Beehives and bee houses
Translated from the French by Dr. Mark Pettus
Gold Medal BEST BOOK AWARD
National Agricultural Society, France
Learn natural beekeeping from Europe’s foremost beekeeping authority. Georges de Layens, inventor of the world’s most popular horizontal hive, shares a lifetime of experience on how to
• get started in simplified beekeeping
• choose the best hive model for you & your bees
• manage your hives with just two visits per year
• take advantage of horizontal hives & deep frames
• avoid unnecessary complications & procedures
• increase an apiary with natural or artificial swarms
• transfer bees from one hive model to another
• enhance bees’ health drug-free
• do without requeening, feeding & other chores
• understand honey plants and honeyflows
• make award-winning mead (foolproof formula)
• use foundation less frames, make wax foundation
• handle traditional hives (skeps, log hives, etc.)
• keep bees sustainably using local strains
• and MUCH more
Layens’ simple beekeeping boasts over 100 years of successful use, with 7 million hives in use today. Bee-friendly, productive, and fun, keeping bees can be easier than you ever imagined!
This is an account of a first year of beekeeping using Warre, Top Bar and Flow Hives.
A Beekeeper’s Year follows the progress of three novice beekeepers with three different types of hive, as they navigate their way through their first year of beekeeping. Follow their journey as they set up and manage their Top Bar, Warre and Flow hives – from obtaining bees to inspecting their hives, extracting honey and closing down the hive for the winter.
A Beekeeper’s Year is an ideal introduction to backyard beekeeping, with everything you need to know about what equipment is required, managing your hives, keeping your bees healthy and pest and disease control. It is packed with stunning yet practical photographs to help you understand these fascinating creatures that are essential to the production of our food.
Michael Badger, MBE, has been a beekeeper man and boy, with experience extending over 65 years. In his time, he has been fortunate to meet many of the great keepers of honey bees. He was devoted to the late Colin Weightman, MEE, and Brother Adam, QBE, OSB, of Buckfast Abbey fame, spending many of his formative beekeeping years with them.
Michael was brought up in rural Warwickshire, mentored as a beekeeper by his great uncles and his schoolmaster and colleague, Charles Bell. Throughout his adult life he has kept bees in various locations in the British Isles.
Since the 1960s, Michael has travelled widely to give lectures on all aspects of beekeeping, including the preparation and exhibiting of honey and other hive products. Involved with the National Honey Show since 1972, Michael qualified as a British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) senior honey judge in 1984. He was chief honey steward at the Great Yorkshire Show for 29 years.
Michael was chairman of the Yorkshire Beekeepers’ Association (YBKA) in 1983 and 2000. He was also chairman and president of the BBKA from 1999 to 2002. He was instrumental in establishing the BBKA headquarters, the National Beekeeping Centre, at Stoneleigh Park in 2000, the Normanby Pavilion of the YBKA and the recently constructed Hives and Honey Pavilion at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. Michael is n honorary member of both the YBKA and the BBKA. He is chairman of Bee Craft Limited, a patron of Bees Abroad, and a court assistant and liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers of London.
Michael is married to Hilary; he has two daughters, a son and two grandchildren. In 2003, he was appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to beekeeping.
By Peter Lewis, Chief Honey Steward, Great Yorkshire Show
Thomas Bates Blow was from a working class background and leading a life with little direction until he was befriended by a member of a leading British family: with his patronage and much hard work, Thomas laid the foundation of what was to become the largest business in Europe supplying the requirements of beekeepers. This volume charts the history of Welwyn, from its birth through the challenging changes and large expansion in the last two decades of the nineteenth century through to the Company being put into liquidation after more than a century of trading. From zero to zero in three acts, with three leading men, changing scenery and a large supporting cast involving conflict, changed of ownership, fires, World wars, no inflation, high inflation, but mostly about bees, beekeeping and beekeepers and the vagaries that come with that fascinating mix.
Following the Wild Bees is a delightful foray into the pastime of bee hunting, an exhilarating outdoor activity that used to be practiced widely but which few people know about today. Thomas Seeley, a world authority on honey bees, vividly describes the history and science behind this lost pastime and how anyone can do it. Following the Wild Bees is both a unique meditation on the pleasures of the natural world and a guide to the ingenious methods that compose the craft of the bee hunter.
Seeley explains how one finds a patch of flowers humming with honey bees, captures and sumptuously feeds the bees, and then releases and follows them, step-by-step in whatever direction they fly, back to their secret residence in a hollow tree, old building, or abandoned hive. The bee hunter’s reward is a thrilling encounter with nature that challenges mind and body while also giving new insights into the remarkable behavior of honey bees living in the wild.
Drawing on decades of experience as a bee hunter and bee biologist, Seeley weaves informative discussions of the biology of wild honey bees with colorful historical anecdotes, personal insights, and beautiful photos. Whether you’re a bee enthusiast or just curious about the natural world, Following the Wild Bees is the ideal companion for newcomers to bee hunting and a rare treat for armchair naturalists,
The Hive and The Honey Bee. NEW EDITION 29 Chapters, 44 Authors 1057 pages (larger page format – 7 x 10 inches) colour pictures. An amazing source of information on all aspects of the bee and beekeeping. The 1000+ pages with many colour plates in 29 chapters makes this international volume the perfect 2015 Christmas present.
For over 70 years Wedmore’s Manual has been the reference book of choice for answers to all practical beekeeping questions. This updated reprint, with contributions from an eminent panel of contributors is one that all serious beekeeper should have on their bookshelf.
‘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.
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.