The natural world continues to be a wonder as scientists in December last year confirm their discovery of 26 new species of bees in South Australia. The author, Terry Houston, also acknowledges that his field of entomology continues to present new revelations – possibly the reason he’s dedicated over 50 years of his life studying bees. The culmination of this time and in-depth knowledge has paid off for his readers.

Aside from the stunning macro photography and detailed illustrations, the part of the book that most stands out to me is the first section. It is written in a way that takes you on a journey from the very basics of what a bee is, right through to how they have evolved, their behaviour, role and ecology in Australia.

The second section leads you into the identification of bees – with a clear focus on family identification. Beware that common names are few and far between in the bee world, partly since there are many species that appear similar which would lead to long and convoluted names.

One final comment on this book is that further reading and discovery is encouraged – the author has included a section of recommended books and websites and a comprehensive bibliography. Needless to say, I think this book is the bees’ knees and worth making a bee-line to the book store for!

So, it seems there is much more to uncover in the bee world – whether you are a budding entomologist or a generalist with an eagerness for knowledge. I often wonder what they will discover next in south-east Queensland.


By Terry Houston
Review by Kylie Gordon

Paperback | Aug 2018 | $49.99
280 pages | Colour photos
CSIRO Publishing

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