honey…


Book cover of Honeybee Democracy

Susanne Foitzik Author Of Empire of Ants: The Hidden Worlds and Extraordinary Lives of Earth's Tiny Conquerors

From my list on the evolution of insect and human societies.

Who am I?

I am a scientist studying the evolution of insect communities for years. I am fascinated by their high degree of cooperation and how these animals make collective decisions. But I also observe social parasitic ants that raid other colonies and make their workers work for them. This tension between altruistic cooperation on the one hand and violence and war, on the other hand, is common to human and insect societies, even if they evolved in completely different ways. I hope that when you read the books I recommend here, you will be as fascinated as I am by these parallel universes and perhaps next time you will see an ant with different eyes. 

Susanne's book list on the evolution of insect and human societies

Susanne Foitzik Why did Susanne love this book?

Social insects live in close communities, often of several thousand individuals. We often imagine the animals as small robots that perform their tasks as if automated. But this is far from the case. Honeybees are models for the study of learning and can also make complex decisions based on previous experience. However, it becomes particularly difficult when all the animals of a hive have to agree. And bees of a swarm have this difficult task ahead of them when they are looking for real estate. They inspect the nesting opportunities in the surroundings and advertise them in the swarm.

But how do these social insects make their collective decisions? About this question goes the book, written by an expert in the field, in an exciting and easy-to-understand manner. It turns out that the animals actually listen to many opinions and vote. Who wants to know more about honeybee democracy, read…

By Thomas D. Seeley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Honeybee Democracy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Honeybees make decisions collectively - and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making. A remarkable and richly illustrated account of scientific discovery, "Honeybee Democracy" brings together, for the first time, decades of Seeley's pioneering research to tell the amazing story of house hunting and democratic debate among the honeybees.…


Book cover of The Queen Must Die: And Other Affairs of Bees and Men

Thor Hanson Author Of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

From my list on the world of bees.

Who am I?

Author and biologist Thor Hanson’s research activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures, but bees rank among his favorite subjects of all. He wrote Buzz to explore their fascinating natural and cultural history. No other group of insects has grown so close to us, none is more essential, and none is more revered.

Thor's book list on the world of bees

Thor Hanson Why did Thor love this book?

There are scores of beekeeping memoirs in print, many of them very engaging. But if I had to choose only one, there is something to be said for this little classic. The biological information is good, but the book rises above the average in the way Longwood conveys it - with charm, wit, and an obvious fondness for his chosen subjects. Paired with a modern how-to manual, this volume could convince just about anyone to try their hand with hive, suit, and smoker.

By William Longgood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Queen Must Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An engaging collection of observations about honeybees and their activities."-Publishers Weekly


Book cover of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

John N. Thompson Author Of Relentless Evolution

From my list on coevolution and relentless evolution.

Who am I?

I am captivated and never cease to be astonished by the seemingly endless variety of ways in which coevolution shapes the millions of species on earth into intricate and ever-changing webs of life. The reasons for my fascination are simple. Most species require other species to survive or reproduce, which means that the evolution of biodiversity is as much about evolution of the links among species as it is about evolution of the species themselves. I find immense joy in following the connections among species within the web of life, trying to understand how coevolution has shaped, and relentlessly reshapes, each link. There are always surprises along the way.

John's book list on coevolution and relentless evolution

John N. Thompson Why did John love this book?

Perhaps more than any other group of animals, the 20,000 (or more) known bee species make the case that much of evolution is about the diversification of ways in which species interact with each other species and form coevolutionary alliances. In this book, scientist/naturalist Thor Hanson gives us a whirlwind tour of that diversity, showing us that honeybees are just the tip of the iceberg of the many relationships between bees and plants. As with the other authors on this list, Hanson is a reliable guide with a passion and wonder for whatever he chooses to study and write about, using clear, accessible, and enjoyable prose. 

By Thor Hanson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Buzz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK

'Popular science at its most accessible: fun, fascinating and full of engaging pen portraits of the scientists and bee enthusiasts he meets in the course of his research' Melissa Harrison, Guardian

'A smooth and accessible account of the insects that provide a significant amount of what we eat, introducing their fascinating diversity of behaviour. A reminder of why bees are wonders that we must protect.' Matt Shardlow, BBC Wildlife

Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part,
unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships…


Book cover of The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden

Michelle Balz Author Of No-Waste Composting: Small-Space Waste Recycling, Indoors and Out. Plus, 10 Projects to Repurpose Household Items Into Compost-Making Machines

From my list on for aspiring urban homesteaders.

Who am I?

For me, backyard composting is more than just a way to lessen how much waste I send to the landfill. When you compost you transform items that many people consider garbage into a valuable soil amendment for your garden. You are creating something with real value that can help plants thrive and act as a carbon sink to help reduce negative impacts of climate change. Composting is so easy and rewarding that I really want to see everyone give it a try.

Michelle's book list on for aspiring urban homesteaders

Michelle Balz Why did Michelle love this book?

This book was exactly what I needed to better understand what is involved in starting a beehive in an urban setting. Flottum starts his readers with the bare-bones basics and builds from there. He also goes into what he calls “Extreme Urban Beekeeping” with tips on considerations for those of us with close neighbors. I have not started beekeeping yet, but Flottum has inspired me to add it to my list of future endeavors. 

By Kim Flottum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Backyard Beekeeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Backyard Beekeeper, now in its 4th edition, makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime for urban and rural beekeepers of all skill levels.

More than a guide to beekeeping, this handbook features expert advice for:

Setting up and caring for your own colonies Selecting the best location to place your new bee colonies for their safety and yours The most practical and nontoxic ways to care for your bees Swarm control Using top bar hives Harvesting the products of a beehive and collecting and using honey Bee problems and treatments


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5 book lists we think you will like!

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