Never Stop Learning

As a beekeeper, I often feel that the more I learn, the more I realize I do not know.  Let's use this area to share what works (and what doesn't) as we endeavor to manage our apiaries.

Photo Credit:  Connie Immink


All Links Below Have Been Recommended by HABA Members

Books

  • For an incredibly interesting book about honey, and the history therof, I'd suggest reading THE HONEY TRAIL: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees, by Grace Pundyk
  • When I decided last year to start a hive this year, I wanted to make my own hives (not the frames, but the rest of the hive parts). I got Building Beehives for Dummies and found the information to be pretty complete and informative.  My bees seem to be comfortable with the hive I built, if that is any indication! The author doesn't go into the details about carpentry skills, so I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos to learn how to make box joints and rabbets.  But everything BEEHIVE was covered in pretty good detail, at least for the Longstroth hives, which was what I chose to make. There are also instructions for just about any other kind of hive you are likely to want to make. You have to have an active Herrick District library card, though.  I did submit a request for the book Garden Plants for Honey Bees by Peter Lindtner that was mentioned at the last meeting) Jeri (btw, I work at the library in Holland, and if anyone wants to suggest books - like maybe beekeeping books that we don't already have in the collection - you can do so at this link: http://herrickdl.org/content/suggest-our-shelves.
  • Dancing Bees, Karl Von Frisch and the Discovery of the Honeybee Language by Tania Munz.  While not a resource for current beekeepers it is a great biography of one of the pioneers in bee research.  Although Von Frisch was 1/8 Jewish by parentage he was protected from expulsion from his job at the Munich University because of his research into a deadly Nosema epidemic among bees during the years of the Nazi regime.  The description of his research methods, his mistaken ideas, and eventual deciphering of the waggle dance is riveting.  It is a window into basic research and the fragility of life under the Nazis.   

    Keeping Bees in Horizontal Hives:  A Complete Guide to Apiculture by Georges de Layens. It is about natural beekeeping, originally written in the late 19th century. This is a revival of sorts by Leo Sharashkin. Here is his bio (from his website, http: www. horizontalhive.com)  Dr. Leo Sharashkin is editor of Keeping Bees With a Smile: A Vision and Practice of Natural Apiculture, a comprehensive resource on keeping bees naturally in horizontal hives. He is contributor to American Bee JournalBee CultureThe Beekeepers Quarterly (UK), and Acres USA, and speaks internationally on sustainable beekeeping, organic growing, and Earth-friendly living. He holds a PhD in Forestry from the University of Missouri and a Master’s in Natural Resources from Indiana University. Author of world-renowned research in sustainable agriculture, he lives with his wife and four children on a forest homestead in the Ozarks in southern Missouri where they catch wild swarms and raise bees in a variety of low-maintenance, easy-to-build horizontal hives.

    It looks like an interesting - if somewhat radical - read about alternative approaches to beekeeping.  Thomas Seeley, who was the keynote speaker at Mich Beekeepers last month (or so?) in Lansing, reviewed it positively. The author posts plans for the horizontal hives that he uses on his website.


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