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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping Paperback – May 4, 2010
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"When we learn to live by creating a better world rather than using up the one we have, keeping bees without treatments will be easy. Until that time, methods like those that Dean and Laurie describe are necessary, and worth every bit of struggle. It's the best way."
-Kirk Webster, Vermont Beekeeper
About the Author
Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer are both expert beekeepers and the owners of Golden Rule Honey, LLC. They run beekeeping conferences and write for beekeeping magazines and other industry journals.
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This book leans strongly in the direction of an "all natural" approach and gives some good reasoning for that, where as the dummies guide is a traditional "treat it this way when disease x shows up," and almost alway with chemicals (though more natural approaches are referenced).
As a new bee keeper (me) you won't go wrong with either. The dummies guide give a little better equipment description and has photos of common problems which is nice. They are cheap, so just get both. You'll see two sides of a somewhat controversial issue in beekeeping (treat vs no treat).
When a couple of pictures or simple illustrations would have done a much BETTER job.
So OK, but NOT great.
The authors help you see how doing bees without chemicals and other treatments is better for the bees as well as everything else!
I was amazed to learn things like the fact that bees were hybridized a long time ago to be bigger than normal, and that this is what has led to their demise, since the varroa mite gained an advantage due to the increased larval size, and since their muscles can't accommodate their larger size well. Bees are an example of things in nature that shouldn't be messed with by humans.
I'm not sure that this book is aimed at the complete idiot, but it is easy to read and full of important information that supplements the typical beekeeping book that's recommended by most beekeepers.
One chapter in the book, "Managing for long-term success," sums up why this book is different. For those of us who know that putting apistan and terramyacin in hives is just wrong and no longer effective, this book provides an entire management program (many different methods) for keeping bees naturally.
With so many ecosystems, (fisheries, forests, pollinators), crashing or becoming extinct, it's time that we start saving our planet's natural systems so that we might survive as a species. A school child asked a biologist when on a field trip, "What is your favorite endangered species?," and the biologist answered, "human beings."
This is a comprehensive guide for beekeepers who want to have good information about the various practices which allow *sensible* and *thoughtful* beekeeping in an age where solid solutions are required. Get this book and start thinking for yourself about what makes sense for your bees, then implement those methods and start becoming part of the new chemical-free beekeepers. After my first year, I abandoned the use of chemicals and have always felt it was my wisest move in beekeeping. This book provides an overview and methods for being successful without chemicals.
Make your beekeeping healthy - this book helps you get there!