100 books like The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore

By Hilda M. Ransome,

Here are 100 books that The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore fans have personally recommended if you like The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore. 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 Bees: An Up-Close Look at Pollinators Around the World

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

From my list on the world of bees.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 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.

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…


Book cover of Bumblebee Economics

John M. Marzluff Author Of Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans

From my list on wild animals written by scientists that study them.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an ornithologist who studies the myriad ways in which we affect birds and they, in turn, affect us. I’ve conducted field research for over four decades, focusing mainly on the behavior, ecology, and evolution of corvids—crows, ravens, jays, and their relatives. Through these birds I’ve discovered how our settlements, agriculture, and recreation play into their hands, often to the detriment of less adaptable species. As a professor of wildlife science for 25 years, I’ve mentored many graduate and undergraduate students and written hundreds of technical articles. In my writing for popular audiences I aim to celebrate the successful birds that share our world and raise awareness of those we are driving toward extinction.

John's book list on wild animals written by scientists that study them

John M. Marzluff Why did John love this book?

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.

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…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

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

From my list on the world of bees.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

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.

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…


Book cover of Planting for Honeybees: The Grower's Guide to Creating a Buzz

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

From my list on bees and beekeeping.

Why am I passionate about this?

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?

You don’t have to have a beehive to help keep bees.

The honeybee, along with the thousands of other bees and insects that live alongside us, are vital to keeping us alive. At least a third of all we humans eat and drink is the direct result of bee pollination. So we owe it to the bees and to ourselves, to do all we can to create an environment to support them.

If you want to give over your garden to a wildflower meadow, or just plant up a window box, Sarah’s book will give you lots of easy ideas. And her illustrations are a rare treat.

By Sarah Wyndham Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Of the 25,000 known species of bee worldwide, only seven species are honeybees.

Bees and plants have a sophisticated and delicate symbiosis. In recent years, the shrinking of green spaces has endangered the honeybee. Now Planting for Honeybees shows you how you can help these delightful pollinators to flourish by creating a garden as a habitat for them.

No matter how small or large your space - from a window ledge in the city to a country garden - Sarah Wyndham Lewis offers practical advice on which plants to grow, and when and where to plant them.

Charmingly illustrated with…


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

Frank Mortimer Author Of Bee People and the Bugs They Love

From my list on buzzworthy beekeeping.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of Bee People and the Bugs They Love, an adjunct instructor at the Cornell University Master Beekeeping Program, a master beekeeper, former vice president of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, and I have written multiple articles featured in the widely circulated Bee Culture Magazine. As president of the Northeast NJ Beekeepers—a position that I held for over a decade—I founded the “Honey Cup," an annual honey tasting competition. I have promoted beekeeping throughout the Northeast by speaking to everyone from school children to gardening clubs and civic organizations, and have led beekeeping seminars across the Northeast and at The New York Botanical Garden.

Frank's book list on buzzworthy beekeeping

Frank Mortimer Why did Frank love this book?

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. 

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.…


Book cover of Bees: A Honeyed History

Mobi Warren Author Of The Bee Maker

From my list on the magic of bees for ages 10-14.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have long been fascinated by bees. I am a retired Middle School teacher (I taught mathematics, science, and creative writing in an inner-city school district) and am a volunteer community scientist with a special interest in pollinators. I love nothing more than being outdoors, meandering through empty lots, local parks, and my own backyard observing bees of all species. As a storyteller, I am fascinated by how honeybees weave through different cultures’ myths and how they are seen as a source of mystical and transformative power. Honeybees ignite my imagination and bring together my love of science and my concern for threats to our shared environment.

Mobi's book list on the magic of bees for ages 10-14

Mobi Warren Why did Mobi love this book?

In my experience, Middle School youth can’t get enough of richly illustrated books that also serve as an encyclopedic compendium of fascinating facts. Want to know about bee anatomy? Hive-building? How bees communicate? Bees In mythology? Robotic bees? Beekeeping throughout history and across cultures? Current threats to bees? How to treat a bee sting? Look no further. But I warn you, it may be hard to pry this book from a young person’s hands once they start reading it. I had a hard time putting it down myself and I learned a lot of new facts. Bonus: this book’s large format lends itself to being held and pored over by two people at a time—cooperative learning at its best. 

By Piotr Socha,

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?

One part science, one part cultural history, and countless parts fascination, Bees celebrates the important role that these intriguing insects have played in our ecosystem throughout the ages. From Athena to Alexander the Great and from Egypt to Ethiopia, Bees explores different methods of beekeeping and uncovers the debt that humans owe this vital species. With beautifully accessible illustrations depicting everything from bee anatomy to the essentials of honey making, readers will be captivated by the endless wonders of this seemingly small speck of the animal kingdom.


Book cover of The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees

JQ Rose Author Of Arranging A Dream

From my list on extraordinary life stories about ordinary people.

Why am I passionate about this?

My author friend, Mary, brought her great, great, great + grandfather’s journal to our writers' group and shared excerpts from the pages written in the 1800s. When her grandfather was window shopping in downtown London, he peered into the bookstore window. He yearned to own the books on display, but he couldn’t afford them on a minister’s income. Only the rich could purchase books. The journal excerpts brought the 1800s to life. I decided then to begin recording my life experiences to make our lives today real for the generations of tomorrow. I share my enthusiasm for telling life stories by presenting workshops on how to write life stories. 

JQ's book list on extraordinary life stories about ordinary people

JQ Rose Why did JQ love this book?

When she was five years old, Meredith May’s father abandoned their family when he moved far away to California. Her mother moved Meredith and her brother in with her parents, then closed herself off, emotionally and physically by shutting the door to her bedroom and never coming out. The Honey Bus, an old school bus parked forever in the backyard, saved Meredith. Grandfather was a beekeeper and raised bees in that bus. Meredith helped her granddad care for them and learned all about bees, but also about how a family cares for each other. This story was difficult to read at times, but charming too. The author’s bond with her grandpa reminds me of the special relationship our granddaughter has with her grandpa. 

By Meredith May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The bee is more frightened than you,' he said.

'Can you imagine how scary it is to be this small in a world that is so big?'

He was right.

When she was five years old, Meredith May was abandoned by both parents. Her father left for the other side of the country. Her mother disappeared into herself.

But when Meredith discovered the rusted old bus where her grandpa kept bees, her world changed forever.

Family duty. Compassion and sacrifice. Unconditional love. The life of a honeybee displays it all. As her grandpa showed her the sacrifices bees make for…


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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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


What's New?…


Book cover of Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature

Jane Adams Author Of Nature's Wonders: Moments That Mark the Seasons

From my list on entertaining and fascinating UK nature books.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a UK nature writer and amateur naturalist, I have a fascination with the natural world. If it squeaks, buzzes, croaks, hisses, or tweets, I want to know more about it. I enjoy books that are both captivating and easy to understand, and I’m at my happiest when uncovering unusual facts and exploring the rich folklore surrounding our wildlife. As a writer, I contribute to magazines focusing on nature and wildlife-friendly gardening. I also teach creative writing and have authored a book celebrating the wonders of our UK wildlife. I live in Dorset and find endless joy in observing and nurturing whatever wanders or flies into my overgrown garden.

Jane's book list on entertaining and fascinating UK nature books

Jane Adams Why did Jane love this book?

When the book was published, I couldn't wait to read it. I love reading about nature, especially bees, and also learning a few fascinating facts along the way, and this book didn’t disappoint.

It’s beautifully written by Brigit. I nearly read it in one sitting, as the chapters flow so temptingly from subject to subject. 

By Brigit Strawbridge Howard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Sunday Times Best Nature Writing Books 2020

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 WAINWRIGHT PRIZE

A naturalist's passionate dive into the lives of bees (of all stripes) and the natural world in her own backyard

Brigit Strawbridge Howard was shocked the day she realised she knew more about the French Revolution than she did about her native trees. And birds. And wildflowers. And bees. The thought stopped her-quite literally-in her tracks. But that day was also the start of a journey, one filled with silver birches and hairy-footed flower bees, skylarks, and rosebay willow herb, and the joy that comes with…


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