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Asian Honey Bees goes well beyond its immediate subject, using the diverse and fascinating species of honey bees to explore current issues in evolutionary biology and illustrate economic and cultural interactions between humans and nature. Oldroyd and Wongsiri have produced a thorough, timely, and well-organized book, clearly written, fluid, and engaging to read. This is an important, thought-provoking contribution that will have considerable impact on many sectors, including basic studies of social insect biology, economic development of Asian beekeeping, and the conservation of one of our planet's most important group of organisms, the honey bees. (Mark L. Winston, Fellow, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Simon Fraser University)
Oldroyd and Wongsiri have synthesized the explosion of research on Asian honey bees over the last decade in one well-organized volume. Asian Honey Bees integrates the expanded knowledge of the biology of Asian honey bees with knowledge of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, examining and expanding all of the leading theories that explain those essential attributes of species of honey bees that result in both their great similarities and their enormous differences. The authors also review the place of Asian honey bees in human culture and how we can and must conserve Asian species. With its clear and incisive presentation, Asian Honey Bees is a milestone in honey bee biology which ignites curiosity and inspires future work as much as it synthesizes past work. (Dr. Thomas E. Rinderer)
Our profound knowledge of honey bees, accumulating since Aristotle's time, takes on an altogether different meaning when we realize that there is not just the one extremely well studied European honey bee species but that there are also eight other species of honey bees that occur in Asia. Oldroyd and Wongsiri succeed admirably in assisting the non-specialist by organizing our current knowledge, to which they have made a significant contribution, in an orderly species-by-topic matrix and, at the same time, in laying bare, for the specialist, our profound ignorance of honey bees, taken in the plural sense of nine species. But the real success of their effort will be judged, a decade down the line, by how many honey bee researchers it helps create from among the rich community of Asian biologists--I have great hope. (Raghavendra Gadagkar, Professor, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science)
Oldroyd and Wongsiri give us a compellingly argued account of the fascinating lives of these insects and the threats they face. Profusely illustrated, Asian Honey Bees is a delight to read. I highly recommend it to scientists, beekeepers, and bee and honey lovers everywhere. (Stephen Buchmann, author of Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind)
Asian Honey Bees succeeds admirably. It is both an authoritative monograph that will satisfy experts and a highly readable book that will engage students and biologists in general. It presents Asian honeybees in the broader context of social behaviour and evolution while giving a real feeling for the bees themselves, including their interactions with humans. (Francis L. W. Ratnieks Nature 2006-07-20)
Benjamin P. Oldroyd is Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney.
Siriwat Wongsiri is Professor of Science at Chulalongkorn University (Thailand).
Thomas D. Seeley is Professor of Biology, Cornell University.