Most helpful positive review
110 of 112 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book for someone considering beekeeping
on 11 June 2008
I bought this book knowing virtually nothing about bees (they exist, they live in hives and they make honey was about the sum total of my knowledge).
I have been considering keeping bees for a while and thought that a little reading would help guide me to a decision.
From memory, the book covers: types of bees (not just honey bees), types of hives, the gear required by the beekeeper, where bee hives can be situated, how bees can be purchased, the maintenance of the colony & hive, pests and how to mitigate their impact, the social structure of the bee colony, the way honey is produced by the bees, the 'swarming' of bees, how to harvest honey from the hive and how to store the harvested honey. There's definitely more - my memory just isn't good enough.
The book material is pitched at the level of the layman/novice. In particular areas the book is usefully pratical and in-depth e.g. There are guides to setting up the hive and putting in the colony, checking the colony's health after setting up your apiary, harvesting the honey, controlling swarming and spring-cleaning the hive. There are also little practical tips throughout that will obviously help you avoid common mistakes e.g. Approach your hive from the side, approaching the front entrance will only wind-up your bees!
To sum up. I thought the book was excellent and was written at exactly the right level for someone in my position. It increased my knowledge greatly (admittedly i started with none), it informed me that i have a more-than-reasonable environment for a hive, it convinced me that i'd be capable of performing the duties required to keep the bees happy and healthy, it told me how to go about performing the duties required, it told me what equipment i'd need to keep bees and finally it was a thoroughly pleasant read into the bargain.