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!
The Feminine Monarchie is an early and remarkable work of English natural history, first published in 1609, and written by a scholarly country parson of wide ranging interests. Like the later Gilbert White of Selborne, a distant relation, Charles Butler had a deep curiosity about the natural world and recorded his discoveries methodically, in keeping with the growing scientific mood of the seventeenth century.
Butler was the author of several books on subjects as diverse as music, grammar, logic, and church law. He was also a noted beekeeper and The Feminine Monarchie is the classic English beekeeping text, earning Butler the title ‘father of English bee-keeping’. The book explores the world of the honey bee with a keen intelligence, and makes implicit reference to Elizabeth I’s long reign as England’s female monarch.
This is the first new edition of The Feminine Monarchie to be published for over three hundred years, and contains a new introduction, as well as annotations and a glossary of the more obscure words used by Butler. The spelling and grammar have been modernised throughout. This edition has been prepared from the 1623 edition, which includes Butler’s famous ‘Bees Madrigal’.
John Owen is vicar of two rural parishes in Hampshire, in the South Downs National Park, thirty miles from Butler’s parish of Wootton St Lawrence in the same country. He keeps bees, poultry and goats and is rural advisor in the Diocese of Portsmouth.
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.
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,
Devastating honeybee losses have resulted in rallying calls to ‘save our bees’. Media interest and a multitude of campaigns have raised public awareness and yet also reinforced popular myths. Concern for bees is high, but what might it mean to consider the conservation of a farmed creature?
Informative and thought-provoking, Farming for the Landless travels from the intensive agriculture of Romania to fallow post-war Kosovo, from remote sites in Slovenia and Sweden to the urban sprawl of Paris and London, exploring changes across the European landscape to better understand this critical moment for honeybees, beekeepers and the non-farming landless community we have largely become.
About the author:
Sarah Waring lives and works in the UK and Italy. She studied Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art, lectured at the University of Westminster and University of the Arts and worked as a writer and media publishing editor in London. She has travelled extensively throughout rural Europe where her interests in ecology and agriculture have been brought to life especially via hands-on experience in Austria, Italy, Sweden and Wales.
“Honeybee Democracy is a wonderful book, beautifully written and illustrated, about humanity’s greatest friend among the insects. The honeybee is important not only for its role in agriculture but for what it has taught us concerning the fundamental nature of complex social organization. Seeley, its leading authority, here presents it to a broad readership, with scientific exactitude written in lyrical prose.” Edward 0. Wilson, coauthor of The Superorganism
With spectacularly beautiful colour photographs and an easy understandable text The Buzz about Bees tells the story of honey-bees in a new perspective. Based on the latest data, notably from his won research group, Jurgen Tautz provides a wonderful insight into the realms of bees.
In contrast to the view of the bee colonies as perfect societies of selfless individuals ruled by the queen, Tautz introduces them as a “super-organism”, a self organising and complex adaptive system based on a network of communication; a fascinating result of evolution – a mammal in several bodies.
The entire range of astonishing bee activities is described. Remarkable action photographs never shown before present bees busy with cell cleaning, caring for the brood, serving in the queen’s court, visiting flowers, receiving nectar, producing honey, comb building, entrance guarding, heating and cooling. Spotlights include bees grooming, swarming, fighting, telephoning, sleeping and communicating by high-toned beeping, scents and dances.
This book is about how a colony of honey bees works as a unified whole. Attention will be concentrated on the mechanisms of group integration underlying a colony’s food-collection process, an aspect of colony functioning which has proven particularly open to experimental analysis. Everyone knows that individual bees glean nectar from flowers and transform it into delicious honey, but it is not so widely known that a colony of bees possesses a complex, highly ordered social organisation for the gathering of its food. This rich organisation reflects the special fact that in the case of honey bees natural selection acts mainly at the level of the entire colony, rather than the single bee. A colony of honey bees therefore represents a group-level unit of biological organisation. By exploring the inner workings of a colony’s foraging process, we can begin to appreciate the elegant devices that nature has evolved for integrating thousands of insects into a higher-order entity, one whose abilities far transcend those of the individual bee.
This is without doubt the best general description of the dynamics of the honey bee’s social organisation. He recreates for the reader the complex infrastructure of the nest, describing the highly specialised behaviour of workers, queens, and drones, and examines the remarkable ability of the honey bee colony to regulate its functions according to events both within and outside the nest. John B Free in his review of the volume in Science said – Masterly …. Without hesitation I recommend this book to a wide range of potential readers.”Mark L. Winston probes the dynamics of the honey bee’s social organisation. He recreates for us the complex infrastructure of the nest, describes the highly specialised behaviour of workers, queens, and drones, and examines the remarkable ability of the honey bee colony to regulate its functions according to events within and outside the nest. Mark Winston offers a comprehensive account, covering aspects of anatomy and physiology as well as systematics, ecology and behaviour …A useful overview of the biology of an insect that holds considerable interest for both economic and academic reasons. Rich in descriptive detail and well referenced, it will also serve as a basis for more detailed exploration of particular aspects of honey bee biology. – Sarah Corbet, Times Higher Education Supplement Winston’s writing is brisk and enthusiastic and the book’s illustrations clear and informative. This is a delightful study of an odd, yet oddly familiar, creature”. – John R. Alden, Wall Street Journal.
The honeybee is a wonderful example of adaptation. In this it resembles all forms of life, but because it is an extremist its adaptations are striking. The honeybee’s waggle dance, with which forager bees share information about the locations of new patches of flowers, is unsurpassed among animal communication systems in its capacity for coding precise yet flexible messages. Honeybee workers display an extraordinarily elaborate division of labor by age, switching their labor roles at least four times as they grow older. When a honeybee colony needs a new home, several hundred scout bees comb some 100 square kilometres of forest, discover a few dozen possible nest cavities, and harmoniously choose the best dwelling place through a sort of plebiscite. In winter, the thousands of honeybees in a colony form a tight, well-insulated cluster and pool their metabolic heat fuelled by about 20 kilograms of honey stores-to keep warm despite subfreezing temperatures, a method of winter survival which is unique among insects. The honeybee, then, has an extremely elaborate social life. It is therefore an unusually rewarding subject for eco-logical studies of social behaviour.