The Harmony Of Bees – Ranjit Lal


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They have lived on Planet Earth from well before the first apes and humans appeared. They lead fascinating lives that involve shooting, stinging, flying, jumping, biting, and more. Some can lift 500 times their body weight. Some others navigate their way using the stars or even the Milky Way. Some are deadly carriers of disease. And some pollinate more than one-third of our food sources. Together, they are essential for life on Earth to continue in an even balance. They are: ants, beetles, scorpions, mantids, butterflies, bees, spiders, cockroaches and yes, even mosquitoes and flies!

No one can describe the natural world as delightfully and humorously as Ranjit Lal, and in The Harmony of Bees he brings his decades of experience watching and closely interacting with the world of creepy crawlies to writing about more than twenty kinds of them. Termites have central air conditioning in their nests, he tells us. A grasshopper can jump ten times its own height (which is like us jumping the length of a football field in one leap). The tiny fig wasp is key to the survival of the mighty banyan tree. Not everyone hates cockroaches—a zoo in Japan organized a cockroach exhibition and ‘cockroach petting sessions’! Along with these bizarre and wonderful facts, Ranjit Lal explains how these creatures live, mate, build their homes and look after (or eat) their young.

Sometimes creepy, sometimes gruesome, always entertaining and packed with information, this is an immensely entertaining and unusual nature book.


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