Buchmann, Stephen L. 1955(?)-

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Buchmann, Stephen L. 1955(?)-


Born c. 1955, in Rockford, IL. Education: California State University, Fullerton, B.S., 1974, M.S., 1975; University of California at Davis, Ph.D., 1978. Hobbies and other interests: Photography, Macintosh computing, simulation games, cyberspace surfing.


Office—The Bee Works, 1870 W. Prince Rd., Ste. 16, Tucson, AZ 85705.


Research entomologist and author. University of Arizona, Tucson, research associate in Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, 1979—, then adjunct associate professor in Department of Entomology. Bee Works (independent research organization), Tucson, founder and researcher, beginning 1999. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Phoenix, research associate; American Museum of Natural History, research associate.

Awards, Honors

Los Angeles Times Book Prize nomination in Science and Technology, 1997, for The Forgotten Pollinators.


(Editor, with Andrew Matheson, with Christopher O'Toole) The Conservation of Bees (Linnean Society Symposium series, no. 18; includes "Competition between Honey Bees and Native Bees in the Sonoran Desert and Global Bee Conservation Issues"), Academic Press, 1996.

(With Gary Paul Nabhan) The Forgotten Pollinators, illustrated by Paul Mirocha, Island Press/Shearwater Books (Washington, DC), 1996.

How to Keep Stingless Bees in the Yucatan Peninsula (bilingual Spanish/Mayan text), 2004.

Pollinators of the Sonoran Desert: A Field Guide, 2005.

(With Bannign Repplier) Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind, Random House (New York, NY), 2005.

(With Diana Cohn) The Bee Tree, illustrated by Paul Mirocha, Cinco Puntos Press (El Paso, TX), 2007.

Contributor of articles and reviews to periodicals, including Botanical Gazette, International Journal of Plant Sciences, Quarterly Review of Biology, and Journal of Experimental Biology. Also author of technical papers.


Stephen L. Buchmann is an associate professor of entomology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is also an amateur beekeeper and founder of The Bee Works, an environmental company. In addition to technical works and works such as The Forgotten Pollinators, one of the first books to raise awareness regarding environmental threats to the pollination cycle, Buchmann channels his fascination for bees into an admiring tribute to the honey bee titled Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind, and a younger audience in the pages of the picture book The Bee Tree.

In The Forgotten Pollinators Buchmann examines relationships between plants and their pollinators—not only insects but also birds, reptiles, and mammals. The book highlights the frequently overlooked roles of these animals and plants in producing much of the food people eat. In addition to providing information on bees and beekeeping, field research, and a discussion of related scientific disciplines, Buchmann and ethnobiologist Gary Paul Nabhan also describe such contemporary threats to pollinators as the overuse of pesticides and habitat destruction. Terming The Forgotten Pollinators an "important addition to the environmental bookshelf," a contributor to Publishers Weekly described Buchmann's book as "a disturbing story of disappearing insects and diminishing plant reproduction." In the New York Times Book Review, Carol Kaesuk Yoon pointed out that the "most significant" contribution in The Forgotten Pollinators is their presentation of "a new view of nature." "More than the species and the land that holds them," Yoon added, The Forgotten Pollinators puts forth the coauthors' belief that "the living world to be cherished includes everything that these creatures, plants, and places do … [the] biodiversity of relationships."

Coauthored with Banning Repplier, Letters from the Hive reveals the rich life of the honey bee, showing that within each small hive exists a bustling community featuring a nursery, a regal court overseen by a powerful queen, and a factory producing golden honey. The natural world surrounding the hive contributes to this small ecosystem, where flower gardens, sunshine, and other insects all play an important role. In addition to cooking recipes, a discussion of the curative power of honey, myths surrounding the honey bee, and an explanation of the bee's place as an inspiring metaphor within literature and art are also covered in Buchmann's book, which ranges from the Australian outback to the Himalayas in its focus. Calling Buchmann "one of the foremost authorities on pollination and pollinators," Booklist critic Nancy Bent added that the scientist's "blend of science and passion makes" the book "a lively read." In Publishers Weekly a reviewer concluded that Letters from the Hive serves readers as "a highly entertaining and informative introduction to the world of the bee."

Featuring artwork by Paul Mirocha, The Bee Tree features a text by Buchmann and fellow writer Diana Cohn. The story is set in Malaysia, where thirteen-year-old Nizam is excited to join his grandfather in his clan's annual honey hunt. During the night, the hunters climb up tall tualang trees into the rainforest canopy and mine honey from the extensive hives of aggressive, one-inch-long honeybees. Highlighted by illustrations that bring to life "the lush landscape of the rainforest," The Bee Tree "is infused with reverence for the gifts of the forest and respect for the insects" that provide such wealth, wrote School Library Journal contributor Kathy Piehl. Dubbing the picture book "wonderful," Booklist critic Donna Seaman also commended Buchmann and Cohn for including "a section of amazing facts about Malaysia's rainforests" in their ecology-minded picture book.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, July, 1996, Donna Seaman, review of The Forgotten Pollinators, p. 1787; April 1, 2005, Nancy Bent, review of Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind, p. 1332.

Discover, June, 2005, Zach Zorich, review of Letters from the Hive, p. 81.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2005, review of Letters from the Hive, p. 206; May 1, 2007, review of The Bee Tree.

Library Journal, June 15, 1996, William H. Wiese, review of The Forgotten Pollinators, p. 87.

New York Times Book Review, August 18, 1996, review of The Forgotten Pollinators.

People Weekly, May 22, 1989, "By Using Bar Coding on Busy Bees, Scientist Stephen Buchmann Becomes an Unstung Hero," p. 105.

Publishers Weekly, May 13, 1996, review of The Forgotten Pollinators, p. 63; March 7, 2005, review of Letters from the Hive, p. 62.

School Library Journal, April, 1997, Judy McAloon, review of The Forgotten Pollinators, p. 167; July, 2007, Kathy Piehl, review of The Bee Tree, p. 67.

Washington Post Book World, April 17, 2005, Adrian Higgins, review of Letters from the Hive, p. 10.


Bee Works Web site,http://www.thebeeworks.com/ (October 13, 2008), "Stephen L. Buchmann."

High Country News Online,http://www.hcn.org/ (March 19, 2007), Brendan Borrell, "Busy as a Buchmann."

University of Guelph Web site, http://www.uoguelph.ca/˜iucn/contacts/ (October 13, 2008), "Stephen L. Buchmann."