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  • Published: 28 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784704803
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $22.99

Bee Quest

The Sunday Times bestselling author is back, this time on a quest to find the world's rarest bees.

'Warmly entertaining...an endearing account of the search for rare bees' Guardian
A hunt for the world's most elusive bees leads Dave Goulson from Poland to Patagonia as well as closer to home, amongst the secret places hidden right under our noses: the abandoned industrial estates where great crested newts roam; or the rewilded estate at Knepp Castle, where, with the aid of some hairy, bluebell-eating Tamworth pigs, nightingale song has been heard for the first time in generations.

Whether he is tracking great yellow bumblebees in the Hebrides or chasing orchid bees through the Ecuadorian jungle, Dave Goulson's wit, humour and deep love of nature make him the ideal travelling companion.

  • Published: 28 May 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784704803
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Dave Goulson

Dave Goulson studied biology at Oxford University and is now Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex. He has spent the last twenty years studying bumblebees, and has published over 250 scientific articles on their biology. He founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust in 2006. He is the author of the Sunday Times bestseller, A Sting in the Tale, which was shortlisted for the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize, A Buzz in the Meadow and Bee Quest.

Also by Dave Goulson

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Praise for Bee Quest

You’ll learn all sorts of interesting things without effort because he’s a natural storyteller with a particular gift of understatement that is often laugh-out-loud funny – which you don’t expect from a bee book… It’s warmly personal, and stuffed full of the inescapable poetry and beauty of the natural world… Going on Bee Quest with him puts the natural world within our reach – to enjoy but also to protect… This is a truly positive and empowering read – you closed it better informed, filled with poetry, pies and ready to get out there and make a difference.

Laline Paull, Observer

This is a quest that takes us from Patagonia to Poland, from Ecuador to Essex, fueled by Dave Goulson’s extraordinary passion for the bumblebee… Goulson’s search for some of the world’s rarest bees has led him on a geographical and intellectual exploration that combines bizarre facts about bumblebees…with passionate ideas about conservation.

Martha Kearney, The Times

Dave Goulson… has perfected the art of turning the entomologist’s technical expertise into easy-reading everyman’s prose. He also laces his stories with rich helpings of wit and humour.

Mark Cocker, Spectator

In this delightful book [Goulson] tells us of the discoveries he has made during his ‘bee travels’… a humorous, beautifully written tribute to these insects, and hope-filled examples of nature’s resilience.

Outdoor Photography

Entomologist Dave Goulson journeyed as far as Patagonia to track down populations of the world’s rarest bumblebees. The result is this fun serial travelogue and ode to diverse countryside… In a world skewed towards saving photogenic mammals, Goulson extols the intrinsic importance of insects, rather than their economic value.

Barbara Kiser, Nature

Every now and then you come across a book that changes the way you look at the world. This is one of those books. Ostensibly about bumblebees and Goulson’s quest to find some of the most endangered ones around the globe, it proves to be much more than that… Bee Quest is as much a travel guide as a bee compendium… Along the way he conjures up the history, atmosphere and landscape of his surroundings with an infectious enthusiasm and descriptive flair that more than makes up for the lack of illustrations… You may well find yourself building a bee hotel and ordering wild flower seeds long before you reach the end of the book.

Patricia Carswell, WI Life

Goulson has written his best book yet, his writing keeps getting better and his infectious enthusiasm for his furry subjects is catching. Not only is it a wonderful read, but it is a prescient warning of our meddling with the environment… If you are a fan of natural history books then this is a necessary addition.

Paul Cheney, Nudge

A rather sweet take on the intricate lives of the furry pollinators… This buzzy travel companion has a light touch and inquisitive tone.


Highly recommended.

Esther Pepper

Gloriously entertaining… Goulson’s writing is strikingly elegant and very funny.

Jane Shilling, Daily Mail

Dave Goulson is a distinguished professor of biology, but his books about the natural world possess a thrilling immediacy that’s light years from the image of academia. His passion is evident on every page of this fascinating and informative foray into the world of bees

Simon Shaw, The Mail on Sunday

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