10 books like The Queen Must Die

By William Longgood,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Queen Must Die. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Bees

By Laurence Packer, Sam Droege,

Book cover of Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World

There is a rich literature on bees, but I can’t think of a better place to start than the wonderful photography and storytelling found in this beautiful book. Arranged geographically, each page contains close-up images of a particular bee spcies from around the world, alongside a brief description. The authors are both top-notch entomologists, so the text is highly accurate and well written. But it’s the photography that really dazzles, showing off the surprising range of shapes, sizes, and colors that make bees more diverse than all the birds and mammals put together. This book can be read straight through with pleasure, but I also enjoy just opening it up at random for a quick bee blast.

Bees

By Laurence Packer, Sam Droege,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

While we eat, work, and sleep, bees are busy around the world. More than 20,000 species are in constant motion! They pollinate plants of all types and keep our natural world intact. In Bees, you'll find a new way to appreciate these tiny wonders. 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. You'll get lost in mesmerizing colors and patterns, patches and stripes of arresting yellow or blue. Whether you linger on your first close…


Bumblebee Economics

By Bernd Heinrich,

Book cover of Bumblebee Economics

I first read this book as a graduate student and it gave me a new appreciation for insects. Heinrich wowed me by describing his discovery of a hot-blooded insect. Bumblebees can increase their body temperatures by shivering and in this way live in our coldest climates. They heat up to fly in search of nectar which they bring back to their nest of developing bees. They even hibernate and survive the winter in cold regions such as Heinrich’s backyard study area in Maine. This book so influenced me that I eventually studied with Heinrich, spending three years in his Maine woods following the lives of ravens with my wife, Colleen.

Bumblebee Economics

By Bernd Heinrich,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Bumblebee Economics as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Here is a brilliant introduction to insect and plant ecology focusing on one of nature's most adaptive creatures, the bumblebee. Survival for the bumblebee depends on its ability to regulate body temperature through a complex energy exchange, and it is this management of energy resources around which Bernd Heinrich enters his discussion of physiology, behavior, and ecological interaction. Along the way, he makes some amusing parallels with the theories of Adam Smith-which, Heinrich observes, work rather well for the bees, however inadequate they may be for human needs.

Bumblebee Economics uniquely offers both the professional and amateur scientist a coherent…


The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore

By Hilda M. Ransome,

Book cover of The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore

This quirky little title captures a wealth of information about the deep relationship between people and bees. Ransome delves into mythology and folklore from around the world and across a huge span of history. Every page seems to offer some new and unexpected connection or story, from ancient Egyptians ferrying their honeybee hives up and down the River Nile to the Mayans cultivating a rainforest species with the agreeable trait of lacking a sting. No other book gives the reader such an exhaustive and entertaining exploration of how bees, more so than any other insect, have been part of human cultures since the dawn of civilization.

The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore

By Hilda M. Ransome,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

No creature has provided man with so much wholesome food as the honey bee. Equally impressive is the number of beliefs and superstitions the industrious insect has inspired. Its honey, which was known to the ancient Greeks as the “food of the Gods,” played an important role in early religious rites and was also mentioned in the folklore of many peoples. Hilda Ransome's well-documented and copiously illustrated study of bees focuses on this valuable byproduct of nature and its creator — the "sacred" bee.
Chapters cover the folklore of bees and bee culture — from Egyptian, Babylonian, Chinese, Hittite, and…


The Bees in Your Backyard

By Joseph S. Wilson, Olivia J Messinger Carril,

Book cover of The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees

The only thing better than reading about bees is getting outside and seeing some! This book combines good pictures with descriptions of behavior and habitats that will help identify what you find – if not to species, then at least to the major families and groups. Though focused on North America, many of the same general types of bees can be encountered anywhere: sweat bees, miners, diggers, leafcutters, cuckoo bees, and more. In addition to the identification tips, the book includes a generous introduction to bee biology and behavior, as well as a primer on how to improve the bee habitat in any yard through the addition of flowers, nesting sites, and more.

The Bees in Your Backyard

By Joseph S. Wilson, Olivia J Messinger Carril,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Bees in Your Backyard provides an engaging introduction to the roughly 4,000 different bee species found in the United States and Canada, dispelling common myths about bees while offering essential tips for telling them apart in the field. The book features more than 900 stunning color photos of the bees living all around us--in our gardens and parks, along nature trails, and in the wild spaces between. It describes their natural history, including where they live, how they gather food, their role as pollinators, and even how to attract them to your own backyard. Ideal for amateur naturalists and…


The Backyard Beekeeper

By Kim Flottum,

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

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. 

The Backyard Beekeeper

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


What's New?…


Bees in America

By Tammy Horn,

Book cover of Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation

Bees In America is a great read, as it chronologically takes you from the earliest European colonists who brought their bees with them—as honeybees are not native to North America—through to the present. It’s a mix of American history, biology, and American ingenuity, all rolled into a nonfiction account that’s chocked full of interesting facts and details.  For anyone interested in honeybees and/or beekeeping, it’s fascinating to learn the role they played in our developing nation. Plus, it’s exciting to read about all the innovations and advancements in beekeeping that have been discovered in America over the past 200 years. 

Bees in America

By Tammy Horn,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Queen Bee," "busy as a bee," and "the land of milk and honey" are expressions that permeate the language within American culture. Music, movies, art, advertising, poetry, children's books, and literature all incorporate the dynamic image of the tiny, industrious honey bee into our popular imagination. Honey bees -- and the values associated with them -- have influenced American values for four centuries. Bees and beekeepers have represented order and stability in a country without a national religion, political party, language, or family structure. Bees in America is an enlightening cultural history of bees and beekeeping in the United States.…


The Lives of Bees

By Thomas D. Seeley,

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

Dr. Seeley is one of the world’s top honey bee researchers, and he provides the reader with a lifetime of his experimental research and personal insights into honey bees. Dr. Seeley has made a significant number of honey bee discoveries, and in The Lives of Bees he swarms into honey bee nests, reproduction, food collection, temperature control, how bees communicate, and much more. There’s also plenty of useful information that beekeepers can apply to their own bees. From observing feral colonies living in the Arnot Forest, Dr. Seeley discusses how we might want to step back and look to wild bees for guidance.

The Lives of Bees

By Thomas D. Seeley,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


A Book of Bees

By Sue Hubbell, Sam Potthoff (illustrator),

Book cover of A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them

Hubbell has done a great job of capturing what it’s like to be a beekeeper. The book is organized around a calendar that serves as a year in the life of a beekeeper, highlighting what beekeepers do at different times of the year. The book is as much about Hubbell’s life, dealing with loneliness, and how her bees bring her strength through her solitude. She writes beautifully about being out in nature, amongst the sights and sounds of Southwest Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. There are many details about honeybees along with descriptions of the various chores and responsibilities that a beekeeper has to do.  

A Book of Bees

By Sue Hubbell, Sam Potthoff (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A New York Times Notable Book: “A melodious mix of memoir, nature journal, and beekeeping manual” (Kirkus Reviews).

Weaving a vivid portrait of her own life and her bees’ lives, author Sue Hubbell lovingly describes the ins and outs of beekeeping on her small Missouri farm, where the end of one honey season is the start of the next. With three hundred hives, Hubbell stays busy year-round tending to the bees and harvesting their honey, a process that is as personally demanding as it is rewarding.
 
Exploring the progression of both the author and the hive through the seasons, this…


Buzz

By Thor Hanson,

Book cover of Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees

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. 

Buzz

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…


Zinnia and the Bees

By Danielle Davis, Laura K. Horton (illustrator),

Book cover of Zinnia and the Bees

This is a delightfully wacky book with endearing characters. Zinnia is having a bad hair day, literally. A hive of bees takes up residence in the wild and curly mane of her hair to add to her troubles—a missing brother and a mother who doesn’t seem to care. I fell in love with this book on the first page when I learned that Zinnia was about to yarn bomb a statue of her school mascot. (I’m a knitter and have fancied taking up yarn bombing myself.) Quickly-paced chapters alternate between Zinnia as narrator and the bees discussing their own perilous situation. Told with both humor and empathy, this is a book where you can’t turn the pages fast enough in order to find out how things resolve.

Zinnia and the Bees

By Danielle Davis, Laura K. Horton (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The hive of honeybees living in Zinnia's hair is actually the least of her problems. Her best friend, who also happens to be her brother, has left home with no explanation. And the one thing that makes her happy and keeps her sane knitting has just got her detention. She's never felt more alone. But the bees have a lot to say about it starting with finding her brother.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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