The Buzz About Bees: Biology of a Superorganism
By Jurgen Tautz
With beautiful colour photographs and an easy understandable text, The Buzz about Bees tells the story of honeybees in a new perspective. Based on the latest data, notably from his own research group, Jurgen Tautz provides a wonderful insight into the realms of bees.
In contrast to the view of bee colonies as perfect societies of selfless individuals ruled by a queen, Tautz introduces them as a “superorganism”, a self organizing and complex adaptive system based on a network of communication; a fascinating result of evolution – a mammal in several bodies.
The entire range of astonishing bee activities is described. Remarkable action photographs never shown before present bees busy with cell cleaning, caring for the brood, serving in the queen’s court, visiting flowers, receiving nectar, producing honey, comb building, entrance guarding, heating and cooling. Spotlights include bees grooming, swarming, fighting, telephoning, sleeping and communicating by high-toned beeping, scents and dances.
Translated from the German edition (2007).
Prolog: The Bee Colony — a Mammal in Several Bodies; Man’s Smallest Domestic Animal — a Picture Guide; The Inevitable Honeybees; Propagated Immortality; Honeybees — a Model for Success; What Bees Know About Flowers; Honeybee Sex, and Virgin Brides; Royal Jelly — Designer Diet in Bee Colonies; The Largest Organ of the Bee Colony — Construction and Function of the Comb; Cultivated Intelligence; Is Honey Thicker than Blood: How Important Is the Family; The Circle Closes; Epilog: The Future for Bees and Mankind; References; Index
The author, Jurgen Tautz, is a world-leading scientist with a remarkable number of high class publications and a gifted communicator of science. His writing and popular lectures have twice been honoured by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) who included him among the best scientists in Europe in communicating science to the public. A gifted communicator and leading scientist, Juergen Tautz has much in common with Carl Sagan, Richard P Feynman, Konrad Lorenz, Vince Dethier and others famous for their work in popularizing science and making it accessible to all.