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Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper: What Not to Do When Keeping Bees (with Apologies to My Own) Paperback – May 10, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Turnbull, the longtime cohost of England's answer to The Today Show, takes up beekeeping on a whim and brings us along on his apiarian adventures. His genial and comedic tone will deliver readers through technical jargon and beekeeping history. The book’s real appeal will be to those who already think backyard bees are a honeyexcuse the punof an idea and who will comb the book for the myriad details of use to other amateur beekeepers.”
Library Journal  

“For a news reporter, Bill Turnbull is a pretty funny guy. It’s a good thing, too, because his new book, Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper, demonstrates just how important a ready sense of humor — and the ability to laugh at oneself — is to the amateur apiarist. Turnbull comes across as affable and amused as he relates his initiation into the world of apiculture, and though much of what he shares are his own personal foibles and misadventures, there’s a lot to be learned here. . . . Like front yard gardening, backyard beekeeping is on the rise, and Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper is a honey-sweet introduction to what might otherwise be an intimidating pursuit.”
—Mother Nature Network  

“Animated and entertaining! Bill Turnbull gives readers an informative glimpse into the enchanting world of beekeeping that is sure to increase their appreciation for these endearing creatures.”
C. Marina Marchese, author of Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper  

“This delightful, funny book will strike a chord with all beekeepers—beginners and seasoned ones alike. We have all done stupid things with bees, and I am glad to report that Bill Turnbull survived and learned from his mistakes. A truly wonderful read.”
Diana Sammataro, PhD, coauthor of The Beekeeper’s Handbook  

“In a sea of beekeeping books that read like textbooks, it was an absolute delight to discover Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper. Bill Turnbull presents us with a delightful and amusing book on the basics of beekeeping. Through Turnbull’s self-effacing humor and personal anecdotes, readers will learn a lot about bees—and a thing or two about life itself.”
Howland Blackiston, author of Beekeeping for Dummies  

“Every beekeeper begins as a bad beekeeper. Fortunately, Bill Turnbull remembers his hilarious beekeeping mistakes and adventures in great detail, and he has bravely transformed them into this honest, entertaining book. It is a must-read even for experienced beekeepers who have already been there and done that, especially as they may have failed to see the humor that Turnbull so skillfully captures.”
Norman Gary, PhD, Professor and Apiculturist Emeritus, University of California, Davis, and author of Honey Bee Hobbyist

About the Author

BILL TURNBULL is the award-winning longtime co-host of BBC Breakfast, Britain’s most-watched morning TV show. A career journalist, he has reported from more than 30 countries, and for four years was the BBC News foreign correspondent in Washington, DC. He is President of the Institute of Northern Ireland Beekeepers and a public ambassador for the British Beekeepers’ Association.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Experiment; Reprint edition (May 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615190325
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615190324
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Dolen on May 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bill Turnbill is a gifted story teller and I wish his book never ended. I did find it to be a good length and I could not put it down! I hope he writes a sequel such as "Confessions of a Bad Dairy Farmer" or even "Confessions of a Bad Husband!" Bill definitely has a unique view of life and is such a gifted writer who can inspire a reader to "keep on plugging," in this life, no matter what you are doing, which is hard to find. No great surprise BBC finds Bill Turnbull interesting. BBC is where I first heard of his work. I have not laughed hysterically or even felt "interactive" with any book in a very long time [years ok?] and Bill Turnbill in "Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper" has delivered me!

Bill Turnbill's book was very entertaining and I know a lot about bee's. I wrote the bestselling The Beekeeper's Digest, so you better believe I was concerned as to what he was doing to the honey bees in his neck of the woods. I also think "Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper" is also a great book for anyone desiring to take up beekeeping. It lets a reader know the not so glamorous aspects of the trade, common faux pauxs and still brings more attention to the beekeeping industry. We need more beekeepers!

Although I bought the book purely for entertainment purposes I did learn a LOT I did not even know about honey bees from Bill Turnbull. Like a bee can move 20 MPH and has five eyes! They see us in very slow motion. These are two examples of facts I never read in any beekeeping book, and he has a lot of honey bee facts. More surprisingly he gives a great overall education on actual beekeeping.

I may post a sign outside my bee hives "All Bill Turnbull's Honey Bees Welcome for Vacation and Rehab!" Naturally offering honey bees classes in post traumatic stress disorder. :) Yours Truly, Deborah Dolen Author
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Howard McEwen on February 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a beekeeper and I'm happy when anyone tries to make beekeeping more popular. Mr. Turnbull does a great job of telling a story and his writing is sharp, crisp and humorous (the hardest kind of writing).

As an American however, the book peters out about 2/3rds of the way through when the topic of beekeeping is pushed to the side. He writes about running a marathon in his beekeeping suit (again, admirable) and then his turn on a dancing show and another turn on a quiz show. The bees are always buzzing about the narrative but usually not too close. The problems for this American however is that I have no idea who many of the celebrities or what shows he writes about are. The American edition could have easily chopped off the last 20% or so of the book.

Finally, the entire bad beekeeper point of view would scare off anyone thinking of beekeeping. Don't be scared. It's not nearly as hard or bad and doesn't have to be nearly as expensive as he makes it out to be. I've spent more than I should on my beekeeping but it's maybe been $300 tops over a year (including bees).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Leach on August 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a beekeeper (I'm a hobbyist with three hives) I found this book to be interesting and funny, I could easily relate to some of the authors experiences. I live in rural southeast Alabama and although the author is a suburban English beekeeper his telling of his bee stories sounds universal. This book is written in an easy to read style and I found it very entertaining with a sprinkling of his honey bee philosophy and personal mishaps. If you are looking for a "how to book" on beekeeping this is not exactly that sort of book. This book is the authors personal experiences about his desire to learn about and promote the honey bees, woven together with his professional work as a TV personality. If you are a beekeeper or have a passion for honey bees you will enjoy this convivial read. If you do not keep bees perhaps this book may encourage you to start!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Weinmeister on January 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting guy with significant knowledge and practical advice as well as a high profile job as a TV host in the UK. "Anchorman" meets Reverend Langstroth. More entertaining than informative, but useful practical information.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on November 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just received this book yesterday and have read half of it already. It's hilarious and somewhat educational. I'm not sure if non-beekeepers would appreciate the humor, but if you have bees, you will be laughing out loud! And I think most of us can empathize- having made at least a few of the same mistakes as the author!
Worth the cost, and a great gift for that beekeeper in the family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marianne on March 18, 2013
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Funny confessions. If you've ever kept bees it's easy to relate to what can possibly go wrong.
Witty. Lots of trivia presented in an easy to read format. Quirky but entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 22, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Kind of funny, talks about some mishaps he's made in beekeeping and that might help some, one section was totally about his dancing with the stars in Britain. I have no idea what that had to do with bees, and neither did he. Not a beekeeping manual.
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By Just me on April 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Written with self-depreciating humor; phrasing, and rhythm reminiscent of Douglas Adams. You will learn multiple lessons reading this edition. These lessons will stick with you because of the clever writing. You will also learn about Bill Turnbull in the process (kind of hard to avoid what with the self-depreciating humor). I am not yet a bee keeper, reading this book has fostered my interest in becoming a better bee keeper than Mr. Turnbull. We'll see if I can avoid some of the mayhem thanks to the many warnings in this book. An enjoyable read, makes retaining the lessons effortless. Thank you for sharing your experience, Bill Turnbull, you have inspired my family.
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