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From A to Bee: My First Year as a Beginner Beekeeper [Paperback]

James Dearsley
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

2 July 2012
Beekeeping,Oh my what have I done? I am 30 years old, I have been married for three years and am a new father to a fantastic little boy. Surely there are things that I should be doing at this age which do not involve little yellow and black insects that can hurt you if you are remotely clumsy (which at 6 feet 5, I have an amazing ability to be). James Dearsley∞fs wife thought he had lost his mind when he announced his intention to become a beekeeper. But like many interested in the self-sufficient lifestyle, he loved gardening and growing vegetables on his allotment and the old romantic in him had idealistic notions of teaching his little boy where honey came from, so he set himself what seemed a reasonable goal: to get, in a year∞fs time, just one jar of honey.

Frequently Bought Together

From A to Bee: My First Year as a Beginner Beekeeper + The Bad Beekeepers Club: How I stumbled into the Curious World of Bees - and became (perhaps) a Better Person + Bee Manual: The Complete Step-by-step Guide to Keeping Bees
Price For All Three: 29.33

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale (2 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849532729
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849532723
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13.5 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 95,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Dearsley, the Surrey Beekeeper,started The Beginner Beekeepers page on Facebook, one of the largest online communities of beekeepers (www.facebook.com/beginnerbeekeepers), and is on Twitter (@surreybeekeeper). His site www.surreybeekeeper.co.uk started as a blog, so others could learn from his mistakes, and expanded into a shop and general online resource for beekeepers.

He has written for a variety of publications around the world including Mother Earth News in the US, Grow Your Own Magazine in the UK The Ecologist and has recorded a DVD,Beekeeping for Beginners, with Charlie Dimmock, which is now on general release. He lives with his wife and two sons in Surrey.

Should you want to contact me directly please feel free to do so james@surreybeekeeper.co.uk

Product Description

Review

'A.k.a. The Surrey Beekeeper, Dearsley started the Beginner Beekeeper's page on Facebook - now the biggest online community of beekeepers - and has also released a beekeeping DVD.' (The Bookseller)

'Written in a humorous, accessible, non-technical style… offering great practical advice' (Grow Your Own)

'a funny, practical and inspiring account.' (The Daily Mail)

'will inspire more people to take up this intriguing and captivating hobby' (David Squire)

'James Dearsley's engaging exploration of the mysteries of beekeeping will ensure you'll never look at a bee the same way again.' (Kay Sexton, author of Minding My Peas and Cucumbers)

'An endearing and amusing personal account of one man's immersion into the magical world of beekeeping.' (Anna Nicholas, author of A Lizard in My Luggage)

'James offers us an entertainingly jolly, extremely readably account of all the trials and tribulations of becoming an English beekeeper… James is fearless in poking fun at himself… It is quite touching how completely absorbed he becomes in the bees.' (Adventuresinbeeland)

Featured in The Lady, August 2012. (The Lady)

'Talk to any small-scale beekeeper, and they'll tell you there's more to this hobby than simply producing the glorious golden sticky goo at the end of it. Beekeeping is an ancient craft with many dimensions… To find out more about the highs and lows of James Dearsley's plunge into the remarkable world of beekeeping you can read his book' (The Ambridge Voice)

"We liked [this book]. The Book charts James' ambition to produce in year just one jar of honey and is written in a humorous accessible, non-technical style while offering great practical advice." (Gifts for Garden Centres)

"Dearsley writes with the boyish enthusiasm of a man falling in love with a new hobby… Containing endless illuminating facts, this is the ideal present for any budding beekeeper… A delightful introduction to an age-old art." (The Good Book Guide)

'If, like me, you've ever thought of becoming a beekeeper, then this book is for you… Full of information as well as the ups and downs… This book was a delight to read, inspiring, and encouraged me to learn more about solitary bees and look for a local beekeeping course for next year.' (Living North)

`Written in a humorous, accessible, non-technical style - while offering great practical advice' (Grow Your Own)

About the Author

James Dearsley is also known as the Surrey Beekeeper and writes for a variety of publications including "Mother Earth News," "Grow Your Own Magazine," and the "Ecologist."

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff 8 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
James offers us an entertainingly jolly, extremely readable account of all the trials and tribulations of becoming an English beekeeper. Not only is he combining this with a hefty workload as an international travel agent and being dad to a young toddler, he has to face the worried looks of his wife and friends as he turns into a complete bee geek. The book is written in diary format and follows his challenging journey during 2009 from complete bee novicery to getting his first pot of honey.

My favourite aspect of the book is that James is fearless in poking fun at himself. At a gangly 6'5, he creates a picture of himself as a clumsy Mr Bean style character, at one point falling down a flight of steps as he leaves his beekeeping classes. On another occasion he attempts to communicate with Polish beekeepers that he is a fellow beekeeper too by running around making buzzing noises and pointing at their honey - "As I walked away, I did turn back for one last look at these moustached Polish beekeepers and they were just looking at each other with a rather strange expression; one then shrugged whilst the other started laughing."

It is quite touching how completely absorbed he becomes in the bees, obsessively reading the nights away (a glass of red wine or whiskey at his side) and driving around trying to find out the local forage in his area. He also develops from being most interested in getting his first pot of honey to being deeply concerned with all the threats his bees and those across the world face. I think all of us beekeepers understand that feeling of wonderment at how much there is to learn, and how amazing these fascinating little creatures are.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, Entertaining and a Good Read 9 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This little book is charming, entertaining and full of fun - however along the way we do learn some of the basics of bee keeping and the ups and downs of this most interesting hobby. It is obvious that the author has a passion for his subject, and is not afraid to admit the mistakes he made on starting out. Bee keeping is an adventure and it is interesting to read how the author juggled his extremely busy job, and family responsibilities alongside his new venture with bees.

Is this a book that will teach you all you need to know about bee keeping? No, it is certainly not going to do that, but there are many great books out there that do cover in detail the ins and outs of the craft; this is however, a good introduction for the general reader about starting such a hobby, some of the joys and pitfalls that come along and also the plight of the bees in the world today.

It is an easy read and a satisfying one - there is much humour nestled among the pages and I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in gardening, bee keeping and nature. Few people realise the plight of the bees and the pollinators, who are being wiped out in droves by the pesticides that are commonly used today in all our countries - and few seem to know that if the pollinators are gone, then so is mankind. If this book encourages even one person to think more about the pollinators in our world, then it will be a job well done. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endearing and amusing 3 July 2012
Format:Paperback
Lovely little book that will encourage any would be beekeeper to either take it up... Or run for the hills. As I read each chapter it reminded me of my early beekeeping exploits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant ! please read . 26 Aug 2014
By June
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just wanted a little more information on Bees and beekeeping and l just clicked to read some of the book (l did buy the book wanted to read more!) and l thought the way
James told us about his journey was brilliant . James set out everything that you will face in taking on beekeeping and how to go about it Loved the book excellent read and l got a really good idea of what to expect on keeping Bees. Thank you James
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5.0 out of 5 stars Do not miss this book. 24 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback
An absolute must read. Informative, entertaining and funny. Thoroughly recommended to both the bee keeper and any long suffering partner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Learn and laugh at the same time 4 April 2014
By Serious
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I became aware of not only the fun of keeping bees but aware the responsibiliy of keeping these wonderful, little animals. I feel I'm now ready to go up one more rung on the ladder.
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By tony f
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read a few bee books but this was tops james is done everything that I am doing this year I also started in June iris.faulkner
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5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, enlightening and a pleasant read 18 July 2013
By Mick
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Originally saw this in a search engine and bought it. Found it a enjoyable read and also has made me become more aware of bees,to the point of now buying feeders and putting bee friendly plants in my garden. Excellent
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buzzing
Wow!!!! What an amazing book totally inspiring for anyone who wants to get into beekeeping or just a very amazing read could'nt put this book down!!! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Timmy
3.0 out of 5 stars New Beekeeper
Bought for my husband who is a beginner to the role, he said its ok but did not learn anything from it.
Published 8 months ago by MamaMia
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Read
James has described his first year as a bee-keeper in a truly entertaining and inspirational way.

Whilst other books will tell you the theory James' book tells you the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr Robert W Helliar-Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading even if you don't plan to actually keep bees yourself.
This is quite entertaining and worth reading even if you don't actually plan to start bee keeping but just want to find out a bit more.
Published 15 months ago by Nigel Haynes
5.0 out of 5 stars beekeeping
a fun book for anyone who is at all into beekeeping,just pick up and read with a drink I find best.
Published 16 months ago by steven.n.hayde.
5.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read!
I've been keeping bees for only 33 weeks (yes I'm counting; one does this sort of thing you know) and after reading James book I am as enthused as ever to continue this wonderful... Read more
Published 19 months ago by thebostonbox
5.0 out of 5 stars What a book
This was bought for a friend and all she has done is rave about how funny the book is and how much can relate to it.
Published 19 months ago by Miss R F Kemp
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this Before Starting Beekeeping (and after for a laugh)
This isn't a A-Z manual about beekeeping, rather a diary of the experience of being a new beekeeper. Read more
Published 20 months ago by M W BROWNE
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