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Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees: Honey Production, Pollination, Bee Health (Storey's Guide to Raising) Paperback – September 18, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A detailed description of a bee’s life, the importance of hive location, the illustrated anatomy of a beehive, colony management, crop harvest, diseases and pests of honeybees, plus basic tips for beginners make for engrossing reading throughout Sanford and Bonney’s thorough guide. Whether beginners or longtime enthusiasts, readers will learn plenty of useful information from the section-by-section, step-by-step approach to this increasingly popular endeavor. The authors also offer an engaging section on the origin and history of beekeeping, complete with bee family tree and honeybee evolution. Along the way, readers will find reasonable warnings and possible solutions to the less-desirable components of beekeeping, ranging from heat to the unnerving section on multiple bee stings requiring renal dialysis, but the joy of hive management predominates. Line illustrations throughout and a glossary, resources, index, and pollination contract add to this in-depth overview. --Whitney Scott

About the Author

A beekeeper for over 13 years, author Richard E. Bonney owns Charlemont Apiaries in Charlemont, Massachusetts. He has authored two books, Hive Management and Beekeeping. Richard is a beekeeping teacher at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He was named the Massachusetts Extension Specialist-Apiculture in 1991 and writes regularly about beekeeping.



Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford is the Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida.  He has been published extensively in the apiculture press including the journals Bee Culture and American Bee Journal.  He has been the newsletter author for over twenty years at Ohio State University and the University of Florida, writing on beekeeping management.  He is the Coordinator of the Apis Information Resource Center and author of The Apis Newsletter.  He has been a beekeeping management consultant in Egypt, Italy, France, Chile, Ecuador, Iraq, and Mexico.  He lives in Florida.

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Product Details

  • Series: Storey's Guide to Raising
  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (September 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603425500
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603425506
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford is Professor Emeritus, retired Cooperative Extension Specialist in Apiculture, University of Florida. He is the author of the Apis Newsletter, the longest-running monthly organ of its kind, still being published at http://apis.shorturl.com

Educated at the University of Georgia in the art and science of keeping honey bees, Dr. Sanford worked first at The Ohio State University, later ending his career after 20 years at the University of Florida. During his career, he published numerous articles for The Speedy Bee, Bee Culture and American Bee Journal, including summaries of the majority of the annual conventions of the American Beekeeping Federation, as well as resumés of World Apicultural Congress meetings held in Acapulco, Mexico (1981); Budapest, Hungary (1983), and Rio de Janeiro (1989), Canada (1999), South Africa (2001), Australia (2007), and France (2009). Many of these can be found at the Apis Information Resource Center at http:beekeep.info, as well as series on genetically modified organisms, Brazilian apiculture, events relating to honey bees at the International Union of Social Insects (Russia), and Africanized honey bees in the Americas for the American Bee Journal.

Dr. Sanford has been frequently invited to international conferences, including the Caribbean (1992), Mexico (1993, 1998, 2004, 2005), Uruguay (1996), Brazil (1996, 2000, 2004 ) and France (1997). He also organized and hosted the international symposium on beekeeping extension and regulation for the 1999 Apimondia meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada and was a beekeeping consultant in Paraguay (1980), Ecuador (1980, 2000), Antigua (1986), Egypt (1992), Chile (2002), Iraq-Kurdistan (2004).

A former Peace Corps Volunteer (Ecuador; 1964-66), who speaks Spanish fluently, Dr. Sanford has training in Italian 1989 (six-month sabbatical in Bologna, Italy) and French 1997 (six-month sabbatical in Aix-en-Provence, France).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
University of Florida Extension Beekeeping Specialist Malcolm T. Sanford has combined his expertise with the late Richard E. Bonney's foundational "Beekeeping and Hive Management" instructional to create Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees, a straightforward introduction to the craft and art of keeping and managing beehives for honey. Although intended especially to help neophytes get up to speed, Storey's Guide to Keeping Honey Bees is solid and thorough enough to offer plenty of tips, tricks, and techniques that long-time veterans will appreciate. Chapters address the necessary preparatory steps (from researching local community laws about bees to acquiring and learning how to use protective equipment to keeping emergency remedies for bee stings on hand and more), how to install a colony (two colonies are recommended for beginners, in case one colony suffers disaster), prevent diseases, harvest honey crops, and much more. "In rural areas, ensure that livestock are not located nearby (some tend to use beehives as scratching posts). Horses are a particular problem. Their odor seems to offend bees, and when stinging starts, horses often react violently and can injure themselves."
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33 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Steven CL on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was a very poor representation of what beekeeping is actually like and in many cases he gives the worst possible solutions on how to fix common problems in the hives. An example of how useless this book is, is the question "how much honey should i leave on a hive during winter?" the author's response was "what do you think they need?" Many other problems are approached by either reasking the question or are just a new question in and of themselves. I would not even recommend this book to a novice as even simple tasks are not fully explained. Also the random quotes and filler are not only distracting but boring and uninformative. This book needs some serious revision or to be pulled off the shelves.

As a follow up to a comment left I recommend "the beekeeper a handbook" by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile, it's great for beginners but also has good information for mid level beekeepers too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JIMMY MAHURON on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
DR. SANFORD HAS DONE AN EXCELLENT JOB OF UPDATING THE STOREY'S GUIDE TO KEEPING BEES.
THE ILLUSTRATIONS ARE EXCELLENTLY DONE AND ALONG WITH THE TEXT EXPLAINS MANY IDEAS AND
CONCEPTS IN KEEPING HONEY BEES. DON'T LET A SOUR REVIEW DISCOURAGE YOU FROM PURCHASING
AND EXCELLENT BEE KEEPING MANUEL FOR NOVICE OR OLD HAND AT BEEKEEPING.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dexter on February 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I have been keeping bees for a couple of years. I started out by having someone put a hive in my yard and take me under his wing. After a year I got this book and am so glad I did. It is very straight forward and accessible. I believe it is more geared for the South and Southeast. It doesn't, for example, deal with how to protect one's hives from snow and harsh winters which are very rare here in Flordia. But as a basic text to go by, I have not found a better. It is a good blend of simple language and scientific knowledge. I have met Dr Sanford and have heard him in casual conversation. He exudes a love of bees and that love of bees and beekeeping comes through loud and clear.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By elizabeth on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a happy student of beekeeping. This book is a great source for the practical application of backyard beekeeping, easy and inviting to read, offers everyday advice for the seasons of keeping and the life of a colony. There are good recipes and hive management guidelines that can only have been written by someone who also loves beekeeping and has much experience. It is a sweeping book of all the glories of honeybees.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Isaac Gordon on June 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, don't expect to find a single book out there that will walk you through every single bee keeping process step by step. That said, this is certainly a valuable addition to your library of books on the topic.

One thing I did like is that the author recognizes that there are many different approaches to every aspect of keeping bees, and he does not say that one is right and the rest are wrong. He does make recommendations for the best approaches for beginners to use, but also recognizes that more experienced keepers may want to experiment.

This book does have lots of good pointers, especially for the beginner. Read it cover to cover, and you'll get a lot of good information.

Cons- when comparing keeping bees in the "north" vs the "south," the author is comparing bee keeping in USDA hardiness zone 6 to zone 7. I keep bees in zone 3, so by comparison, zone 6 is pretty mild. Information on keeping bees in places that are actually cold, like zone 3, and actually hot, like zone 8 or 9, should have been included.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By maggs on March 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was interested in beekeeping and I had been reading online information as well as the state I live in's bee keepers assoc. So when I saw the storey's guide I figured it would be a great resource to see if I'd be able to do this. So far the information is great. It definitely will let you know if this is something you might be interested in on your own. It's also great for folks who are just interested in knowing more about the whole process and what has been happening with our bee's. It's a really fascinating read. For a complete novice like myself this has a huge amount of information. I never knew all that goes into keeping these amazing little creatures. Even if I don't keep bee's I'm am so glad I read this book. Although I am leaning towards setting up my own hives, since I do know what goes into it now.
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