Markus Imhoof outlines many of the problems facing beekeepers today in his book More Than Honey: The Survival of Bees and the Future of Our World, which Imhoof had originally produced as a documentary. His slant is strongly pro-bees and anti-pesticides and, in conjunction, anti-commercial agriculture. In particular, I found his interviews with a large almond farmer and with a migratory beekeeper fascinating both for their own awareness about the problems that their businesses engendered while still maintaining their capitalistic outlook.
Imhoof includes information that is of an introductory nature to a backyard beekeeper, e.g., the breakdown of the various responsibilities by which bees in the hive, before discussing in detail some of the research that is being conducted in laboratories on how bees behave. This chapter was filled with engaging experiments and tidbits. For example, I learned that a particular bee, dubbed Red-23, had observed another’s waggle dance for a food source but had decided to return to its own previous food source, which the researchers had removed. Rather than return to the hive or search for another nearby food source as had been expected, Red-23 flew off to the location described by the other bee in its waggle dance, which Red-23 had observed at the hive. Not only did the bee preserve the memory of the directions in the waggle dance, but Red-23 had sufficient locational memory to fly from its location to the described location without returning to the hive first. Wow!