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The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally Hardcover – June 16, 2011


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The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally + The Beekeeper's Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses + The Beekeeper's Handbook
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 674 pages
  • Publisher: X-STAR PUBLISHING COMPANY (June 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1614760640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1614760641
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I feel like G.M. Doolittle when he said he had already offered all of what he had to say for free in the bee journals and yet people kept asking for a book. I have virtually all of this on my website and have posted all of it many times on the bee forums. But many people have asked for a book. There is a little new here, and most of it is available for free already on my web site. But many of us understand the transient nature of the medium of the web and want a solid book on our shelf. I feel the same. So here is the book that you could already have read for free but you can hold it in your hands and put it on the shelf and know you have it.

I've done a lot of presentations and a few have been posted on the web. If you have an interest in hearing some of this presented by me try a web search for videos for "Michael Bush beekeeping" or other topics such as "queen rearing".

About the Author

Michael Bush has had an eclectic set of careers from printing and graphic arts, to construction to computer programming and a few more in between. Currently he is working in computers. He has been keeping bees since the mid 70's, usually from two to seven hives up until the year 2000. Varroa forced more experimentation which required more hives and the number has grown steadily over the years from then. By 2008 it was about 200 hives. He is active on many of the Beekeeping forums with last count at about 45,000 posts between all of them.

"His writing is like his talks, with more content, detail, and depth than one would think possible with such few words...his website and PowerPoint presentations are the gold standard for diverse and common sense beekeeping practices."--Dean Stiglitz

More About the Author

Michael Bush is one of the leading proponents of treatment free beekeeping. He has been keeping bees since the mid 70's, usually from two to seven hives up until the year 2000. Varroa forced more experimentation which required more hives and the number has grown steadily over the years from then. By 2008 it was about 200 hives. He is active on many of the Beekeeping forums with last count at more than 50,000 posts between all of them. He has had an eclectic set of careers from printing and graphic arts, to construction to computer programming and a few more in between. Currently he is working in computers. He has a web site on beekeeping at www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

"His writing is like his talks, with more content, detail, and depth than one would think possible with such few words...his website and PowerPoint presentations are the gold standard for diverse and common sense beekeeping practices."--Dean Stiglitz

Customer Reviews

Easy read, very informative.
Rick Normand
Good job on the book Michael, I will definitely recommend this book to all of my beekeeping friends.
NVBeek
Good book though, enjoyed reading it and will take some recommendations to heart.
Gary Feduccia

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By NVBeek on September 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have visited Michael Bush's website for quite some time and was excited when I heard that he was writing a book. Michael will tell you that you can get the same info for free from his website, which you can. I was not sure about paying $49 for a book, but after reading it the last two days I can say that it is definitely worth the money. I am a relatively new beekeeper, my first hives died even while treating them for disease. I decided that this time I would try a different approach. Michael's book offers different views and practices on beekeeping. I like the way he approaches beekeeping. I plan on running a few hives in the more traditional manner at a friend's house and use Michael's ideas on my 6 hives at my house. I am excited to put his ideas and writings into action at my place. I already started making notes on the inner cover of the book to reference. The book is well written with a ton of info. My only complaint is the quality of the pictures. Some color pictures would have been nice, but then again I can go to his website and look up whatever pics I need to see. Good job on the book Michael, I will definitely recommend this book to all of my beekeeping friends.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lonna Manthe on August 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I recommend this book to anyone seeking a common sense approach to beekeeping. Written with easy to understand language suitable for experienced and new beekeepers. Especially appreciated by this reader are the methods used for those of us with backs no longer able to heft 60 lb (plus) boxes. This is a book that all beekeepers should consider adding to their librairy, especially if interested in keeping bees as natually as possible.

Thomas and Lonna Manthe
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42 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Solomon Parker on July 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's finally here. Michael Bush has crafted and molded the information on his website into book form. I was fortunate enough to help him proof-read it a bit and got to read the first copy at his home in Nebraska. Over the years, Mike has collected an astounding amount of information. His decades of experience have given us younger beekeepers the benefit of not having to try everything for ourselves. And Mike HAS tried just about everything. Visiting his place, I was in wonder to see all sorts of beekeeping contraptions and equipment that I had never seen before.

More than all that, Mr. Bush is one of the leading and most visible proponents of treatment-free beekeeping. He shows how to keep bees without toxic chemicals, pesticides, and anti-biotics. He has years and many tens of thousands of posts under his belt in any and every online beekeeping forum. He has proven his willingness to help anyone who asks.

If you are a beekeeper or want to become one, you should not be without this book.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Homesteader on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book gets five stars for content, but three stars for format, so I settled on four. Let me complain first:

* The book has no index. Even though it's over 600 pages long, lack of an index wouldn't be so much of a problem if the tome wasn't split up into three books, with the same information presented in different levels of intricacy in all three sections. Meanwhile, the table of contents is *too* in depth. So, to find information a certain topic, I have to read the forty page table of contents, and then flip to three different parts of the book. I think I'll probably be making a quick index for myself on the inside of the back cover.

* The book is too long. I'm not saying I would have left out any of the information (well, not much of it), but I would have reduced the font to a more normal print size and at least cut out the sections where paragraphs were repeated, word for word, in different sections.

* The book meanders a lot. I understand wanting to have a "beginner" section at the beginning of the book, but I think that The Practical Beekeeper needs to embrace what it really is --- an in depth guide for the intermediate to advanced beekeeper. If all of the information on foundationless frames, for example, were in the same part of the book, it would be much, much easier to read.

Complaints aside, the book was well worth the price tag. I've been perusing Michael Bush's website for years, and am thrilled to have all of the information in book form so that I can peruse it at my leisure. His book begins where most beekeeping books stop, answering all of the questions you come up with after raising bees for a year or two. Meanwhile, Bush proves that you really can raise bees without chemicals! Although less polished, The Practical Beekeeper is a better choice than Natural Beekeeping for those of us wanting to raise bees as naturally as possible.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By April M. Love on December 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
2011 was my third spring as a beekeeper. Although he may not know it directly, I adopted Michael Bush as a beekeeping mentor.

The first class I took in beginning beekeeping, spring of 2009, taught by the then Utah State Apiarist, had me so frazzled, worried about diseases (nosema and American foul brood), pests (varroa and tracheal mites), and more (Yikes!), that I spent most of my first year worrying about my "livestock" ladies, the bees. I think I pestered Michael Bush quite a bit via email as well, but he patiently answered my questions with down-to-earth advice. For the first month, I was too afraid to even open up my first 10-frame deep colony I purchased as a complete "beehive kit" from one of the local beekeeping suppliers.

In any case, now I have this book that is one of the best to add to your beekeeper's arsenal of reference texts. It answers just about any question you may have with Michael's long-time experience with the bees. The big message that I've learned is that the bees have minds of their own, and don't follow human rules, and sometimes it seems that they know our "rules" and are contrarian enough to do exactly the opposite of what we would expect. They will do what they will do. What the best beekeeper can do is to keep up with the hive-colony, pay attention to swarm control in the spring, monitor their activity, but don't bother them too much by opening their hive too often. What Michael Bush's book will give you is confidence as you pay attention to what the hive has to tell you. AND he recommends a minimal or no treatments that interfere with the natural aspect of honey bee livestock culture.

Michael Bush's concept of "Lazy Beekeeping" is what really kept me going.
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