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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: #82,725 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 kinigit on February 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is good and provides good general information. It is relatively comprehensive in terms of what it covers. That said this book is lacking in the same sense as many other beginners books. The book recommends that new beekeepers use only Langstroth initially. While this is understandable from the perspective that most beekeepers do this and equipment is readily available, many sources implicate poor Langstroth practices for some of the problems being experienced by bees today. Fortunately this book is a bit redeemed in that it has at least a couple of pages dedicated to the use of top bar hives.

The primary author of this book is in my area and is a university researcher. I have had the opportunity to hear him speak and he has a lot of experience with bees. However I felt that the book in some ways advocated for the use of chemicals in treating the hive for pests as a part of Integrated Pest Management, requeening at signs of trouble, and marking/clipping queens. I tend to believe that the use of chemicals will continue to foster resilience of the pests because invariably some users will not exactly follow required protocols and some pests will not be killed allowing for evolution and adaptation to chemicals. This is no different than the spread of MRSA and C-Dif in hospital settings caused by the over use of antibiotics. I was very happy to see that there was some discussion of the breeding of queens for varroa resistance. It will be a grand day when this threat can be largely ignored by beekeepers. However, the discussion of requeening, clipping, and marking queens are practices of old that have no place in modern humane beekeeping. They are convenient for the beekeeper not the bees.

Finally, this was the second book I read on beekeeping.
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