Specialist and publisher of apicultural literature
Jo Widdicombe, B.Sc. (Hons.) Environmental Science, has been beekeeping for over 30 years and has been a member of BIBBA for more than 25 years, serving on the BIBBA Committee. Jo worked as a Seasonal Bee Inspector for 5 years and is a Bee Farmer in Cornwall running over 100 colonies. ”The Principles of Bee Improvement” offers a practical approach and is an attempt to lay down guidelines which are true and applicable to beekeepers in any circumstance. Rather than searching the country, or the world, for the perfect bee to breed from, this book explains how to select and improve bees from the local bee population. It discusses the problems of importation, the use of natural and artificial selection, assessment of colonies and selection within a strain. By following these methods, the standards of our bees can be raised, producing gentle, hardy and productive bees.
“Bee Keeping with ZEST” by Bill Summers This is a book like no other on the subject of honey bees. It addresses the author’s belief and that of his colleague (Dave Durrant) that the welfare of honey bees in a traditional hive fails to provide for their needs as biological systems. This realisation led to the design of the ZEST hive which does do so. It deploys a longitudinal external envelope, with top bee entry and trickle ventilation, made from lightweight insulated building blocks and plastic lattice frames within which the bees draw out their wild honeycomb. The former is DIY from builders merchants and the latter available in boxes of 12. The external envelope is not just a lightweight insulated one, but is sufficiently heavy to provide the bees with a thermal lag of an envelope that is easily thermo-regulated to 35deg, the fundamental requirement of their brood. From the honey bee perspective the ZEST hive overcomes all the problems of other hive designs and frame types. An unintended consequence of the ZEST hive design has been to eliminate varroa. The ZEST is functionally free of it. This is witnessed by the hive debris. The cause seems to be the smaller natural cell size and natural warmth of the hive envelope, both of which speed the biological process of honey bee pupation. The time available for the varroa to mature in the pupating cells is reduced. Their numbers fall to zero rather than rises exponentially. This book and its thesis will prove to be seminal in the drive to solve the problems of honey bee health in all its aspects and manifestations. There has been a recent doubling of beekeepers in the country caused by the ecologically minded seeking to assist honey bees in a better environment. This can be applauded. This book is to assist them and their bees. The ZEST hive is democratic. Anyone can have one. It is cheap, appropriate and amenable to a more self-sufficient way of life. It is a living sustainable system, not a product. It can be entirely D.I.Y. No one owns it. It can be free. Take it. Use it. Have fun. The ZEST hive does a great deal more with a great deal less.
Ron Brown O.B.E. has been keeping bees in Britain and in Africa for forty years. Apart from Beeswax, he is the author of Beekeeping, a seasonal guide; Honey Bees – a guide to management and 1000 years of Devon Beekeeping. His last book All around the Compass is an account of his wartime experience in Coastal Command. This book was originally a series of articles in the monthly Devon journal Beekeeping, but they have been enlarged and expanded for this book. It should appeal to beekeeping historians, journalists, biologists and book collectors as well as all beekeepers with an investigative mind who will find many answers to their queries in these pages.
This is a collection of articles, written by Ron Brown for The Beekeepers Quarterly. He had an extensive experience of beekeeping abroad as well as in the UK and published some of the best books on practical beekeeping for beekeepers of all abilities. His writings in the BKQ are full of wisdom and great knowledge.
A reprint of the 1803 edition of Jacob Isaac’s classic book about the Western Apiarian Society. The book was written for its members and favours the Remunerator Preserver hive, so that members did not have to kill off their bees at the end of the season. It also illustrates a skip bee house. This is a luxury edition, hardback, green marbled end papers, gold blocking on spine and front. Specially designed by John Kinross, printed by Print Plus, Hereford and bound by Ludlow Bookbinders.
Melinda’s Bee-hive is a collection of 8 episodes in two Volumes, describing the life of a worker honey bee called Melinda over the course of a typical year. The first 4 episodes in Volume 1 combine facts with imaginative rhyming poetry letting you into the mysterious world of honey bees and their importance to your lives today. These episodes are written and illustrated for children of reading age and parents can read them aloud to their younger children who will find that the illustrations help to explain the verses. Children will be fascinated to understand the daily tasks for honey bees both inside and outside their hive, their enemies and pests and diseases that cause them harm. Packed with fact-based background information on aspects of honey bees, these poems help your knowledge of these intriguing insects to grow and offer the opportunity for you to actively contribute to their conservation by understanding the needs of pollen-collecting insects in terms of flowers and how they impact on your lives in terms of pollination of fruiting plants and trees and, most excitingly, the production of delicious honey for your breakfast toast!
Although written in the 1980s Ted Hooper’s manuscript for the Beginner’s Bee Book was lost for over twenty years before being rediscovered a short time before his death. The book has been revised and updated by Clive de Bruyn and Margaret Thomas to bring it up to date taking account of developments in equipment and disease. Although entitled Beginner’s Bee Baale, which was Ted Hooper’s own title for the book, it is perhaps better suited to beginners with a bit of knowledge. Intermediate beekeepers will also find much of use here.
Explores the bees’ place in human society from prehistoric cave paintings and inscribed clay tablets through to our contemporary world. A volume to be read at leisure, each chapter to be savoured as if it was a fine wine. Published at £30 but £22.70 from Northern Bee Books.
The three generations of the Jefferson family, widely known for their famous production of Heather Honey, base their beekeeping on an annual cycle of activities leading up to the anticipation of two weeks decent August weather. Tony fully describes their methods and this small volume is an investment for those who wish to produce this premium quality honey.
Is there a funny side to beekeeping? Most literature on the subject wags a solemn finger and instructs. Molony’s articles aren’t like that. They’re about various interventions in his beekeeping life – by his wife, by other people who garden near his bees; by being a village beekeeper at the behest of all and sundry. And they’re about being by the sea. Keeping his hives on an allotment that looks out across Lyme Bay brings out its own angle on beekeeping. Having a wife with her own views on bees produces another angle. Notes from a Clifftop Apiary is a light-hearted portrait of beekeeping up against other pressures of the real world: on the one side there’s the sea, on the other there are people. It makes a colourful mix.
This volume is a guide for new beekeepers and for all beekeepers who have acquired the increasingly popular Warré and Top Bar Hives and anyone who wishes to stop the use of chemicals in their beekeeping. It gives practical guidance, with clear instructions, line drawings, and photographs.
Joe is a retired systems engineer and has kept bees for over 30 years in the counties of Hampshire and Somerset. In retirement he has acted as a volunteer gardener for the National Trust at Stourhead but now spends his time propagating a strain of varroa-tolerant hygienic bees with fellow members of the Somerset Beekeeping Association.
Popular lecturer and Bee Culture author Dr. Larry Connor examines essential aspects of making new bee colonies, from swarms or packages, purchased hives or nuclei. He looks at the impact of modern life on beekeeping, and the changes every beekeeper faced in light of Varroa mites and African bees. He suggests that for many beekeepers, the option of wintering nucleus colonies provides a source of fresh bees locally acclimatised queens, replacement hives, colonies for sale. Drawing on the concepts of Lanstroth, Doolitle and Brother Adam, the author distills his unique academic and commercial experience with bees, beekeeping, queen rearing and colony management into a concise and thought-provoking book.
The second edition adds more methods of making increase colonies and includes recent developments in the science of bees biology. The second edition is larger than its predecessor and in full colour.
‘In this year of commemoration of the First World War this book gives us a timely insight into how great events affect people in all walks of life and I commend it to you. It will by turn sadden and amuse you, inform and even irritate you but for us as beekeepers, to read about our craft is to understand it better.’ (Nottingham Beekeepers Newsletter Sep 2014)
A Pictorial history of Honey Bee Smokers in the United States. The author retired from the Texas A & M University in 2013. He was with the University System for 44 years of which for 36 years was the Chief Apiary Inspector for the state of Texas. During this period of time, his agency regulated the movement of honey bees and/or equipment, packaged bees, queens and other bee items throughout the United States and foreign countries. Since 1976, he has been collecting antique, foreign and regular smokers. His collection is viewed by many beekeepers as one of the best in the United States. He began collecting antique smokers due to his concern for maintaining the heritage of beekeeping in this country. He has written this book because of his desire to share his collection with those interested in the history, and the romance, of the beekeeping industry.
There are many fine books on Queen rearing which assume quite a degree of skill, Ben introduces ways of overcoming aspects of the processes that some find daunting. It covers, in a clear and simple fashion, grafting, queen cell initiation, stocking a mini nuc and requeening without finding the queen. As such it should prove invaluable to the small scale Queen rearer.
There are many fine books on Queen Rearing which assume a high degree of skill. This is not one of them. Ben Harden a leading Irish beekeepers, and as far as we know, the only one from Eire to gain the National Diploma in Beekeeping. He reveals in this slim text the secrets of rearing queens. He covers grafting , queen cell initiation and the stocking of mini nucs. He also has a section on requeening without finding the old queen. Highly recommended.
After successful publication in Denmark (1995 ) and Germany (1997 ) this 2010 English translation deals with all aspects of mating and queen breeding and is the latest publication of its kind in the UK. This is a translation of the second (2009) Danish edition, It is full of the latest information. The sub title – suggests much – and delivers on this promise. In full colour it covers The production of Queens, Mating Nucs, Mating Stations, Instrumental Insemination, Aims of Breeding and Judgement – so important and much much more.