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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2010
This is a book I had been waiting for with some anticipation, heightened recently with the writer's bee blogs which are hilarious, witty, informative, and rather thought provoking. The problem though sometimes in eagerly anticipating a new book/film/ gadget is the book/film/gadget doesn't quite live up to its expectations.

No such problem with this book. It lived up to my expectations and more. Only a few pages in and the tears were coming down my face from laughing and in this vein I finished the book. For those who know nothing about beekeeping, you get a sort of beginners guide to beekeeping- parts of the hive, different types of bees that make up the colony, how to remove and extract honey etc. All intertwined with his own experiences, mishaps and occasional triumph over adversity. There is also a chapter devoted to stinging, or rather the nature of how he has been stung, and this chapter in itself is worth the price of the book alone.

For those who know Bill from his daytime job, this is not an autobiography; it is about beekeeping, so any references made to his job (BBC Breakfast), Strictly Come Dancing, etc are from the view point of how they impact on his beekeeping and vice versa. In addition, the problems facing bees worldwide and the measures being used to combat these problems are discussed, but not in such a heavy handed way, that you want to flick past those pages and get to the funny sections again.

All in all a very, very funny and witty book that this reader would recommend to anyone regardless of how interested or not they are in bees.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Bill's writing style is as engaging and witty as his screen persona but the lexical structuring is such that he could almost be in the room with you. Amusement apart, if like me you're coming to the field of beekeeping as a complete novice it provides a real 'fly on the wall' initiation into the brotherhood. The science of hive construction and the 'what-to-expect' pratfalls of bee contact will amuse and entertain throughout. If you're looking for a holiday read with a difference I would definitely recommend.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2010
As A beginner to beekeeping and currently on a course this book is just what I needed both funny and informative. Even if you are not a beekeeper still a great read!
Congratulations Bill and I am glad you were talked into writing it...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 20 September 2010
Bill Turnbull describes his 'Apiaric' adventures with a touch of wry humour.
It is funny, thought provoking and informative. His wife must have the patience of a saint as he describes in a hilarious fashion the harvesting of honey in a completely unprepared kitchen - as only a man can...oblivious in his lack of foresight as to the abject mess this intails.

His experiences with a "bad tempered" colony are as most experiences with bad temper when you leave the culprit(s) alone to stew...read the book to find out.

Oh, and bees dont like fish!

As one who has contemplated keeping bees as a hobby I found this book invaluable.
Although it is not a textbook Bill Turnbulls knowledge and skill as an Apiarist comes across succinctly. After reading the book I abandoned the thought of beekeeping as it is certainly not something for the amateur. The bee populous of the U.K. is under threat from many viruses, parasites and bacterium. To plod along without the prerequisite knowledge of how to identify bees who are ill or infected would risk the spread of disease to the healthy colonies of reputable beekeepers

There is a scheme whereby you can support Beekeepers by "adopting" colonies in the UK. Those who are interested in Apiary should become involved in this way instead of "bumbling along" (pun definately intended) mistakenly percieving Beekeeping as a hobby easily taken up without much experience.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2010
I read this book on beekeeping and the effects of same after I had heard the Author talk about the subject (and the book) on local radio recently. I've always had a general interest in bees and the observation of same, but I'd shied away from the more technical and jargon-drenched books on the subject.

Bill's book is different - while he does lay down some of the basics of bees and their world, his main focus is very much on the effects that beekeeping has had on him, and by extension possibly on the reader also. His style is quite familiar and pretty laid back, and throughout he kept me interested in both his progress and on beekeeping in general.

I'm not quite sure why I bought this book - was it due to the interview or my lateral interest in the subject, but to be honest I'm glad that I did. I came away from it with a better understanding of beekeeping and some of the joys and pitfalls pertaining thereto, I feel that I have a better understanding of what is required, and I also came away feeling just a little bit better about the world in general.

Downsides? Not many to be honest, near the end the author did focus a lot on his struggles with a dancing competition and how it distracted from his BeeDuties, but overall I did not feel that this took too much from the overall work.

Nice job Bill
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2010
we have kept bees for about 2 years and have been able to say there but for the the grace of go go us. I have learnt so much from this ligh hearted account of what not to do as well as learning the things I should be doing. Bill really knows how to tell them!!
Funny and well written
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on 19 December 2011
Does the thought of beekeeping arouse your inquisitive side? Then this may be the ideal book for you.

Inside is a series of lighthearted and amusing tales describing the ups and downs of gaining entry to the beekeepers club.

Along the way you'll discover a multitude of things you never knew about bees, bee-behaviour, swarms, hives, honey, wax, pollen and propolis - not to mention the mindset and endless paraphernalia of a totally smitten apiarist.

By the end you'll also know quite a bit about Bill himself, including his ability to balance family life with both a beekeeping obsession and a demanding role as a globe-trotting TV presenter.

Becoming a beekeeper isn't a journey for the faint-hearted, but one that requires dedication, commitment and a certain level of bravery. And, as the passion takes hold, it's a journey that demands ever growing amounts of time, money and garden shed space - not to mention considerable patience and understanding from other family members.

If you're looking for a step-by-step guide to beekeeping or an in-depth look at bee biology, it's not the book you need. But if you'd like to be entertained by a collection of captivating bee-related stories, I can heartily recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2010
Beeing a new beekeeper I grasped this book eagerly! Not disappointed!

It was an entertaining read of the pitfalls and mistakes that beset you along the path of beekeeping.

There was just enough technical information to make it interesting, but not too dry, and the humour shone through.
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on 2 January 2012
I have been looking at this book for some time meaning to buy it and read it but I got it for Christmas and couldn't put it down I even woke my husband up one morning reading it I was laughing soooo much I loved it, it was funny, at times serious and informative and it certainly hasn't put me off wanting to keep bees which I intend to do in the future although whether I find being stung as one of the fun things in bee keeping watch this space. If you are even mildly interested in bees or bee keeping this is the book for you. I didn't want it to end unfortunately it has done but I am so glad I read it.
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on 14 March 2014
I have read a few other bee books about people's experiences, but this is definitely the one to buy. Not only was it entertaining and easy to read, but it was very informative as well. I am helping to deliver a beginners course in beekeeping and as I read this I kept hearing the repetition of what we had just gone through, but this was delivered in an informal and amusing way accessible to everyone. A lot of introductions to bees are very dry and technical. If you keep bees or are thinking about it go for this. I am keeping my copy and loaning it out to friends, always a good sign!
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