Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Books at RL
Physical (paper) books are available for lending to all PA residents who register for a Courtesy Patron card at our library. E-books can be accessed only on campus and by KU students, staff, and faculty.
A Spring Without Bees by
Call Number: SF538.5.C65 S33 2008
Publication Date: 2008-06-03
A century after the birth of Rachel Carson, the world faces a new environmental disaster, from a chemical similar to DDT. This time the culprit appears to be IMD, or imidacloprid, a relatively new but widely used insecticide in the United States. Many beekeepers and some researchers think IMD is the new prime suspect for the devastating syndrome known as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, which has raised the annual die-off rate of honey bees to 30% of all the beehives in the United States. They say even trace amounts of IMD make bees lose their desire to feed, which would quickly lead to the collapse of their colony. After several days, there are few or no bees left in the hive. Since honey bees are essential to the production of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops around the world, their demise could spell catastrophe for our food supply and global economy.
Call Number: SF523.7 .F57 2010
Publication Date: 2010-04-28
Of the ten million or so different species of insects on our planet, none is more fascinating than the honeybee. One of the oldest forms of animal life still in existence from the Neolithic Age, bees have been worshipped and mythologized since the beginning of human history. Known popularly for their industriousness ("as busy as a bee") and highly valued for their role in agricultural pollination (every third bite we take depends on them), bees are now kept by a quarter-million beekeepers in the United States alone, and millions more around the world. Honeybees were the first creatures examined by seventeenth-century scientists whose primitive microscopes suggested a complex system of construction. Now, magnified hundreds to thousands of times with a latest generation high-resolution scanning electron microscope, honeybees appear as architectural masterpieces-an elegant fusion of form and function. Melding art and science, photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher puts this modern tool to creative use in order to reveal the microscopic majesty of these natural wonders.BEEpresents sixty astonishing photographs of honeybee anatomy in magnifications ranging from 10x to 5000x. Rendered in stunning detail, Fisher's photographs uncover the strange beauty of the honeybee's pattern, form, and structure. Comprising 6,900 hexagonal lenses, their eyes resemble the structure of a honeycomb. The honeybee's proboscis-a strawlike appendage used to suck nectar out of flowers, folds resembles a long, slender hairy tongue. Its six-legged exoskeleton is fuzzy with hairs that build up a static charge as the bee flies in order to electrically attract pollen. Wings clasp together with tiny hooks and a double-edged stinger resembles a serrated hypodermic needle. The honeybee's three pairs of segmented legs are a revelation, with their antennae cleaners, sharp-pointed claws, and baskets to carry pollen to the hive. These visual discoveries, made otherworldly through Fisher's lens, expand the boundaries of our thinking about the natural world and stimulate our imaginations. BEE features a foreword by nature writer and New York Times editorial board member Verlyn Klinkenborg.
The Buzz about Bees by
Call Number: QL568.A6 T38 2008
Publication Date: 2008-05-21
With spectacularly beautiful color photographs and an easy understandable text The Buzz about Bees tells the story of honeybees in a new perspective. Based on the latest data, notably from his own research group, Jürgen Tautz provides a wonderful insight into the realms of bees.In contrast to the view of bee colonies as perfect societies of selfless individuals ruled by a queen, Tautz introduces them as a "superorganism," a self-organizing and complex adaptive system based on a network of communication; a fascinating result of evolution – a mammal in several bodies.The entire range of astonishing bee activities is described. Remarkable action photographs never shown before present bees busy with cell cleaning, caring for the brood, serving in the queen’s court, visiting flowers, receiving nectar, producing honey, comb building, entrance guarding, heating and cooling. Spotlights include bees grooming, swarming, fighting, telephoning, sleeping and communicating by high-toned beeping, scents and dances.
Bees in America by
Call Number: SF524.5 .H67 2005eb (Online)
Publication Date: 2005-03-11
Honeybees--and the qualities associated with them--have quietly influenced American values for four centuries. During every major period in the country's history, bees and beekeepers have represented order and stability in a country without a national religion, political party, or language. Bees in America is an enlightening cultural history of bees and beekeeping in the United States. Tammy Horn, herself a beekeeper, offers a varied social and technological history from the colonial period, when the British first introduced bees to the New World, to the present, when bees are being used by the American military to detect bombs. Early European colonists introduced bees to the New World as part of an agrarian philosophy borrowed from the Greeks and Romans. Their legacy was intended to provide sustenance and a livelihood for immigrants in search of new opportunities, and the honeybee became a sign of colonization, alerting Native Americans to settlers' westward advance. Colonists imagined their own endeavors in terms of bees' hallmark traits of industry and thrift and the image of the busy and growing hive soon shaped American ideals about work, family, community, and leisure. The image of the hive continued to be popular in the eighteenth century, symbolizing a society working together for the common good and reflecting Enlightenment principles of order and balance. Less than a half-century later, Mormons settling Utah (where the bee is the state symbol) adopted the hive as a metaphor for their protected and close-knit culture that revolved around industry, harmony, frugality, and cooperation. In the Great Depression, beehives provided food and bartering goods for many farm families, and during World War II, the War Food Administration urged beekeepers to conserve every ounce of beeswax their bees provided, as more than a million pounds a year were being used in the manufacture of war products ranging from waterproofing products to tape. The bee remains a bellwether in modern America. Like so many other insects and animals, the bee population was decimated by the growing use of chemical pesticides in the 1970s. Nevertheless, beekeeping has experienced a revival as natural products containing honey and beeswax have increased the visibility and desirability of the honeybee. Still a powerful representation of success, the industrious honey bee continues to serve both as a source of income and a metaphor for globalization as America emerges as a leader in the Information Age.
Fruitless Fall by
Call Number: SF538.3.U6 J33 2008
Publication Date: 2008-09-16
How the disappearance of the world’s honeybee population puts the food we eat at risk. Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time when “there was no pollination and there would be no fruit.” The fruitless fall nearly became a reality in 2007 when beekeepers watched one third of the honeybee population—thirty billion bees—mysteriously die. The deaths have continued in 2008. Rowan Jacobsen uses the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder to tell the bigger story of bees and their’ essential connection to our daily lives. With their disappearance, we won’t just be losing honey. Industrial agriculture depends on the honeybee to pollinate most fruits, nuts, and vegetables—one third of American crops. Yet this system is falling apart. The number of these professional pollinators has become so inadequate that they are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. By exploring the causes of CCD and the even more chilling decline of wild pollinators, Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural crisis. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take for granted the Edenic garden Homo sapiens has played in since birth. Our world could have been utterly different—and may be still. Rowan Jacobsen writes about food, the environment, and the connections between the two. His work has appeared in the Art of Eating, the New York Times, Wild Earth, Wondertime, Culture & Travel, NPR.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of Chocolate Unwrapped and A Geography of Oysters. He lives in rural Vermont with his wife and son. A Seattle Times Best Book of 2008. “If honeybees and their wild relatives vanish, we could lose some of our most luscious fruits and vegetables -- up to 100 crops, from apples to zucchini. In Fruitless Fall, Mr. Jacobsen warns that we may be on the brink of just such a disaster…a detailed history of honeybee biology…[Jacobsen’s] analysis is helpful and instructive." — Wall Street Journal
Honey Bees by
Call Number: SF538.5.C65 H66 2009eb (Online)
Publication Date: 2008-04-01
In 2006, commercial migratory beekeepers along the East Coast of the United States began reporting sharp declines in their honey bee colonies. Because of the severity and unusual circumstances of these colony declines, scientists have named this phenomenon Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Reports indicate that beekeepers in 35 states have been affected. Overall, bee colony losses averaged about 30% in 2007. Reports for 2008 show continued declines with estimated average annual losses nation-wide approaching 35%. Honey bees are the most economically valuable pollinators of agricultural crops world-wide. Many scientists at universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) frequently assert that bee pollination is involved in about one-third of the U.S. diet, and contributes to the production of a wide range of fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, forage crops, some field crops, and other speciality crops. The monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States is estimated at about $15 billion annually. Honey bee colony losses are not uncommon. However, current losses seem to differ from past situations in that colony losses are occurring mostly because bees are failing to return to the hive (which is largely uncharacteristic of bee behavior); bee colony losses have been rapid; colony losses are occurring in large numbers; and the reason(s) for these losses remains largely unknown. The potential causes of CCD, as reported by the scientists who are researching this phenomenon, include but may not be limited to parasites, mites, and disease loads in the bees and brood; emergence of new or newly more virulent pathogens; poor nutrition among adult bees; lack of genetic diversity and lineage of bees; level of stress in adult bees (e.g., transportation and confinement of bees, overcrowding, or other environmental or biological stressors); chemical residue/contamination in the wax, food stores, and/or bees; a combination of these and/or other factors. In 2007, the House held two subcommittee hearings to review the recent honey bee colony declines and to address concerns about pollinator health. In 2008, the Senate hosted a briefing on pollinators and their role in agricultural security. Various policy options were discussed at these hearings and briefings, including increasing federal funding for research and monitoring, providing technical support and assistance for beekeepers, and emphasizing the importance of pollinator diversity and sustaining wild and native pollinator species.