Wednesday, 6 December 2017
Bugged by David MacNeal
Subititled The Insects that Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them, Bugged is a fascinating look at the world of entomology (the study of insects). It outlines the history of the human relationship with insects, going back to the first cave painting of an insect. The book then looks in more detail at topics such as pest control, epidemics of diseases carried by insects, social insects, insect sex and insects as food with a whole chapter devoted to the history of the human relationship with the insect that is most important to us, the honey bee.
The book considers such vital questions as:
how can we effectively control insect pests in an environmentally friendly way?
can we save the honey bee from the many threats that face it?
is insect food the food of the future?
The author travelled a lot for this book, including undertaking a tour in Japan, trying to eat as many insect based foods as possible (which turned out to be quite a challenge!) and a trip to Greece to find the most delicious honey in the world.
It concentrates more on people than on the insects themselves, and though in parts it is quite technical, it relies more on anecdotes and human interest. Ths isn't a criticism, it's just to say that if you're looking for a totally serious scientific study of insects this may not be the book for you! On the other hand, with its mass of fascinating facts it's a perfect book to get you interested in insects.