David Aston and Sally Bucknall
2004 152 pages (A485)
This book fills a niche not quite occupied by any other on the beekeepers' bookshelf. It assumes little scientific knowledge from the reader, gently introducing concepts such as taxonomy and the fundamentals of flower structure and of bee biology, and how these relate to the interdependency of bees and flowering plants. There are chapters on each of the products that bees obtain from plants: nectar, pollen, honeydew and propolis. Also very clear explanations of pollination and fertilisation, and the need for conservation of bee forage. The Annexes usefully include methods for preparing slides to identify pollen grains, together with lists of plant families used by bees, wildflower and grass seed mixtures for different soil types, trees, shrubs, and wildflowers for honeybees. The botanical information relates to the British Isles.
The book is clearly written and presented. It is well illustrated with line drawings and 24 excellent colour plates.