Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Fireflies, Honey, and Silk / Edition 1

Fireflies, Honey, and Silk / Edition 1

by Gilbert Waldbauer, James Nardi
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The ink our ancestors wrote with, the beeswax in altar candles, the honey on our toast, the silk we wear. This enchanting book is a highly entertaining exploration of the myriad ways insects have enriched our lives–culturally, economically, and aesthetically. Entomologist and writer Gilbert Waldbauer describes in loving, colorful detail how many of the valuable products insects have given us are made, how they were discovered, and how they have been used through time and across cultures. Along the way, he takes us on a captivating ramble through many far-flung corners of history, mythology, poetry, literature, medicine, ecology, forensics, and more. Enlivened with personal anecdotes from Waldbauer's distinguished career as an entomologist, the book also describes surprising everyday encounters we all experience that were made possible by insects. From butterfly gardens and fly-fishing to insects as jewelry and sex pheromones, this is an eye-opening ode to the wonder of insects that illuminates our extraordinary and essential relationship with the natural world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520268074
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/06/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Gilbert Waldbauer is Emeritus Professor of Entomology at the University of Illinois. He is the author of many books on insects including
Insights from
, What Bad Bugs Can Teach Us, The Handy Bug Answer Book, and A Walk Around the Pond:
Insects in and over the Water

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Insects People Like
II. The Silk We Wear
III. Dyeing the Cloth
IV. Baubles, Bracelets, and Anklets
V. Candles, Shellac, and Sealing Wax
VI. Paper and
VII. Butterflies in Your Tummy
VIII. Satisfying the Sweet Tooth
IX. Cures and Nostrums
Insect Pets and Performers

Epilogue. The Ecological Context
Selected References


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Abuzz with obscure lore about a host of bugs that are as accommodating to humans as bedbugs, fleas, and mosquitoes are annoying."—Natural History

"Accessible, easy prose ready-made for a broad, curious audience."—Publishers Weekly

"Reading this book is like sitting at the feet of a favourite uncle on a winter evening beside a crackling fire."—New Scientist

"An easy-to-read book that is interesting and entertaining."—Foreword

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