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Bees: (CW 351) Paperback – June 1, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

About the Author

Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.



David Adams holds a Ph.D in art history education and has taught art history at state universities and art schools for eight years. He has written numerous published articles, essays, and art exhibition booklets. He is currently an adjunct faculty in art history at Sierra College, director of the Center for Architecture & Design Research, and a freelance writer and editor.

Gunther Hauk has been a beekeeper for more than thirty years. His is cofounder and director of Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary) in Floyd, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He has been a Waldorf school teacher of languages, religion, and gardening for twenty-two years and is a cofounder and the program director of The Pfeiffer Center. He was also a faculty member at Sunbridge College from 1996 to 2007. He is the author of Toward Saving the Honeybee (2002).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: SteinerBooks; Revised ed. edition (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880104570
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880104579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Little on September 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
When I read this book I was astonished that he wrote with such empathy for the bees. He also explains why the bees are disappearing and predicted there decline over a hundred years ago. He explained the benifits of formic acid and the connection of the bees, wasps and ants to our lives and the life of plants. He considers these animals as emotional and feeling and writes for all of them as such.
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Format: Paperback
If what you are looking for is an esoteric and, at times, biological/ecological insight into the realm of Bees, this book is perhaps the most comprehensive. I am aware of other books that also cover some of this material, although the authors are reiterating the late Steiner's work in their own words. One example, which I have not read, is Wisdom of the Bees. "Bees" by Rudolf Steiner may be the only book of its kind. At least it is the only one I am aware of in English.

It may be helpful to note that Steiner is not one to stick to a single train of thought or specialisation in his lectures. Exploring the subject of bees takes him and you, the reader, into a wide range of subjects pertaining to nature, insects, and human beings (mostly from an esoteric perspective). Reading this book you will be learning about far more than only bees.

I would describe the information in this book as high level info, rather than being pragmatic and instructional. As a few other reviewers have pointed out, if you are looking for instruction into natural or alternative methods of bee keeping this book will not be directly useful. You may like to check out Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture. If you simply want instruction on bee keeping in general (not necessarily "natural" approaches)
...Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
You can read this book online for free at the web address [...]
It is a somewhat difficult but very sweet book.
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Format: Paperback
Yes, this book is about bees. Yes, this book is more than just bees. If you are looking for detailed instructions on how to keep bees, perhaps another book would be more helpful. If you want to UNDERSTAND bees, read this book!
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Format: Paperback
I got this book from the local library and found it very entertaining as well as thought provoking. I should say, in the spirit of disclosure, that I am a beekeeper and I make and sell honey. This book offers a philosophy of life and gives readers an inside view of how nature is constructed in so meticulous and perfect a way. I think that Steiner may have wanted readers to consider the ways of bees as a possible model for human behavior, how we could each be happy in our own role, and work to our fullest potential, according to the program that lies inside of each of us.

This is not an easy read but well worth the time. If you love bees, get this book please.
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I agree with both 5 star and the 1 star reviewer: If you are looking for a book with practical information on non-industrial or organic beekeeping, Ross Conrad's "Natural Beekeeping" is your book, not this one. Steiner is a fascinating character and this book is basically a transcription of some chalkboard lectures he gave on bee ecology. Some of it seems pretty stream-of-consciousness and out there; I felt like I was reading the remarks of a "wild man" who'd come down off the mountain to describe some of his trippy insights into bees. For example, he discusses a sort of astrological connection between worker bees and the Sun, whose 21-day larval gestation correlates with the 21-day rotational period of the sun. However, the queen bee is supposedly fertile due to sun influence, although she gestates for only 16 days, and drones, who gestate over 22-24 days, are fertile due to earth influence. I don't really follow the logic here at all. It's mystical, and that's fine, but it's not really biology or science and for those of us who use a scientific framework (at least some of the time) that's a bit of a stumbling block. Steiner's critique of industrial beekeeping techniques leading eventually to population declines turned out to be spot-on and very accurate 100 years in advance, so he was right, although I can't tell from his reasoning how he knew. So, the book has merit, but NOT as a practical handbook on organic beekeeping.
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Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in bees or is considering beekeeping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With astounding accuracy, Steiner predicted the Bee crises of today (see Time cover story Aug’2013) in 1923.
This book is a collection of lectures given in 1923 in which Steiner pin points the cause for this crises (and it’s not what you think).
Because of his ability to see the spirit part of living organisms and his scientific approach to his subject, he could give details in these lectures concerning the workings of life’s mechanisms that are still today beyond the range of physical scientist.
A must read for any serious student of ecology.
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