Ah, summer. It conjures up images of beaches, picnics, watermelon - and bug spray, citronella candles, and a whole host of crawly, buzzing, unwanted visitors at your family BBQ. Though these summer pests may be small, their impact on the ecosystem and on human culture is enormous. If you're itching to learn more about our buggy brethren, step away from the zapper and pick up one of these great reads.
The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us by Bee Wilson
Sex, politics, labor, and pleasure - these aren't just the domain of human civilizations. Through Wilson's concise, humorous prose, explore the mysterious culture of bees and their complex interaction with human mythology, morality, and mores across the centuries.
(For the curious: according to Publisher's Weekly, the author insists she got her nickname, Bee, long before she became fascinated with the insect!)
Fly: The Unsung Hero of Twentieth-century Science by Martin Brookes
The humble fly: summer pest, cult superhero, or unsung hero of modern science? With intensity and wit, Brookes chronicles its role as the latter. Once you learn about the critical role of the fly in modern biology and genetics, you may think twice before swatting.
Mosquito: A Natural History of Our Most Persistent and Deadly Foe by Andrew Spielman and Michael D'Antonio.
They don't just make you itch. According to the authors, these tiny bloodsuckers literally stopped the mighty armies of Ghengis Khan and Alexander the Great in their tracks. Are those goosebumps on the back of your neck caused by a chilly summer breeze, or are they from reading the book Booklist calls "creepily fascinating"?
Do you have any favorite books, articles, or facts about insects? How about a bug-related anecdote to share?
Submitted by Audrey @ MPL Central