Aspects of bee improvement
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.
Norman Carreck, Science Director IBRA says that “This is the definitive review by authors who have personally carried out much of the primary research on the topic” while Tom Seeley of Cornnell University suggests that it is “No other work describes so comprehensively, and with such excellent photographs and diagrams, the marvellous mating biology of honey bees”.
‘A truly impressive synthesis on an enormous body of research on the reproductive biology, and especially the mating behaviour of honey bees. No other work describes so comprehensively, and with such excellent photographs and diagrams, the marvellous mating biology of honey bees.’ Professor Tom Seeley, Cornell University
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.
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.
Bees have been entwined with our history since the appearance of the earliest humans. Being among them is a full-body experience, Mark Winston writes-from the low hum of tens of thousands of insects and the pungent smell of honey and beeswax, to the sight of workers flying back and forth between flowers and the hive. The experience of an apiary slows our sense of time, heightens our awareness, and inspires awe. It is at once sensual and riveting, intellectually challenging and emotionally rich.
Why is ‘bee time’ so compelling? Because, Winston writes, as we come to know bees, we see an echo of ourselves, and our potential to be more compatibly integrated with each other and the world around us. Bee Time presents Winston’s reflections on three decades spent studying these creatures, and on the lessons they can teach about how humans might better interact with one another and the natural world.
Like us, honeybees are intricately social. How they submerge individual needs into the colony collective provides a lens through which to consider human societies. Winston explains how bees process information, structure work, and communicate, and examines how corporate boardrooms are using bee societies as a model to improve collaboration.
Winston also considers bees’ representation in art and literature as a symbol of survival, from Egyptian tombs decorated with elaborate bee hive scenes, to Virgil, to Sylvia Plath’s poem Wintering, where, going through a dark time, Plath wrote of their winter cluster, “This is the time of hanging on for the bees.”
But the relationship between bees and people has not always been benign: bee populations are diminishing due to human impact, and we cannot afford to ignore what the demise of bees tells us about our own problematic relationship with nature.
Bee Time reflects over thirty years of walking into apiaries, and the lessons learned from a life spent among bees.
In Search of the Best Strains of Bees is an account of a unique series of journeys (1950-1977) to investigate the exact whereabouts and characteristics of the different races of honeybees in Europe. Written by a world expert on practical breeding.
This is a reprint by Northern Bee Books of the manual originally published by P. W. Stanley, F.R.E.S. of Badgerdell Apiaries UK by courtesy of the Division of Bee Culture, United States Department of Agriculture.