Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Beginner's Guide to Beekeeping

The Beginner's Guide to Beekeeping is a revised and updated manual for beekeeping from Daniel and Samantha Johnson and the FFA. Originally published in 2013, this edition was released 8th Jan 2019 by Quarto on their Voyageur Press imprint. It's 160 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats.

This book is aimed at the inexperienced beekeeper. The authors presuppose no forehand experience or knowledge on the part of the reader. All of the terms and materials are explained in clear and accessible language. The introduction (about 5% of the content) is followed by a chapter on bee anatomy, identifying the different bees (worker, drone, queen), life cycle, etc.

Beekeepers wouldn't get very far without bees and hives. The second chapter deals with sourcing bees and hives as well as some building plans. The authors have included a really solid tutorial for a basic (off-grid) honey-house which is pole-built and could also be adapted to other uses.

The book progresses through installing the first bees and routine care and maintenance. A chapter on troubleshooting and disease diagnosis and prevention completes the introduction to bee husbandry. There is also a good discussion on harvesting and marketing honey and bee-products. The book ends with a short discussion of fun side activities for the beekeeper such as state fair competitions, varietal honey tastings, and gardening with bees.  There are a number of recipes included which incorporate honey.

A good and simple guide. It would make a good textbook for an introductory course, school library, community centre activity or community garden library.

Four stars.  

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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