Suddenly I’m on intimate terms with the bumblebee and its curious, elaborate and occasionally piratical behaviour. I ended the book wanting more about the author and the subject, always a good sign. It has been written at least in part to support Goulson’s work with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (of which he is the founder) so there are opportunities to do something practical about these animals, many of whose populations are plummeting in the UK.
There is a charming and amusing prologue, but no illustrations at all. This was a disappointment – having read Goulson’s descriptions of the beautiful red bottoms of one type of bumblebee, the golden stripes on another, and the spectacular development of his own personal bumblebee sanctuary, I did want to have a glimpse of them myself. The Trust’s website has a photo gallery though.
Though I must say bumblebees are a difficult camera target. I attempted to capture a photo or two myself, but with their erratic bumbling and zooming, and the intense vibration of their little persons, the images came out as brown fuzz or merely as Picture of a Bumblebee Out of Sight: