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A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson

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Dave Goulson has a passion for wildlife and an equal passion for the beautiful bumblebee. That such a vital insect is under threat is a great tragedy and there is clear evidence of their suffering in A Sting in the Tale. As well as conservation we learn about Dave Goulson and how his passion for science developed, we go on a wonderful rambling journey full of anecdotes and humour taking in the bee’s smelly feet, their gorgeous colouring patterns and what we can do to help them on their way.

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A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson

This is a Sunday Times bestseller. It is shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize. 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 is now extinct in the UK, but still exists in the wilds of New Zealand, descended from a few queen bees shipped over in the nineteenth century. A Sting in the Tale tells the story of Goulson's passionate drive to reintroduce it to its native land and contains groundbreaking research into these curious creatures, history's relationship with the bumblebee, the disastrous effects intensive farming has had on our bee populations and the potential dangers if we are to continue down this path.


[Goulson's] book is not only enormously informative, but also hugely entertaining: 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

This isn't one of those natural science books that simply tells you things - it admits how much we don't know. -- Mark Mason Spectator

Goulson reminds himself that he 'began studying bumblebees not because they are important pollinators but because they are fascinating, because they behave in interesting and mysterious ways, and because they are rather loveable. It 's worth reading A Sting in the Tale for the same reasons. -- Hannah Rosefield Literary Review

About the Author

Dave Goulson studied biology at Oxford University and is now Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex. He has published over 190 scientific articles on bees, butterflies and other insects. He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006, whose groundbreaking conservation work won the Heritage Lottery Award for best Environmental Project. He was made 'Social Innovator of the Year' by the Biology and Biotechnology Research Council in 2010.

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Book Info

Publication date

24th April 2014


Dave Goulson

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Vintage an imprint of Vintage Publishing


288 pages


The Real World
Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Wildlife: butterflies, other insects & spiders



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