Books on bumblebees

& keys to identification

Fortunately, there are a number of excellent books and keys around. These come from a variety of sources, some available new, while others are recently or long out of date. Don't despair, there are numbers of entomological book shops out there and there is a ready market and availability for such works, which come and go with time. Why should you need so many - and you do? Bumblebees are so variable in their colouring, size and appearance that confirmation of identification from several sources is essential. Above all, it is important to study as many photographs and drawings as possible to build up experience.

British Bumblebees, with emphasis on the old county of Somerset, by Robin Williams; Vanellus Publications – (available through: publications). 2nd edition, 2000. A complete introduction, with descriptions, discussion on variations and full set of colour-coded black & white whole insect drawings (as used in Identification)'.

Bumblebees, by Ted Benton. Collins New Naturalist, 2006. 'As good and comprehensive look at these creatures as you would expect from this series. Wonderful pictures'.

Bumblebees, by Oliver E. Prỹs-Jones & Sarah H. Corbet; Naturalists Handbooks 6, The Richmond Publishing Company; Revised edition 1991. 'Clear keys/drawings, also fine introduction to the subject'.

Bumblebee Distribution Maps Scheme, Guide to the British Species; by D.V. Alford; (from Entomologists Gazette Vol 21), Bee Research Association, 1973. 'A slender paperback which contains all the information needed to identify bumblebees through the microscope and in the field - long out of print but worth the search'.

Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain & Ireland, by Mike Edwards & Martin Jenner; Ocelli; 2005, revised edition 2009. 'A superb and invaluable introduction to these difficult insects, with marvellous photographs and excellent sections on each species. A must have for every library'.

Hummeln (Bumblebees); bestimmen, ansiedeln, vermehren, schützen, by Eberhard von Hagen (in German), Naturbuch Verlag, Germany, 1994 'Some of the finest colour pictures taken, covers all British species. A superb buy for those interested in this family'.

The Bumblebees of Essex, by Ted Benton; Lopinga Books, 2000. 'Although covering Essex, much of the work applies all over the country with some of the finest photographs of bumblebees. A worthwhile addition to any library'.



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