Monday, December 1, 2008

The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Fottum

The Backyard Beekeeper makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pastime that will appeal to gardeners, crafters, and cooks everywhere.


  • What you need to get started: the new boxes available are smaller, lighter, easier to handle, and better than ever, and the few pounds of honey they produce makes a plentiful harvest for a family with some left to share
  • The best place to locate your new bee colonies for their safety and yours, and how to landscape to screen them from neighbors
  • Organic and least toxic ways to care for your bees, from providing fresh water and protection from the elements to keeping them healthy and productive
  • Delicious treats, candles, and beauty treatments you can make with honey and beeswax
If you want beekeeping done right, it won't be fast. However, beekeeping takes about the same investment in time and care as gardening, dovetails nicely with the planting and harvesting seasons, and provides bonuses for gardeners that include better pollination and larger produce yields.

First, I was rather surprised that the author was male. I was kind of looking forward to a book about bees written by a woman for women. Not that women as beekeepers are any different than males, but coming off of reading Robbing the Bees I liked the view of a woman writing about bees. I guess it just depends on the author.

In any case, this was a great primer for anyone new to bees and beekeeping. It covered everything from what you need to set up a new hive, to installing a package of bees, how and when to feed and medicate bees, how to recognize signs of disease, how to harvest honey, etc. It's like a mini encyclopedia but much more readable.

Since I got this copy from the library I'm going to order a copy of my own from Amazon to keep on my shelf. It was that good of a reference book!

I'm going to give this one eight stars because of the sheer wealth of information presented in an easy to read format.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆


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