A good book for non-beekeepers and beginners
I have written this book for those who are thinking of taking up beekeeping or have just done so. It is packed with information that will help get you started, or indicates where to find it. One major criticism of some books is the amount of information that quickly dates them. I have tried to avoid this by giving no reference to prices, contact details, etc. Apart from introduced pests and diseases it should still be relevant for many years to come. It is not a reference book for obvious reasons, but there is enough information to help you manage a colony of bees with a bit of help. It is the ideal book for existing beekeepers and beekeeping associations (BKAs) to lend to potential beekeepers.
I always encourage potential beekeepers to contact their local BKA and to handle full colonies of bees several times before buying bees or equipment themselves. This might be a slightly slower approach, but if your BKA is a good one, they will help your early development as a beekeeper and possibly help you avoid some of the mistakes beginners often make. There are often disasters when people charge off and spend money on things without having sound advice. This book helps guide you in this respect.
Throughout the book I suggest that beekeepers work together, as it aids learning and will allow someone to keep an eye on your bees if you go on holiday or have an illness.
I have drawn heavily on my experience with my local BKA. They are a wonderful group of people and respond well to the high level of tuition we provide.
I have been beekeeping for over half a century and been teaching it for over 40 years. As a result I know the questions people ask and what they need to know at an early stage. I have a no-nonsense approach and question some of the advice that is often given. I do that whether I'm writing a book or not, but it is done from many years of experience, not simply repeating what others have repeated, as is so often done. I freely admit I have a lot to learn, but so has everyone else. Bees have a habit of presenting all of us with new problems all the time and I encourage beekeepers to learn the absolute basics in order to try and understand what is happening, otherwise you don't know how to deal with the problem.
This book is different than many others because there are around 150 images online that go with the book. These can be accessed by using the instructions inside the cover.
I have had some tremendous feedback from readers. Those who know me or have heard me speak have said reading the book is just like me talking to them. One person said they imagined my dogs by my side!
It seems to be a common comment that is is also suitable for beekeepers of several years experience, although this was not intended.
Several BKAs have already said they will give it as part of a package on taster/beginner days instead of the ones they use now.
Those who have tried to log in with fug.io/bees seem to have trouble accessing the many images that are in addition to the book. I think the problem is they click on the arrow. Try clicking on the text and it should work. This facility isn't used by many for some reason, which is a pity as it enhances the book considerably.
In general I'm pleased with the reviews, although a couple of points that have been made have shown the reviewers simply haven't understood that I tried to provide information that was simple to understand and not give several methods of achieving the same thing.