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on 30 March 2008
This book is an excellent, gentle introduction to the world of bee keeping. Having decided to read-up on the art/science, I purchased a number of books which are aimed at the beginner/novice. Whilst they are all pretty much the same, this is the one I have on standby for a little light reading when the fancy takes me, and the hand drawn pictures are fantastic.
Simple, easy to understand theory, this book gentle leads you from one subject to the next building on previous chapters as it goes. It is also nice that it is a UK book rather than an Americanised one such as "Bee Keeping for Dummies" (also excellent and defiantly worth buying as your slightly more advance book).
Whilst this does not have enough information for scientific types or more learned bee enthusiasts, it will give you all the information needed to make a decision whether or not to attend your local association lectures (which are a must) before embarking upon your new hobby!
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on 22 May 2008
The perfect primer for someone with an interest in, but no knowledge of, beekeeping. Gives enough information and inspiration to enable the reader to make sense of the more detailed works, such as 'Bees and Honey' which must be tackled later on. A great 'first' book.
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on 19 April 2009
This is a great first book for anyone interested in keeping bees.

Beekeeping is incredibly complicated and detailed, and many other books get down into the depths very quickly, and can be confusing. This book pitches the level just right; enough detail to be useful, but easily accessible and simple to understand. In only 96 pages, the author covers alot of ground though if you are serious about keeping bees yourself, you'll need some other books later on.
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on 23 March 2017
Good introduction to the world of bee keeping
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on 4 August 2017
Informative and pleasantly old fashioned.
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on 26 February 2008
Many years ago, pre-Internet, the best I could get as far as a book about bee keeping was a dog-eared between-the-Wars book which did little more than put me off. Now, what with 'The Good Life' being a reality so many more families want to not only recapture in spirit, but also do it for themselves, bee keeping has once again become a reality for everyone.
Published in 2007, this book is bang up to date and excellent in telling you everything you need to know about bees, keeping them and harvesting their honey; and how to avoid being stung, and if you are, how to get rid of the stinger quickly before it does too much damage.
Yes, a spledid book in every aspect, and although I believe every word it says, I may just venture into reading a couple more editions before I, possibly, take the plunge? But hey, if Grandad kept bees here 60 years ago, why not give it another shot for nostalgia's sake?
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on 11 June 2010
I have little to compare this to as far as beekeeping books go, but if you want comparative reviews there are many available elsewhere.

I have found it very informative. As a complete novice, not yet even a beginner at bee keeping, I bought it to see if bee keeping could be something for me to take up, and the book does that well, taking the reader through the questions of Why keep bees, The best time to start, The cost, What about stings, Location, and so on, before progressing through all the basics of how to obtain practical help and training when about to start; then further on through the various techniques and tips to use. It has a section on the beekeeping calendar with topics for each month, and also a section on problems and what to do about them. All this in 96 pages.

It is a thoroughly lovely book to have as well, being a proper hardback (well, glued like a paperback, not stitched, but at this low price it is exceptional value). The paper of the pages is of good quality and should stay in excellent condition for years to come. It has an off-white / creamy yellow tint that is very pleasant, and the illustrations are all hand drawings and pastels or water colours, again giving it a lovely feel.

Recommended to anyone interested in bee keeping in general and very much so for beginners.
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on 11 May 2009
Great little introduction to Bee keeping, a must for anyone who is interested & wants to find out more before committing & joining a local group.
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on 19 July 2010
Had been hankering to keep bees for a long time but the local courses were on a night I could not manage. When I decided that I had to take a first step even without a suitable course, saw this reasonably priced book and was not disappointed. There is a lot to know about bees and this led me through in a logical order; I found I could read a chapter or two and have a break whilst the new knowledge permeated my brain, then I could pick it up again. The pace and logic were perfectly suited to the way my brain works and because it was clearly explained, I remembered most of what I had read. The illustrations are clear but mainly black and white sketches - a chunk of coloured sketches in the middle of the book -they enhanced the text and no doubt helped keep down the cost. The advantage of sketches is a certain charm almost like EE Shepherd's illustration is Winnie the Pooh - but also each exactly fits the points in the book. The size of the book means it is easy to find and re-read anything you did not take on board the first time round. As I read the book, no sooner had a question formed in my mind than there was the answer. I loved this book and then found a second book which seemed to complement it perfectly; more photos and a good section on gardening for bees which helped me make sure I had the right plants to support bees through as much of the year as possible -Bees and Bee Keeping Explained by Gerard Baker. Both books are small enough to carry round and dip into at leisure. I had a few medical appointments around the time I read them so awaiting my turn was never a chore.
Highly recommended for a beginner.
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on 21 September 2011
A great little gem for those who are pondering about taking up beekeeping as a hobby. The sometimes, romantic description of the processes involved makes you want to start keeping bees right away. Nice illustrations throughout the book, although they are a little rough (hand sketched) and maybe "subtractive" and therefore do not reveal much detail about the depicted object but otherwise good enough for an introduction. I would certainly recommend this book to people who are keen on bees, or think they are, in order to weigh it out before they dive into more hardcore publications.

If someone finds that they are interested in bees and they do go ahead and acquire a hive or more, I would certainly recommend David Cramp's books on the matter. Very well explained and with the feel that they are written by someone with a lot of love for the bees.
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