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Top-bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health Paperback – 20 Jun 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Top-bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health
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  • Thinking Beekeeper: A Guide to Natural Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives
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  • Balanced Beekeeping I: Building a Top Bar Hive
Total price: £38.41
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing Co (20 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603584617
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603584616
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"An excellent text with information not published elsewhere. A very useful new work on a natural style of honey bee colony management." --Bees for Development Journal

"Outstanding." --Heidi Herrmann, Natural Beekeeping Trust

About the Author

Les Crowder has devoted his entire adult life to the study and care of honeybees. Dedicated to finding organic and natural solutions for problems commonly treated with chemicals, he designed his own top-bar hives and set about discovering how to treat disease and genetic weaknesses through plant medicine and selective breeding. He has been a leader in his community, having served as New Mexico's honeybee inspector and president of the New Mexico Beekeepers Association. He is an avid storyteller and has spoken annually at the NM Organic Farm Conference for over fifteen years. Les is also a certified teacher and enjoys teaching children Spanish and science. Heather Harrell moved to New Mexico in 1996 from her home state of Vermont to pursue her masters degree in Eastern Classics, having long had an interest in the art of meditation and yoga and a yearning to pursue a career in academia. Her love of nature soon had her pursuing a life as an organic farmer, focusing on flowers, then medicinal herbs. Over time, and through her work with honeybees, she has moved her focus to the study of multi-use permaculture plantings, which support a diverse network of interrelationships in the natural world. Along with a wide variety of vegetables, she grows medicinal herbs, which offer nectar and pollen to pollinator species. She is very interested in how soil biology is affected by using biodynamic methods of planting, and is currently studying compost teas incorporating various types of manures and plant materials.


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Format: Paperback
I've been using TBH's for a couple of years in the cool, wet, intensively farmed UK Midlands and was recently sent this book from the US. Even allowing for the differences in climate between here and the author's New Mexico base, this is an extremely useful reference for the beginning and intermediate British top bar beekeeper, because the author explains the principles behind each fact and how he refined his techniques over many years, which gives extra insights. His techniques are slightly different to the British tradition that's evolved, for example he does not use spacers between bars, making you review your own practices.

My impression is that top bar beekeeping has been established for a decade longer in New Mexico than in Britain, and there are tips explained coherently and concisely in this book which will be on the Web somewhere, but in a highly dispersed state. This small volume packs a lot of information into it.

I was particularly interested to find detailed diagrams showing how to rearrange combs in different situations; and a slightly different approach to smoking to the one I use. There is a decent index.

The short section on how to discourage bears and skunks was the only bit not relevant in the UK, but interesting nonetheless.
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If you are looking to take up beekeeping using the Top Bar Hive (TBH) then this is a MUST read. The way in which you manage the bees in a TBH is quite different from Langstroth/British National. Crowder takes you through how to succeed with this alternative approach to managing these insects. If you are interested in an approach to beekeeping that is more bee centric (as opposed to managing the insects for the sole purpose of maximising honey production), requires significantly less equipment and significantly less financial outlay then this book represents excellent value for money and I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Barefoot bee keeping book left a lot of unanswered questions about managing a Top Bar Hive.

This book gives a more practical approach and answered a lot of those of those unaanswered questions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting book by an experienced beekeeper. Sustaining bee colonies without resorting to chemicals and medication appeals to me strongly. However, the manipulation of the brood combs and artificial queen breeding are far from organic, in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent read for a beginner beekeeper. Nice photos and illustrations, pleasant to read and informative. Covers the management of the top bar hive techniques and compares the pros and cons with traditional hive designs. Top bar hives offers an alternative to pesticides and other chemicals traditionally used to keep bees healthy. Top bar hives are also less expensive to maintain, though not suitable for intensive honey farming.
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