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A Buzz in the Meadow by Dave Goulson

Sue Baker's view...

Dave Goulson enchanted with his first book, A Sting in the Tail, a threnody for the Bumble bee, in A Buzz in the Meadow, he bases his book on his French farmhouse and the 33 acres of meadow he is gradually restoring there. This in itself is a moving story and unfolds the grand scheme of nature and its interrelatedness and how easy it is to destroy it all by grubbing up hedges or monocropping. The bumblebees are joined by a cast of thousands – bugs and beetles, butterflies, moths, ants and other creatures including one magical beast making an appearance at the very end of the book. This is after a sobering chapter on modern weed killers including the infamous neonicotinides and how we are on the brink of calamity every bit as disastrous as DDT. Dave Goulson is an inspiring communicator, never talking down, sweeping readers along with his enthusiasm and sheer love for his bumble bees and any other insect that crosses his path.

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Who is Sue Baker

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Author of A Sting in the Tale (an account of a lifetime’s fascination with bees), founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and now Sussex University’s Professor of Biological Sciences, Dave Goulson crosses the channel and introduces the reader to his dilapidated French farmhouse and its wildlife. Chez Nauche has 33 acres of meadow, which Goulson earmarked as a safe haven for bees, but which is also home to thousands of other insects, birds and animals that enrich family life on the farm in a myriad ways. There is even a mystery predator that Goulson and his sons vainly attempt to catch (or at least identify) using as bait a variety of French cheeses. A latter-day Gerald Durrell, Goulson fairly buzzes with enthusiasm, recounting numerous hilarious wildlife encounters with great literary flair, whilst retaining a scientist’s meticulous eye for detail and a conservationist’s concern for the future of the planet.
~ Victoria Bentata


A Buzz in the Meadow by Dave Goulson

In A Buzz in the Meadow Goulson tells the story of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow and how, over a decade, he has created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, a myriad insects of every kind, many of them ones that Goulson has studied before in his career as a biologist. You will learn about how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. Goulson is brilliant, and very funny, at showing how scientists actually conduct experiments. The book is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. Goulson has that rare ability to persuade you to go out into your garden or local park and get down on your hands and knees and look. The undiscovered glory that is life in all its forms on planet Earth is there to be discovered. And if we learn to value what we have, perhaps we will find a way to keep it. A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson's account of a lifetime studying bumblebees, was one of the most gratifying success stories of 2013. Brilliantly reviewed, it was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book of the year. A Buzz in the Meadow is another call to arms for nature lovers everywhere.

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

30th November 1999


Dave Goulson

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