Books referring to the history of the craft
Winner of the 2005 Ashé Journal Book Award.
“After reading this book I felt I had been initiated into the ancient feminine mystery of sacred sexuality” Tori Amos, singer/songwriter.
Bee shamanism may well be the most ancient and enigmatic branch of shamanism. It exists throughout the world – wherever in fact the honeybee exists. Its medicinal tools – such as honey, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly – are now in common usage, and even the origins of Chinese acupuncture can be traced back to the ancient practice of applying bee stings to the body’s meridians.
In this authoritative ethnography and spiritual memoir, Simon Buxton, an elder of the Path of Pollen, reveals for the first time the richness of this tradition: its subtle intelligence; its sights, sounds, and smells; and its unique ceremonies, which until now have been known only to initiates. Buxton unknowingly took his first steps on the Path of Pollen at age nine, when a neighbour – an Austrian bee shaman – cured him of a near-fatal bour of encephalitis. This early contact prepared him for his later meeting with an elder of the tradition who took him on as an apprentice. Following an intense initiation that opened him to the mysteries of the hive mind, Buxton learned over the next thirteen years the practices, rituals, and tools of bee shamanism. He experienced the healing and spiritual powers of honey and other bee products, including the “flying ointment” once used by medieval witches, as well as ritual initiations with the female members of the tradition – the Melissae – and the application of magico-sexual “nektars” that promote longevity and ecstacy. ‘The Shamanic Way of the Bee’ is a unique view into the secret wisdom of this age-old tradition.
Simon Buxton is a beekeeper, the British faculty for Dr. Michael Harner’s Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and the founder / director of The Sacred Trust, a UK-based educational organisation dedicated to the teaching of practical shamanism for the modern world. He lives in England and teaches internationally.
This is a story of a journey that includes joy, disappointment, experimentation, discovery, destruction, devastation, and satisfaction, played out to a backdrop of religious differences and intolerances, political upheaval, plague, pestilence, civil war and regicide: but mostly it is about 17th century beekeeping. In this volume, for the very first time the author details the methods used by one English beekeeper as recorded in his manuscript of 1644 – 1658. The bee-hive he devised and management techniques he employed are described, analysed and compared with those previously considered to have been at the forefront of the craft at that time. Also, the author is able to confidently reveal the identity of the hitherto unknown Northumberland beekeeper.
‘In this year of commemoration of the First World War this book gives us a timely insight into how great events affect people in all walks of life and I commend it to you. It will by turn sadden and amuse you, inform and even irritate you but for us as beekeepers, to read about our craft is to understand it better.’ (Nottingham Beekeepers Newsletter Sep 2014)
This influential guide by the Reverend L. L. Langstroth, ‘the father of modern beekeeping.” revolutionised the practice of beekeeping. Originally published in 1853, his work constitutes the first descriptive treatise of modern bee management – its innovations allowed people to engage in actual beekeeping, rather than simply handling bee domiciles and extracting the honey. This book explains and illustrates techniques still employed 150 years later – including the author’s patented invention, a movable frame hive that quickly spread into common use around the world [..] This version of Langstroth’s ever-popular manual is the fourth and final edition; it incorporates the author’s own revisions and remains an unsurpassed resource for beekeepers.A facsimile (2014) of the 3rd edition – originally published in 1860 under the title of A Practical Treatise on the Hive and the Honey Bee.
This is the definitive account of beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey. It is not a manual but a general account of the beekeeping as carried out at Buckfast. It demonstrates that every piece of equipment, every manipulation, every aspect of management was designed to achieve the best possible result, calling for a minimum of effort and time, a lesson we can all learn to our beekeeping advantage.
In 1895 there was, in the American Bee Journal, a department of “Questions and Answers,” with Doctor C. C. Miller in charge, the object being to give information to readers on special subjects, perplexing to the beekeeper, and not specifically covered by the different bee literature. In the twenty-two years that Doctor Miller has answered these queries of subscribers … almost every subject in beekeeping has been touched. His wide experience, his inimitable style, and the clearness with which he writes have made these answers invaluable. The present volume is a compilation of a thousand questions, culled out of many thousands and arranged in alphabetical order for convenience. Its object is not to supplant existing text-books on beekeeping, but rather to supplement them.
Queen bee. Worker bees. Busy as a bee. These phrases have shaped perceptions of women for centuries, but how did these stereotypes begin? Who are the women who keep bees and what can we learn from them? This examines the fascinating evolution of the relationship between women and bees around the world. From Africa to Australia to Asia, women have participated in the pragmatic aspects of honey hunting and in the more advanced skills associated with beekeeping.
Bee-Master Revisited is a revised autobiography of George Wakeford, BEM, a celebrated Sussex Master Beekeeper. His uncanny expertise in the handling of bees and his service to hundreds of novices and clients earned him a reputation as a country genius not only among his fellow beekeepers but also with ‘lay’ persons, journalists, local historians and TV producers alike. With his passing in 1985, any chance of him revising his slim autobiography was lost. His little book was long out of print and hard to find, even second-hand. Those who knew him or learned of his remarkable life and accomplishments have requested a reissue. NBB welcomed this opportunity but considered that his fascinating life story, as he tells it in his natural Sussex way, is far too modest and brief to do the man justice. Accordingly Geoffrey Lawes, with the substantial assistance of Roger Patterson and George’s daughter Josie, has edited his original work, and added much background detail which supports George’s text. He enlarges on his life story, offers lucidity on elementary beekeeping, provides generous early 20th century photographs and gives a concrete realisation of country life as lived by a unique English countryman.