Truly a breath of fresh air in the recently-
Firstly (and certainly not lastly), it is a clear stroke of genius
to give the bees in the study individual names. The reader is
unconsciously caught up
Secondly (in rank but not importance), it is equally impressive that
Carmichael includes extensive transcripts of actual bee conversations,
painstakingly transcribed from literally hours of audio-
Thirdly (in rank and importance), Carmichael deserves laud for the unparalleled depth of his analysis. Although space permits none but the sketchiest of details here, we may hope to whet the reader’s appetite by noting that Carmichael is the first analyst to helpfully explain bees’ “play bowing” in terms of a unified theory of the structure of bee behavior. This original (and insightful) line of thinking is certainly a breath of fresh air.Finally (in rank only), Carmichael has broken new ground in his observation and careful characterization of the clear parallels between bee communication and that of their larger cousins, the African elephants. This previously fallow field has yielded a remarkable crop, and future researchers are sure to confirm the validity and value of this initial work.
Overall, The Structure of Bee Communication certainly ranks among the top two books I have ever read, in all respects conceivable.
Reviewed by: James Grant Carmichael III