The Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden Flexibound – Feb 1 2010
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About the Author
Kim Flottum brings a background of twelve years of plant science, honey bee research, and basic farming to his thirty years as the editor of Bee Culture magazine where his main occupation is finding the answers to the multitude of questions that beginning, intermediate, and even advanced and experienced beekeepers bring to the table. He teaches beginning and advanced beekeeping courses, travels extensively to educate and lecture, and contributes to a variety of other publications on the basics of honey bees and beekeeping biology, the business of bees and pollination, producing and using varietal honeys, and a host of other subjects. His books, magazine articles, interviews, and blogs are widely read for both their fundamental and advanced contribution to beekeeping knowledge. His magazine platform gives voice to his social commentary on topics ranging from genetically modified foods to pesticide abuse to both good and bad government regulations in the industry. He is beekeeping’s leading advocate for fundamental honey bee safety including insuring excellent honey bee health, providing extraordinary forage, and minimizing the use of agricultural pesticides.
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In the beginning of this book, "The Backyard Beekeeper," the author promises to not just produce another bee book; she claims that this book will provide you with information that you hadn't read anywhere else. After reading both of the above books - esp the Dummies book - I thought there would be no way I wouldn't hear the same thing twice! But lo and behold, this book was INCREDIBLE and told me information I hadn't read in the other books! It is thorough, easy to read, and has a great tone. The information is invaluable, it has relevant pictures, and was overall a pleasure to read. There's just one thing...
Other reviewers had said that the print was too small. I read these reviews when I was just a chapter into the book. I thought to myself: sure, the print is small, but I'm young, have 20/20 vision, shouldn't be a problem. Wrong. About 2/3 of the way through the book, I had to take "breaks" from the print. As I went through the book, I could only read shorter amounts at a time. It's such a shame because the content is fabulous - and a lot of times I got distracted by the tiny print that I had to re-read many passages to absorb the information.
Great bee book. I would have given it 5 stars if the print was larger. Note to publishers: PLEASE make an edition with larger print. I borrowed this book from a friend, but would buy it if the print was larger!
Also, at page 144 of the 200 page book the information turns to beeswax, candles, and honey recipes. This is not information I need as a first year beekeeper! Four pages on Fall and Winter management and fifty on candles, soap, and recipes! Come on, you likely won't even have a harvest the first year.
In the end, I spent way more time answering my beekeeping questions from Google than from this book, but it looks nice on the coffee table. And why is there a recipe for a mixed green salad with shrimp on page 181???
I am not a writer and I need to give the author credit for putting this book together. That said, I read a good bit of non-fiction and how-to books and I find this one to be not well organized and best as a secondary resource and not for absolute beginners.
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