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Why humans, and Big Macs, depend on bees

Thor Hanson talks about his new book, Buzz

By
8:00am, July 8, 2018
a bee on a flower

SWARM OF BEES  Honeybees may be the most famous of their kind, but there are more than 20,000 species of bees, including more than 250 bumblebees.

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees
Thor Hanson
Basic Books, $27

When you hear the word bee, the image that pops to mind is probably a honeybee. Maybe a bumblebee. But for conservation biologist Thor Hanson, author of the new book Buzz, the world is abuzz with thousands of kinds of bees, each as beautiful and intriguing as the flowers on which they land.

Speaking from his “raccoon shack” on San Juan Island in Washington — a backyard shed converted to an office and bee-watching space, and named for its previous inhabitants — Hanson shares what he’s learned about how bees helped drive human evolution, the amazing birds that lead people to honey, and what a Big Mac would look like without bees. The following

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