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Bees of the World
by Christopher O'Toole and Anthony Raw

This compact books contains a tremendous amount of information about the several families, genus and species of the bees of the world. Although the book is based on technical information and is geared to the entomologist, it is easily readable by the layman.

There is an entire chapter devoted to the "highly social" bees and this group includes the Apis genus complex which does include the western honey bee (or Apis mellifera) plus information on the other 3 species of honey producing bees and the complex of stingless bees that are managed around the world for pollinization.

The book includes numerous color and b/w photos as well as drawings to help the reader familiarize themselves with the subject matter. Overall, the book gives the reader and understanding of the bees around the world and the roles they play in ecosystems and the impact they have on human economies.

I found the book to be informative and easily read; I am recommending it to anyone who has an interest in learning about other species of bees beside our common honey bee. I found copies of the book easily on websites such as ebay or It is a book worth adding to your bee library.

reviewed by Neil Shelley