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Customer Review

23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overestimated, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Guide to Bees & Honey: The World's Best Selling Guide to Beekeeping (Paperback)
I bought this book based on the prevalent characterisation as "the beekeeping bible", something that I found to be otherwise. The book contains very many details on bees and hive management although these are better understood by an experienced rather than a novice beekeeper. Also, many of the information that the author provides is insufficient - like the very important hive splitting (or artificial swarming) methods of which he superficially touches but one, and even that not in great detail. It is understood that the author is only presenting what has been tried, tested and worked but some people just like a bit more of a choice.

I particularly found the method of clipping the queen's wing, which the author prescribes in his book, as a rather harsh and unecessary method of swarm control. Demaree has lond ago described his method of doing this (no wing clipping involved) with many more benefits for the colony and the beekeeper. And there are other methods to go about controlling swarming which are less violent and intrusive.

In all, I will not be using this book much, infact I will put it up for sale as I do not want it in my library. The book that I have found very interesting, unbiased and pleasantly informative is David Cramp's "A Practical Manual of Beekeeping" although there are not many pictures to go with it (but a new version is available right about this time).
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Jun 2016, 02:52:25 BST
It is ridiculous to call David Cramp's book 'unbiased', since his writing clearly shares the same bias as yourself ie a distaste for clipping the queen.

Where is the evidence that clipping adversely affects a queen ? To quote from a New Zealand three-year study of 1971, ''There was no significant reduction in honey reduction between hives headed by clipped and unclipped queens. Clipping did not lead to increased supesedure. The clipping of queen bees' wings is unlikely to affect them adversely.'

It's hard to believe that a perceived drastic measure would fail to affect critical functions of queen and colony.

Talking about 'harsh' and 'violent' is really bordering on the squeamish side of anthropomorphism. A common enough trait in the namby-pamby 21st century.
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