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Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Nine years ago, from her home in Connecticut, Marchese, then a creative director for a giftware company, became a beekeeper and honey entrepreneur. In this engaging, delightfully informative work, she recounts how visits to the apiaries of the neighboring community's Back Yard Beekeepers overcame her initial trepidation of bees as she learned about the industry and craftsmanship of these insects and became bowled over by the taste of fresh honey. Step by step she explains how she got started as a beekeeper, from studying bee anatomy and hive organization, to ordering equipment online such as her Langstroth hive, a smoker (to calm the bees while working) and protective clothing. She had to learn to pour her three pounds of live Italian honeybees into the hive (the first time she got stung six times), while carefully introducing the all-powerful queen. Marchese is fascinated by the marvels of bee behavior—pollen foraging, dances, swarming—and imparts as well a goodly bit of bee history. She offers plenty of her own honey-beeswax concoctions, both edible and cosmetic, with excellent appendixes on the varietals of honey. (Sept.)
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Top Customer Reviews
Not informative. There are many other much better books for beginning beekeepers (and many of them are cheaper, too). I concur with reviewers that liken the books information sections to a high school research paper.
Not entertaining. I wanted a memoir of the author's first year or so of keeping bees. There's very little of that, and what there is, is not very interesting.
Offensive. All of her recipes specify using HER BRAND of honey. There's nothing special about her honey, except to her. This book feels like a thinly veiled advertisement for her product, and, having paid more than twelve dollars for the Kindle book, I'm pretty well offended by her insistence that I buy her honey, too.
I expected the book to be more like the excellent, though obscure _Beeing: Life, Motherhood, and 180,000 Honeybees_ by Rosanne Daryl Thomas which I read a few years ago and absolutely loved (5 stars), but this book was not nearly so inspiring. If you liked this book, please find a copy of _Beeing_ as it is a much better book in this genre. If you want a better book on the different types of honey in the world, I recommend _The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees_ by Grace Pundyk which is a fascinating travel tale sampling the honeys of the world and where they come from with many more details than this book.
The book is written to sell honey and promote Ms. Marchese's which is obvious from the prominent Red Bee Honey notation on the front cover, but hey that's why people write books.
Ms. Marchese writes a good story and is accurate for most of the basics and history. Just skip the last few chapters of snake oil.
The author tells the story of her journey into bee keeping in such a warm and friendly manner that it's impossible not to be drawn into the story within the first few pages. Although this is not the standard how-to book on bee keeping,New comers to the hobby will gain a lot of insights into the workings of a honey bee colony as well as enjoy the recipes scattered throughout the book to try with your own or market purchased honey.
I've kept bees for many years and the author's triumphs as well as her mistakes during the early learning process brought back fond memories of trying to fathom the workings of my first colony and has renewed my appreciation for these hard working little creatures.
If you're a beginning or lifelong bee keeper or are just interested in how that jar of honey gets to your table,This is a must read book that you'll be glad you picked up.