The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees (Paperback)

The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees By Joseph S. Wilson, Olivia Messinger Carril Cover Image
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Both a blessing and a curse of bibliophilia is the voracious appetite for knowledge—the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. Well, my friend, I can tell you one thing: I now know a ridiculous amount about bees thanks to The Bees in Your Backyard by Joseph S. Wilson and Olivia Messinger Carril.

“Save the bees” and other conversations surrounding pollinator decline have dominated our zeitgeist in the last decade. Bee imagery has graced tea towels and tattoo flash sheets—yet the subject of those pieces and of conversations surrounding the importance of pollinators has been primarily honey bees, a European species brought to this landscape in the 17th century. Ironically, the [honey] Beehive State of Utah is home to the greatest native bee diversity in the nation. The Bees in Your Backyard is Wilson’s and Carril’s rallying cry for us to appreciate the diversity of bees in our country far beyond the non-native honey bee.

This book is the most comprehensive guide to the bees of the United States that I’ve ever encountered, introducing you to the 4,000 different species of native bee species found in the U.S. and Canada. It is an incredible feat of accessible science that allows readers of all ages to go as deep or shallow as they please through a combination of engaging text and the taxonomic and visual depth of a field guide. You’ll fly through sections like “Is This a Bee?” which helps readers to differentiate between bees and other fuzzy flying insects; or the twenty pages outlining what we can do to promote bees in our neighborhoods, filled with plant zoning charts and descriptions on choice bee nesting habitats. The 900 vibrant color photographs alone are enough to keep you engrossed (many of which Wilson and Carril took themselves) as they guide you through the natural history of bees and through every bee family and genus in North America—describing key identification features, their distributions, nesting habits, diets, and more.

There is no better time to familiarize yourself with bees than the eve of spring. This book coupled with my past ecological research forever changed the way I interact with flowers and outdoor spaces. My eyes were suddenly opened to the reality that bees are everywhere, whether you’re walking down the streets of New York City or out in the backcountry. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy and become a steward to and an advocate for our dwindling native pollinators. No matter where we go (Antarctica aside), there will be bees in our backyards—let’s all get acquainted.

— Ceci Rigby


The ultimate bee book for bee enthusiasts and experts alike

The Bees in Your Backyard provides an engaging introduction to the roughly 4,000 different bee species found in the United States and Canada, dispelling common myths about bees while offering essential tips for telling them apart in the field.

The book features more than 900 stunning color photos of the bees living all around us--in our gardens and parks, along nature trails, and in the wild spaces between. It describes their natural history, including where they live, how they gather food, their role as pollinators, and even how to attract them to your own backyard. Ideal for amateur naturalists and experts alike, it gives detailed accounts of every bee family and genus in North America, describing key identification features, distributions, diets, nesting habits, and more.
  • Provides the most comprehensive and accessible guide to all bees in the United States and Canada
  • Features more than 900 full-color photos
  • Offers helpful identification tips and pointers for studying bees
  • Includes a full chapter on how to attract bees to your backyard

About the Author

Joseph S. Wilson is assistant professor of biology at Utah State University and has been studying bees and wasps for more than a decade. Olivia Messinger Carril received her PhD in plant biology from Southern Illinois University and has been studying bees and the flowers they visit for nearly twenty years.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780691160771
ISBN-10: 0691160775
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: November 24th, 2015
Pages: 288
Language: English