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The Secret Lives of Garden Bees (Hardback)

Photographic Books Colour Books Nature Gardening White Owl

By Jean Vernon
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 100
ISBN: 9781526711861
Published: 5th March 2020


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A friendly, accessible insight into the weird, but wonderful world of the bees you may find in your garden.

From the common or garden bumblebees that nest in bird boxes, compost heaps and old mouse holes, making ‘Winnie the Pooh’ style honey pots to feed their babes, to the quirky wool carder bee; a solitary bee that combs the fluff from garden plants to line her brood cells and the amazing leaf-cutter bee that carves chunks out of plant foliage to seal its egg chambers.

This book will reveal the secrets and fascinating lives of the bees that live and breed in your garden, from buzz pollination, to the bee robbers that cheat the plants and steal nectar by stealth.

With a seasonal guide to explore what you are likely to see in your garden, great plants to grow to help them, plus other fascinating information on these secretive creatures, this book is designed to bring alive the world of garden bees before your very eyes.

I cannot recommend The Secret Lives of Bees enough. Alongside the book being a fantastic factual source of reference, which the reader can dip in and out of for planting and habitat tips or bee identification advice, the book is a beautiful photographic record of the life and loves, the ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly sides of our dearly cherished but often underrated garden bees. Jean brings all these elements together into what can only be described as a work of art, brimming with personality and I urge you to read it so you too can share Jean's passion for bees.

Read the full review here

Debi Holland Gardening

Jean guides us through chapters on meeting the bees, bee behaviour and bee food. There is a fascinating chapter on the hostile garden. Bees have many threats just waiting for their chance to have a go at them. I worry enough about fewer bees and this chapter helped me understand that bees have enough issues to deal with without us adding to them. There is a very helpful chapter on further reading and a fascinating chapter called 'Citizen Science/Get Involved'. I may have exhaled a happy sigh at this chapter, whilst brief it gives information that helps us all with great practicality get in touch with our inner (and outer) bee.

I finished this book on a buzzy high. It is an excellent book.

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Blackberry Garden

I loved this book. I loved Jean's passion for bees, something that we should all have. The Secret Lives of Garden Bees is essential reading. It's an easy read book, packed with lots of information that even I didn't know about, definitely recommend!

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Tidy Gardens by Jane

I enjoy learning about the natural world and because I do it doesn't take much to please me. I want the technical aspects presented, if any, to be easy to understand. I want to learn new information about the intricacies of the topic at hand. Jean Vernon's The Secret Life of Garden Bees gave me all I wanted... 5 stars for me.

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A Whirlwind of Words

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Was I well informed about bees? Yes. Did I find myself with wild and knew factoids about bees? Absolutely. Am I now more passionate about bees? Yah, you betcha.

NetGalley, Juliana Belizario

Being a keen gardener I'm interested in everything that is related to the gardens and this book was a great source of information about bees.
I learned a lot and I loved the style of writing and how well researched this book is.

NetGalley, Anna Maria Giacomasso

The Secret Lives of Garden Bees by author Jean Vernon is a wonderfully informative instructional guide for all you want to know about bees for your your garden. I had no idea there were so many species of bees and other insects which can mimic bees. The importance of bees for our gardens is imperative for pollination. The book is written in the UK, but knowledge concerning the protection and promotion of bees for gardening is universal.

NetGalley, Diane Lochala

I’ve always loved bees of all kinds, and this is a great introduction to the many different species that are found in gardens in the UK. I enjoyed the lively, informal tone, which nonetheless conveyed plenty of information. Each species that might be in a garden is described, usually with a photograph, and practical tips on how to help them shared. Plants that are bee friendly are suggested. The author also includes a handy seasonal guide, with what bees are likely to be present, and what action to take at that time to encourage more bees. Further reading is suggested towards the end of the book, very useful if you’re wanting more information!

It’s lovely to see even a non-scientific (as the author herself defines it) book with proper references and an extensive index. This is so helpful when you want to look up specific information at a later date.

In conclusion, The Secret Life of Garden Bees is a fun and informative guide to the bees you might find in your garden, populated with beautiful photographs to help with identification. If you want to encourage more bees into your garden, and learn about them, I’d definitely recommend this book.

NetGalley, Roberta Reads

The Secret Lives of Garden Bees is a must-read for bee lovers and gardeners everywhere. While it focuses on bees in the UK, the facts and information on protecting bees will be helpful for everyone. The photography is fantastic and adds greatly to the well-written and informative text.

NetGalley, Kriss Kirkindoll

About Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon writes about wildlife for the RHS Journal - The Garden. She is a contributor to the gardening section of The Daily Telegraph and has written many articles on bees, pollinators and the needs of garden bees. Fascinated by bees and the environment since a youngster, she is a natural tree and bee guardian and passionate about championing bees of all sorts. It is her mission to unravel, demystify and explain the intricate balance of nature in your garden and to introduce you to the familiar and unfamiliar bees that live, breed and breathe within the garden habitat.

Perfect Partner

Garden Wildlife Revealing Your Garden's Secrets (Hardback)

Garden Wildlife is a book that looks at the habitats in our gardens from the point of view of wild animal and plants. If we understand our gardens in this way, then we can appreciate that different parts of our gardens essentially mimic wild habitats in microcosm. This means that we can provide places for wild animals and plants to flourish in our gardens, whether they happen to be in rural, suburban or urban settings. Above all, we need to get away from the current obsession with tidiness and sterility in our gardens, and allow odd corners to go wild, so that our native species can live alongside…

By Gerard E Cheshire

Click here to buy both titles for £39.99
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