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August 16, 2011

Book Review: Keeping Bees

I've just had a look at a new book called "Keeping Bees", by Pam Gregory and Claire Waring (the book is part of Flame Tree Publishing's Green Guides series). Claire Waring was a contributing writer to The Beekeeper's Bible, which I read and thoroughly enjoyed last summer.


At first glance, the book appears to be very simplistic, with lots of photos and the text broken down into easily readable snippits. But, while it is clearly aimed at the rookie beekeeper, the book is in-depth and comprehensive, covering a wide range of topics, and is the perfect resource for someone just starting out. The photos are beautiful as well as educational, and the simple format makes the wealth of information easy to digest. Especially helpful are the summaries at the end of each chapter which highlight the most important points.

What I liked most about Keeping Bees was the relaxed, supportive tone. The authors never seem to take the stance that there's only one way to do things, and they actually encourage us to get information from a wide range of sources. They even provide an extensive resource list for those wishing to do further research, which is very useful, because as the authors point out, "There is a wealth of information about beekeeping. Unfortunately it ranges from the bonkers to the old-fashioned with all shades of helpful between these extremes, and it is very hard for the new beekeeper to unravel what is useful".

Keeping Bees takes a somewhat intimidating subject matter and makes it very accessible to the novice beekeeper. I can see myself drawing from it heavily when we finally make the jump into "bee farming".

For more information on Flame Tree Publishing and their books (I see that they have a Keeping Chickens guide as well!), check them out on Facebook and Twitter (@flametreetweet).

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