Pub. Date:
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism / Edition 1

The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism / Edition 1


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The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism / Edition 1

Tis book, already translated into ten languages, may at frst sight appear to be just about honeybees and their biology. It c- tains, however, a number of deeper messages related to some of the most basic and important principles of modern biology. Te bees are merely the actors that take us into the realm of phys- ology, genetics, reproduction, biophysics and learning, and that introduce us to the principles of natural selection underlying the evolution of simple to complex life forms. Te book destroys the cute notion of bees as anthropomorphic icons of busy self-sacr -i fcing individuals and presents us with the reality of the colony as an integrated and independent being—a “superorganism”—with its own, almost eerie, emergent group intelligence. We are s- prised to learn that no single bee, from queen through drone to sterile worker, has the oversight or control over the colony. - stead, through a network of integrated control systems and fee- backs, and communication between individuals, the colony - rives at consensus decisions from the bottom up through a type of “swarm intelligence”. Indeed, there are remarkable parallels between the functional organization of a swarming honeybee colony and vertebrate brains.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783540787273
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date: 05/20/2009
Edition description: 1st ed. 2008. Corr. 2nd printing 2009
Pages: 284
Sales rank: 1,118,323
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

The author, Jürgen 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.

Table of Contents

Prolog: The Bee Colony — a Mammal in Many 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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Studying the book Buzz about Bees - Biology of a Superorganism I have been greatly impressed not only from scientific points but also from philosophical points. I feel that this book has the power to change our view of the world or Weltanschauung.” (Prof.Dr. Tohru Marunouchi, Nagoya, Japan)

“Excellent and Informative”, July 26, 2008 (J. Desimone, Helmetta, NJ, USA)

“Educational, impressive, entertaining till the last page”, July 19, 2008 (Michael Thiele ‘Beekeeper’, Sebastopol, CA, USA)

“The new book The Buzz about Bees by J. Tautz is a joy to behold! …The book, and its brilliant photography by H. Heilmann, is highly successful at explaining the magic of the bees’ ‘superorganism’ to the scientifically interested public.” (Prof. Lars Chittka, Queen Mary College)

“Wow! I decided to buy it based on your recommendation. It is one of the best bee books I have ever read. I would also say this is probably one of the best science books I have ever read. The author is on par with Carl Sagan, Steven Hawkings, etc. This is a must read for anyone interested in honeybees or biology in general.” 5 August 2008 (Gary,

“I've just finished reading the English translation of your book, and wanted to let you know that I think it’s a wonderful book on honey bees. The photographs by Helga Heilmann are also fabulous. Once again, my hearty congratulations on a fine book!” 10 September 2008 (Stephen Buchmann, International Coordinator, Pollinator Partnership, Tucson, AZ, USA)

“A beautiful account, stunningly illustrated, of what it is like to be a honeybee, to live in service of the hive, while in partnership with humans. Comprehensive and up to date, it provides answers to many of the scientific mysteries that remained unsolved about honeybees. A prize-worthy addition to the natural history literature…” 10 November 2008 (Thomas Eisner, Schurman Professor of Chemical Ecology, Cornell University, USA)

“The author has a lively and engaging style and the skill to explain complex ideas intelligibly to a general audience. … The chapters encompass the recent spectacular discoveries that revolutionize the understanding of the bee superorganism. This compelling book deserves to be read by everyone interested in the third most important domestic animal, the superorganism which the beehive contains. The book will be of interest to a wide readership and it will appeal not only to specialists but also to general readers” 12 February 2009 (Professor Karl Maramorosch, Cook College, Rutgers University, USA)

“I must congratulate you on your excellent book, The Buzz about Bees. The writing is superb.” 21 April 2009 (Mark W. Moffett, Ph.D., Research Scientist, NMNH, The Smithsonian Institution, Associate Curator, University of California at Berkeley, Contract Photographer, National Geographic Magazine)

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