Edwards, M. and Jenner, M. 2005. Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland. Ocelli Limited. ISBN 0-9549713-0-2.
Paperback. 19x11.5cm. 108 pages.
The most puzzling thing about this book is why it has taken until now for a comprehensive guide to our limited range of bumblebees to become available. The answer probably has something to do with the fact that for too long we have, as a nation, taken them so much for granted. In the last decade or so, we have come to realise what a mistake that was: many of our 22, or so, native species of bumblebee are now declining or endangered
many of our 22, or so, native species of bumblebee are now declining or endangered.
There is currently a massive surge of interest in bumblebees from academics, conservationists and amateur naturalists alike: this book will serve all groups equally well. The field guide employs novel methods to assist in identification based on the colours and arrangement of the black and coloured bands
The field guide employs novel methods to assist in identification based on the colours and arrangement of the black and coloured bands that mark all of our native species and which are easily observed in the field. Each species is given a double-page account which includes a photograph each of a male and female specimen taken in the field. Each of these accounts includes a map showing a coarse, but useful, distribution map over Britain and Ireland; quick reference symbols denoting the habitats that each bee is associated with; and a seasonal 'clock' diagram giving an indication of when each species can be encountered in the field. Other sections in the book cover identification of dead specimens of difficult taxa by microscopic examination and gardening for bumblebees.
Personally I tend to favour field guides that have hand-drawn illustrations over photographic guides, but as photographic guides go, this is one of the best I've seen
as photographic guides go, this is one of the best I've seen. It is noticeable that the authors have endeavoured, for some reason, to use photographs which show a lateral view of the bees - I would also have liked to see dorsal shots of each since I feel this is how I tend to see them most often in the field. Nevertheless, I think that this book is an admirable, highly usable and compact field guide to our bumblebees
this book is an admirable, highly usable and compact field guide to our bumblebees and I foresee that my copy will be dog-eared by the end of the summer!