Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
The Beekeeper's Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses Hardcover – April 1, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
About the Author
Sharon Sweeney-Lynch is a freelance writer for the Guardian, the Independent, the Times Higher Education Supplement, and various consumer magazines.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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). They are methods which are increasingly becoming associated with fumigants, antibiotics, chemical repellents, plastic parts, artificially contrived cell structures, expensive specialty equipment, corn sugar and soy based "feeds", and frequent seasonal hive replenishment via an increasingly precarious mail-order-bee industry in which bees are transported from distant geographic locations.
Sadly, there is virtually no mention of any of the newer (older actually) beekeeping practices which are gaining favor and showing at least the promise of greater self-sustainability in recent years. These new methods are less equipment dependent and based on a different ethos with bee welfare and hive self-sustainability as the primary goals. The harvesting of hive "products" run a distant second and are regarded as only a fortunate, but not guaranteed, byproduct. It's an approach to beekeeping that seeks to facilitate, rather than inhibit and retard, the natural inclination of the bees, involves a highly restrained harvesting of hive products, and seeks minimal dependence if not complete independence from potent synthetic chemical treatments. Priority one is the natural viability of the bees and the establishment of hives that do not require frequent and persistent human intervention. If that means less honey then so be it.
As beautiful as the book is (and it is) it's a bit like reading a book that touts itself as the definitive "Bible" on forest & land management which ONLY discusses the practice of industrial clear cutting while completely ignoring selective harvesting, dispersed cut blocks, longer green up periods, and any number of increasingly accepted forest management practices aimed at improved sustainability.
Sadly this is all too common. All to often even backyard beekeepers are taught to ape the practices of high yield, commercially oriented beekeepers even though they may have radically different goals and objectives in mind. And in any event, consider where those commercial practices have brought the bees. Wild populations all but gone and commercial populations all but halved in the last 30-40 years. Yes, external factors such as mites and other disease play a part here, but these too are the result of non-native pests being introduced into non-resistant populations as the result of heavy commercial trafficking of bees across otherwise natural boundaries.
I'd have loved to give this beautiful book 5 stars but any "Bible" on beekeeping has to include these now pressing considerations and at least minimally recognize that when one finds oneself in a hole....it's time to stop digging. Same practices beget same results. New ideas, and new methods based on new priorities exist and should be given at least some small amount of coverage.
Perhaps in the second edition......provided there are still bees to keep.
For a complete newbie, he still recommends Beekeeping for Dummies - very informative read, you'll learn the essentials in this step-by-step how-to.
Fifty Years Among the Bees -also a good read.
The history section was very interesting.
The practical application section is useful for getting ideas and for feeling like you're on the right track. It's nice to get a lot of different perspectives. Among other things, it goes into great detail on what plants produce what kind of honey, and when these plants bloom. On occasion, however, you would have to look somewhere else to get a more in-depth explanation on how to do something. Example: they mention what creamed honey is, but not a practical guide on how to make it.
I'm not sure what I was expecting from the recipe section, but the recipe section was underwhelming. Maybe I will warm up to it once the summer is in full swing and we have some fresh honey to use.
In all, I really like this book. It's an excellent resource. It lost a star because I feel it could have gone into more detail in many instances.
Everything, literally, everything you might need to know as a beekeeper is in this book. That aside, it is a beautiful piece of literature. It has a weight and feel that matches its content.
This book, by far, taught me more than any other resource on beekeeping. And, it was enjoyable to read.