Bumblebee Economics

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Overview

A brilliant introduction to insect and plant ecology, this book focuses on one of nature's most adaptive creatures, the bumblebee. Survival for the bumblebee depends on its ability to regulate body temperature, and Heinrich addresses this management of energy resources in his discussions of physiology, behavior, and ecological interaction.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

This is a remarkable and rewarding book, complementary to, yet in some respects going far beyond, its predecessors. It is highly recommended.
— Caryl P. Haskins

Harper's Magazine

Extraordinary...the implications of work such as Heinrich's seem to me more resonant than the promise of a rich harvest of new research.
— Fred Hapgood

Quarterly Review of Biology

A magnificent book that combines the best of both writing and science...Heinrich has performed a masterful job of sharing his personal research efforts and those of others in his field. He has written an extremely interesting book and in the process has shown how one kind of organism can be used as a model to investigate behavior, physiology, ecology and evolution. Bumblebee Economics should serve as a model for good scientific writing.
— Matthew M. Douglas

Globe and Mail
Heinrich is the author of several notable books about nature. This one, first published in 1979, is a classic, a fascinating, readable study of life as organized (sort of) by a most endearing little creature. A new preface summarizes findings of the last quarter-century. A splendid work.
New York Times Book Review - Caryl P. Haskins
This is a remarkable and rewarding book, complementary to, yet in some respects going far beyond, its predecessors. It is highly recommended.
Harper's Magazine - Fred Hapgood
Extraordinary...the implications of work such as Heinrich's seem to me more resonant than the promise of a rich harvest of new research.
Quarterly Review of Biology - Matthew M. Douglas
A magnificent book that combines the best of both writing and science...Heinrich has performed a masterful job of sharing his personal research efforts and those of others in his field. He has written an extremely interesting book and in the process has shown how one kind of organism can be used as a model to investigate behavior, physiology, ecology and evolution. Bumblebee Economics should serve as a model for good scientific writing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674085817
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1981
  • Pages: 245
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Bernd Heinrich is Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Vermont. He has written several memoirs of his life in science and nature, including One Man’s Owl, and Ravens in Winter. Bumblebee Economics was twice a nominee for the American Book Award in Science, and A Year in the Maine Woods won the 1995 Rutstrum Authors’ Award for Literary Excellence.
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Table of Contents

1 The colony cycle 7
2 Economy of the colony 23
3 The flight machine and its temperature 39
4 Warming up 55
5 Heating the nest 65
6 The heat transfer system 79
7 Juggling costs and benefits 95
8 Commuting and foraging movements 109
9 Foraging optimization by individual initiative 123
10 Competition between species 147
11 Pollination and energetics 161
12 Ecology and coevolution 179
App. A How to rear bumblebees 207
App. B The bumblebees of North America 215
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