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on 10 May 2014
The way farming is going in this country with the use of neo-nicotinoids, urban bees will be the ones to survive & thrive, particularly as more & more local governments & townsfolk switch on to the necessity of pesticide free parks & gardens.
This book should be read by people who are thinking that you can't keep bees in towns & cities due to their wild unpredictability with regard to stinging, swarming & generally being frightening wee critters!! They are none of those things & often the only signs that your neighbours have bees in their 10'x10' back yard is when you suddenly have an abundance of apples growing on that apple tree that's been in your garden for years but just never really done terribly well in the apple department!
Although this fellow is what I call a "honey man"; ie someone who deprives the bees of what I consider to be too much of their winter stores for his own profit, he loves his bees & like most of us who keep bees in one way or another, feel extremely passionate about what's out there for them to forage & about the creatures themselves.
It's a hobby that grabs you by the proverbials, expands your horizons to as far as the eye can see & beyond & Steve Benbow is no exception to that rule. He is, however, BBKA trained, thus looks for queen cells in a hive to decide whether or not to remove them as a preventative to swarming (amongst other nefarious practices) which is anathema to me as a low-intervention beekeeper. Having given that caution for those other natural beeks out there who look at this book, it's well written; entertaining & if you don't know so much about beekeeping, some of the information is educational, bearing in mind the BBKA doctrines.
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on 5 July 2012
Steve's infectious enthusiasm covers the pages of this warm and fascinating book.

Ultimately it's a cross between a monthly guide/book of tips for the amateur beekeeper, and a love-letter to the bees he farms.

This is one of those books that makes you stop and think about where you are in your life, where your priorities lie and wether you have the guts to have half the character of Steve and follow your dream.

Hats off to him, not only a talented beekeeper but an extremely natural and engaging writer. You'll love it.
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on 10 October 2012
The Urban Beekeeper provides an insight into the world of bees. From my perspective as a novice beekeeper, its month by month layout provides a wealth of practical and useful information. The stories of the development of his interests and the highs and lows of urban beekeeping are illuminating. Steve's enthusiasm for bees and high quality honey shine through his writing. A pleasure to read.
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on 13 June 2012
The Urban Beekeeper by Steve Benbow is much more than just a book about bees but an inspirational guide to nature in the city.
Featuring everything from the practical care of bees through the year, this fabulous book is a great read for all lovers of nature urban or rural.It includes recipes each month of the beekeeping year such as honey cake and honey ice cream , children will adore this book as much as grown ups with plenty of great photos to illustrate it along the way.
With his infectious enthusiasm and a witty writing style,Steve draws upon his wealth of country skills and knowledge and applies it to the London landscape from Thames side barges to suburban back gardens painting a picture of a thriving bee community amongst the city maelstrom. A great book for all lovers of real food and nature and a must for both dyed in the wool apiarists and aspirational beekeepers.
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on 8 October 2013
Being a country beekeeper in in Lincolnshire and wanting information on the difference between Urban and keeping bees in the country I found this book exceeded my expectations, together with down to earth information and wit.

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on 9 December 2013
I read this book with great interest having kept bees in central London in the 60's whilst in the police there. Very informative about current trends and organisations who are keeping bees in city and urban areas.
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on 24 March 2013
This book is a fascinating insight into urban bee keeping. As a new rural bee keeper I found Steve Benbow's approach to the potential of keeping bees in towns very revealing. Beginning to wonder about the benefits of rural monocultures versus the range of honeys that can be produced in twowns.
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on 12 May 2014
I was captivated by a journey or the year in the life of a pioneering urban bee farmer. Who's passion for bees, their welfare and plight inspire. The fact that he relies on them solely for income and has the time to champion these wonderful pollinations and use natural pest control is an example of what is possible.

Read it for the journey and nuggets of insight from a master. This isn't a practical book. But it's peppered with info and one mans mission to bring bee diversity to urbanism.
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on 7 May 2015
I am only part way through - it feels more like a story than a guide/instruction.
However, it is interesting and helps to form a more rounded picture of bee-keeping before embarking on it - if that's what you're thinking about.
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on 28 January 2016
There are better books out there for instruction. That's not to say there is not much of interest here. There is.

However, this is really a book for the 'Pseuds Corner' tendency, for whom urban beekeeping is a safe aspiration ie they'll never actually do it. But they will love the artisan apron on the roof of Fortnum and Mason, the old Morris (?) van, the luggage labels on the jars, the intense juxtaposition of Oxford St. with Shropshire and on, and on, and on...

Actual beekeepers will be a little taken aback to read of a phenomenon called super-seizure. I wondered if this was just a typo in the text, but there it is in the index too. Weird.
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