Want to know more about your native pollinators in North America? There are lots of resources!

A year or so ago I recommended this beautiful ebook as a FREE download:  Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees. It’s still available!  One of the authors of that publication is back this year with a new book, this one aimed at a slightly younger audience.  The new eBook by Beatriz Moisset: “Beginners Guide to Pollinators and other Flower Visitors” is available FREE during National Pollinator Week.  (You can also find it on Barnes and Noble and iTunes.)  This eBook is a quick guide to distinguishing types of insect visitors to flowers.

Xerces has quite a few amazing book-length resources, and the best of them is Attracting Native Pollinators.   (Not free, alas, but well worth the price, and supports this great non-profit.)  Conserving Bumblebees is also available as a FREE download, or as a print book.  I have mentioned before the wonderful online Xerces Pollinator Conservation Resource center, that lets you find FREE resources by region of North America about plants, creating nest sites, and other ways to promote your local species.  The US Forest Service also offers a FREE guide to Bumblebees of the Eastern States, as well as one for the Western States.

If you want to learn more about being a beekeeper, living in the country, and letting nature define the rhythyms of your life, you just can’t do better than Sue Hubbell’s “A Book of Bees.” Kirkus described it as a mix of “memoir, nature journal, and beekeeping manual.” Hubbell’s writing reminds me of another great country life writer, Anne Dillard. (If you haven’t read Dillard’s An American Childhood, read it now!)

If you want a more detailed discusson of pollination, but also a good read, I recommend The Forgotten Pollinators” by Buchmann and Nabhan. This winner of several science writing awards discusses the relationship between plants and the many different animals they depend on for reproduction. Unfortunately, many endangered species are rare plants depending on rare insects–not a recipe for a stable ecosystem.

What books have I missed? Please let me know in the comments!

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!


  1. Comments of additional resources coming in! There is a Bee Conservation book (PDF) available FREE here: http://www.conservationevidence.com/ It’s a massive summary of research on bee conservation.

  2. This is great! Love the bumblebee book.

  3. Thanks for reprinting these links! Bee Basics is fantastic.

  4. Nature books? Free? I’m there!

  5. Add Keeping the Bees, by Laurence Packer. A great book that I have yet to read!

  6. It’s not free, nor an e-book, whoops…

  7. Rats, it does only seem to be available in Hardcover. But it’s free at the library :)

  8. Another wonderful “bees and beekeeping” book is Hannah Nordhaus’ The Beekeeper’s Lament — I reviewed it for the Los Angeles Review of Books, if anyone is interested. I really loved her writing. Again, not free, but worth the price.

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