Beehives and bee houses
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.
This inspiring, practical, clearly laid out book contains everything you need in order to build and run a Warré hive, Topics include tools, siting, obtaining and hiving bees, monitoring, feeding, wintering, enlarging the hive, harvesting and extracting honey with simple kitchen equipment. An ideal book for the aspiring natural beekeeper.
This book examines the issues surrounding modern day beekeeping practices and advances a case for the use of natural comb hives to allow the bees species-specific behaviours to be expressed. The author suggests the top-bar hive of Émile Warré as a practical and economical alternative to frame hives and describes the bee-friendly features of its operation. The book includes construction plans and modern tips for its management. In recent years beekeepers have suffered heavy losses of colonies. This book examines the possible issues behind this problem and drawing on our knowledge of bee biology identifies a possible approach to keeping bees that is more bee-appropriate. A case is made for making natural comb the centre of a way of beekeeping that better respects the nature of the honey-bee. Among the hives based on relatively natural comb is that of Émile Warré and the author describes the bee-friendly features of its operation. 80 colour illustrations and 16 line drawings. Fully annotated with supporting 117-reference bibliography including. up-to-date apiological and apicultural primary literature. thoroughly indexed. suitable for beginners who already have a basic knowledge of the life of the honey bee, as well as for beekeepers with experience who want to discover a more bee-friendly way, either with their existing hives or with the Warré hive. printed on recycled paper.
‘This is an excellent guide for hobby beekeepers who wish to keep bees using top-bar hives. Drawing on his more than thirty years of beekeeping experience in New Mexico, author Les Crowder describes in detail the special comb-management techniques that this low-cost, but relatively intense, form of beekeeping requires. Top- Bar Beekeeping also provides an eloquent appeal for beekeepers to make care, respect, and reverence the foundation of their relationships with the bees.’ – Thomas Seeley, Cornell University
Paul Mann a beekeeper for nearly 70 years, in Lancashire and now based in Dorset and following the success of his earlier book gives his contributions to the design of bee-houses. It includes plans which will allow the DIY handyman to construct their own.