deknow, what you say is right - they don't provide you with the detail of the research, it's a just a facts ma'am approach. They do provide an exhaustive list of their resources at the end of the book for those interested in dissecting the research in detail. Frankly, it found it nice to be able to pick up several great pieces of information in just a few short pages without all the descriptions of the double blind tests, how many hives did this, how many did that - on and on. It's a summary of scientific findings, but it is not a scientific paper.
I hadn't thought about the microbial side, but you're right about that as well. I don't recall much of a mention of say how microbes in nectar interact in the gut to form bee bread (something sugar water doesn't do). They could write another book from that perspective alone.
the buzz about bees is a fascinating book, but it is all conclusions without the details of most of the research that led to them. it is truely a great book (the photos are wonderful, and the text is stimulating), but i see some things that are questionable (which makes me wonder about the rest of the book as well).