its light touch and constant humour make cutting-edge research a pleasure to read about. For anyone interested in the natural world, this is essential reading
- Michael McCarthy, INDEPENDENT
Dave Goulson has always been obsessed with wildlife, from his childhood menagerie of exotic pets and dabbling in experimental taxidermy to his groundbreaking research into the mysterious ways of the bumblebee and his mission to protect our rarest bees.
Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the short-haired bumblebee now only exists in the wilds of New Zealand, the descendants of a few queen bees shipped over in the nineteenth century. Dave Goulson’s passionate drive to reintroduce it to its native land is one of the highlights of a book that includes exclusive research into these curious creatures, history’s relationship with the bumblebee and advice on how to protect it for all time.
One of the UK’s most respected conservationists and the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Goulson combines Gerald Durrell-esque tales of a child’s growing passion for nature with a deep insight into the crucial importance of the bumblebee. He details the minutiae of life in their nests, sharing fascinating research into the effects intensive farming has had on our bee populations and on the potential dangers if we are to continue down this path.
Professor Dave Goulson was brought up in rural Shropshire, where he developed an early obsession with wildlife. He went on to study Biology at Oxford University, and then did a PhD on butterfly ecology. In 1995 he became a lecturer in Biology at Southampton University and there he began to study bumblebees in earnest. Goulson moved to the University of Stirling in 2006, where he is Professor of Biological Sciences. In 2006 he founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, a membership-based charity devoted to turning the latest research into on-the-ground conservation. The trust now has 8,000 members, 10 staff, and has created over 2,000 hectares of flower-rich habitat for bumblebees. For this work Goulson was awarded the prize of ‘Social Innovator of the Year’ by the Biology and Biotechnology Research Council in 2010, and the Heritage Lottery Award for the best Environmental Project, also in 2010. He is author of a scientific monograph on bumblebees, and has published over 180 scientific papers on their ecology and conservation.