- Paperback: 111 pages
- Publisher: lulu.com; 3 edition (30 July 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1409271145
- ISBN-13: 978-1409271147
- Product Dimensions: 21 x 0.7 x 29.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Barefoot Beekeeper Paperback – 30 Jul 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
If you only buy one book about beekeeping, make sure it's this one.
The colony survived one of the coldest winters ever - with the open mesh floor open to the elements. Proof (if any were needed) that bees don't mind cold. It's damp that they don't like, and the OMF certainly provides a lot of ventilation.
But .... I have some practical issues with the design.
1. Despite being exactly to the spec, the bees built comb across the bars and stuck it to the side of the hive inside. This means that that comb cannot be removed to be inspected. If you are unconcerned about whether your bees are a source of disease for other hives in the area, this is fine. But a conscientious beek should do their best to ensure a healthy hive - and you can't do that if you can't remove the comb for inspection.
2. Despite the use of a circular saw and really careful construction, it's a bit tricky to get the internal end-stops to be bee-proof.
3. If you want to treat for varroa (and most beeks do), it's not easy because there is no top-bee-space on which to put the thymol (a natural substance, before anyone gets too excited.)
4. For the same reason, it's quite hard to feed the bees. You need to be quite ingenious and adept at handiwork.
Summary. Topbar hives are best undertaken by skilled woodworkers and skilled beekeepers, not beginners. And if it's honey you're after, go for regular hives.
My top bar colony died. It was the only colony that I was unable to treat for varroa and it was the only colony that died. Anecdotal, rather than convincing scientific, proof of my previous review.Read more ›
This book was a clear answer to the questions arising from my own ad hoc hands off approach to bee keeping.
It is truly an inspiring and uplifting book, that can be part of a wholesome change in society.
Beginner beekeepers beware of being sucked in by the rosy hyperbole delivered by this book.
If you can't treat your bees for varroa (and this hive design doesn't easily allow you to) it's 99% certain your bees will die if not in the first year then certainly by the second. This hive also lends itself to your bees dying from isolation starvation in winter - its long design means the bees get stuck on their stores at one side of the hive and if, when those stores run out, the weather is too cold for them to move their cluster to another area of stores they die in situ. Phil Chandler has publicly acknowledged that he has repeatedly lost all of his bees and had to restock (not sure from where) - that should tell you all you need to know.
There are a couple of TBH beekeepers who have made a success of TBHs but they have modified this design - you'd be well advised to seek them out eg madasafish on beekeepingforum.co.uk
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am enjoying reading this book, it is an eye-opener. I am now contemplating getting a TBH.Published 16 months ago by s swann
This book provides an alternative view and an alternative method of beekeeping from that adopted traditionally. Read morePublished 22 months ago by paul kirk
Very easy to read & interesting. Clear instructions of the horizontal top bar hive.Published on 6 Dec. 2014 by D Johnson
I would summarise this book as being a book about building a top bar hive and a general discussion of bee keeping but it is lacking in some detail and the production is not very... Read morePublished on 30 Oct. 2014 by Front to Back
lots of low cost ideas for beginner beekeepers i enjoyed reading it.Published on 29 Oct. 2014 by tom80