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The Beekeeper's Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses Hardcover – April 1, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 258 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard A. Jones is a writer, ecologist, and high-profile UK expert on insects, and is a contributor and scientific advisor to BBC Wildlife Magazine and New Scientist

Sharon Sweeney-Lynch is a freelance writer for the Guardian, the Independent, the Times Higher Education Supplement, and various consumer magazines.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; First Thus edition (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584799188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584799184
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.8 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is probably the 8th book on Beekeeping that I've either purchased or borrowoed; and I love it!

It truly is a tome; it's about 2.5 inches thick, heavy as a brick, and is chock full of endless information. I will admit that I haven't read it cover-to-cover; instead, I've enjoyed going to the Table of Contents, choosing the topic I wanted to read, and flipping through to read the information. Since that's how I use it, I can tell you with certainty that it's organized well. Whether it is bees in mythology, honey and bee products, recipes, or practical beekeeping, what you're looking for is easy to find and well laid-out. It is really thoughtfully organized once you're bee-deep in the chapters as well.

The photos are fantastic...a queen hatching?! Incredible! I especially loved the several pages illustrating seasonal blooming plants for bees (helpful for this former city girl that can't identify a palm tree from a maple!). That helped me identify a late-season pollen source for one of my hives. There are also photos of various shades of honey, charts that describe the various honeys' country of origin, name, color, flavor, etc. Each type of honeybee is illustrated and has its own page, dedicated to its traits, geographical origins, behavior patterns and more. It sounds academic in a review, but in this book, it's captivating!

I would recommend this book for anyone from a "newbee" to an experienced beekeeper, to anyone interested in cooking with and making cosmetics with honey. Even if you don't keep bees, but just love them, it's an excellent read.

My one and only gripe? It's printed and bound in China. BOO.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My husband and I were lucky enough to capture and hive a swarm this spring, launching us unexpectedly into beekeeping. My sister has kept bees, and we'd always thought of doing it, but to "bee" (sorry, I have a problem with bee puns) thrust into it so suddenly meant we had a lot to learn, and very fast.

We immediately started learning all we could about beekeeping and how to keep our bees happy and healthy. We rented all the books we could find on bees (yes, even children's books) from our library. When we finally rented The Beekeeper's Bible, however, we knew we had found something special. We knew we couldn't just read this one, and return it to the library. Oh no, this one had to become a part of our own library. We bought it right away.

I'll start with the superficial: this book is beautiful. The cover is old fashioned, delightful, and charming artwork. This is no lightweight, either. When they call this book a "bible", it's because it literally is bible-sized. Heavy, thick, complete. It would do some serious damage if you threw this book at someone! Inside the covers, it's just as impressive. The pages are glossy, color printed with photos and images on nearly every page. Those who like their picture books will love this one, but there is plenty of literature here to give you quite the education.

That's where I'll go next, the information. This book is rich and complete on all things bees, truly a wealth of information. From the history of beekeeping, to the breeds, styles of hives, and a million other things to learn to the honey recipes, crafts, and then some. This thick book is chock full of information.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book on beekeeping and a hefty tome that's a pleasure to hold. Full of informative history, great photography, heavy paper stock, quality binding, and rife with a fairly complete overview of standard practice beekeeping methodology of the last 50+ years. And therein lays the problem.

There is virtually no mention at all of top bar hives or the growing interest in balanced and natural beekeeping methods aimed at encouraging self-sustaining hives. Given the current state of affairs in the beekeeping world, this is a somewhat unforgivable oversight for a book with a publish date as recent at 2011.

Instead what we have is a book that focuses almost entirely on the highly interventionist beekeeping methods developed by commercial beekeepers over the last 50 to 100 years. Methods which many beekeepers are now beginning to suspect are contributing to the diminished capacity of bees to be naturally self-sustaining in the absence of persistent human interventions. They are the methods established, and now sadly accepted as standard practice, by production-focused commercial beekeepers and oriented toward a single purpose.....high honey yields. This means intensive "management" of the bees inhibiting any number of natural behaviors to induce greater honey production. They include routine refined sugar feedings, application and use of synthetic and highly potent medications to control pests and viruses, queen manipulation including artificial insemination & frequent replacement, drone and swarm suppression by the excision of drone and queen cells (or by colony splitting).
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