"There are numerous beekeeping books on the shelves that instruct on 'how to,' but Better Beekeeping is a book that explores 'why to,' which is essential for this ever-changing world of beekeeping today."â€”Jennifer Berry, research coordinator at the University of Georgia's Honey Bee Research Lab, commercial queen and nuc producer, and columnist for Bee Culture magazine
Backyard beekeepers everywhere agree: a successful colony is a thing of beauty.
Thousands of beekeepers have started beekeeping thanks to Kim Flottum's first book, The Backyard Beekeeper, and they have added to their repertoire of skills with The Backyard Beekeeper's Honey Handbook. Now, Better Beekeeping answers the question, "What do I do now that I'm a beekeeper?" This book takes serious beekeepers past the beginning stages and learning curves and offers solutions and rewards for keeping bees a better way. Better queens, better winters, better food, and better bees await any beekeeper willing to take on the challenge of having the right number of bees, of the right age, in the right place, in the right condition, at the right time.
The complex and wonderful organisation of the honeybee has fascinated many naturalists and writers, but the New Naturalist is fortunate in securing for its library what is undoubtedly one of the finest and most comprehensive treatises on the subject. For many years head of the research station at Rothamsted, Dr Butler's own discoveries (particularly the existence of "queen substance") are truly remarkable.
Skilfully woven into the book are the results of the work of others - such as that of von Frisch on the orientation of bees, and the almost incredible way in which information is conveyed about the distance and direction of food sources, by beautiful, extraordinary dances. The copious illustrations are all taken by the author and are marvels of close-up photography.
This edition contains the finding of latest research, including the discovery of the sex attractant released by the queen and its function; and exactly how the piping sounds made by the emerging queen are produced.
"Excellent guide to the mysteries of bee life, for the general reader as well as the beekeeper and entomologist"
"Important as an exposition of a most suggestive theory, that of the "queen substance". The experiments behind this are fascinating."
"One of the best books of this (20th) century on bees"
British Bee Journal
In the late spring and early summer, as a bee colony becomes overcrowded, a third of the hive stays behind and rears a new queen, while a swarm of thousands departs with the old queen to produce a daughter colony. Seeley describes how these bees evaluate potential nest sites, advertise their discoveries to one another, engage in open deliberation, choose a final site, and navigate together--as a swirling cloud of bees--to their new home. Seeley investigates how evolution has honed the decision-making methods of honeybees over millions of years, and he considers similarities between the ways that bee swarms and primate brains process information. He concludes that what works well for bees can also work well for people: any decision-making group should consist of individuals with shared interests and mutual respect, a leader's influence should be minimized, debate should be relied upon, diverse solutions should be sought, and the majority should be counted on for a dependable resolution.
An impressive exploration of animal behavior, Honeybee Democracy shows that decision-making groups, whether honeybee or human, can be smarter than even the smartest individuals in them.