with the absolutely delightful subtitle: Bees Are So Amazing and You’re About to Find Out Why.
I am 100% the target audience for this humorous non-fiction book extolling the benefits and wonders of bees. Heck, I even wrote a hybrid role-playing/board game, Honey Hex, that benefits the National Wildlife Federation’s efforts to protect pollinators. In addition, I’m a big fan of Matt Kracht’s other books detailing dumb birds, a seemingly insulting yet ultimately engaging way to explore the wonders of the natural world and expose them to a wider audience.
He brings that same sense of humor to the subject of bees, tho with a decidedly less derisive angle. And how could he not, because bees are awesome! Mr Kracht is not afraid to tell you why, detailing what all the bees of the world have in common and what makes each kind stand apart from its peers, and how bees in general differ from other winged stingers. But he doesn’t stop there, providing readers with a most excellent, accessible amount of information on these important honey-producers and pollinators and how crucial they are for the world’s food supply. It’s truly absorbing stuff, presented in easily digestible layman’s terms and spiced up with his trademark over-the-top sensibilities.
And can I talk about the wholly charming illustrations throughout? While the bird pictures in his other books definitely looked like the work of an inspired amateur, the bee pictures here look like the work of an Artist. It’s so wonderful watching his art style evolve, practically in real time.
Most importantly, OMFG, BEES encourages readers to a greater appreciation of these ecologically integral insects, while giving concrete steps on how to actually help preserve the health of bee populations world-wide. One of the easiest suggestions is for people to stop obsessing over grass lawns. I subscribe to the idea that a weed is merely a plant growing in a place you don’t want it to, and am a huge proponent of rewilding. My lawns have long since been given over to clover, mint and wildflowers, all of which are much easier to maintain than the often non-native grasses used for “immaculate” lawns. But there are other tips available here, too, if that seems like too big a step. Definitely get this book for yourself or the naturalist in your life, or for anyone with a sense of humor and a curiosity regarding the natural world.
OMFG, BEES! by Matt Kracht was published today March 28 2023 by Chronicle Books and is available from all good booksellers, including