Book: The Good Living Guide to Beekeeping – Secrets of the hive, stories from the field, and a practical guide that explains it all
Author: Dede Cummings
Genre: Crafts, Hobbies & Home
This book has two parts. The first covers everything about taking care of bees – from the biology and history of the bee to the hives, equipment and possible challenges of keeping them. The second part revolves around the products of the bee – harvesting and using the honey and wax. It includes several recipes for food and beauty.
I must admit, though the subject has been an interest for a while now, the cover of this book is what prompted the purchase. It’s just so pretty! This guide is a great overview of beekeeping. It covers the basic of just about everything on the topic. However, I read this as a complete beginner to the topic. As a novice, there were definitions and diagrams I looked for and didn’t find. For example, swarming is a word that comes up a lot in this book, but is never explained. I gathered the general meaning from the context, but would have benefited from a more thorough definition. (It doesn’t show up in the glossary either.)
My favourite part of the book was the interviews with experienced beekeepers. You can’t beat hearing the stories, passion and advice in their own words. I did notice that a few times the author references the interviewees’ quotes directly, which creates a bit of repetition, but it was seldom and easily overlooked.
I haven’t yet tried any of the recipes, but after reading them was please to find they all seem very simple and doable. The possibilities motivate you even more to start caring for these incredible creatures and benefiting from their industrious lives with raw honey and wax, not to mention propolis and royal jelly.
I wouldn’t suggest this book for a complete novice nor an expert. Perhaps someone who has already read a basic book about beekeeping, and just wants to read more to daydream and hear advice from experienced beekeepers.
I give this book 3/5 stars. The gaps in information were too many to overlook for a beginner like me, but the stories are wonderful and the book itself is beautiful.