A couple of years ago, I became interested in the plight of the honeybee. I read many books about bees and beekeeping, and now I’m just biding my time until I can have a hive or two of my own. This post is a salute to honeybees and a call for comments and books about hobbies of your own.
The first book I read about bees was A Spring without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply by Michael Schacker. If you are at all interested in the debates about whether neonicotinoids are behind bee deaths, I strongly recommend this book. The author explores some extremely compelling research and reveals the distressing fact that at the time, the makers of the pesticides were the ones funding the bee-death research.
The next book I read was A Book of Bees by Sue Hubbell. This book was a delight from start to finish, and paints an idyllic picture of working with bees. Written in 1988, many of the pests and problems associated with beekeeping today were not an issue, so it is a beautiful glimpse into a discipline that will never be that way again.
Another look at bees and their wondrous honey came from C. Marina Marchese in Honeybee: From Hive to Home, Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper. I enjoyed reading about the author’s transformation from a passive bystander to active honey enthusiast and beekeeper.
If this post has inspired the latent apiculturist in you, here’s a book in the Homemade Living series that has lots of useful information on beekeeping: Keeping Bees by Ashley English.
The following titles may be of some help to those who are lucky enough to be able to set up their own colony. I confess I haven’t read these, but they’re on my list of future acquisitions!
Bees Make the Best Pets by Jack Mingo, Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture by Ross Conrad (this one is especially relevant today because of all the pests and diseases that attack bees. Any approach that reduces the amount of chemicals our insect friends are exposed to is a step in the right direction), and The Beekeeper’s Bible by Richard Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch.
What do you enjoy doing on weekends or away from “work?” Are you a committed hobbyist? Tell us about it!