Rob and Chelsea McFarland first started caring for bees, then founded the nonprofit HoneyLove, to meet a need often heard today - we've got to save the bees. For more than two decades, honeybee colonies have steadily declined around the world. Bees and other pollinators are one of the most critical components of our food supply - if they disappear, so do we. You can make a difference by becoming a natural, treatment-free beekeeper right in your backyard. Save the Bees offers different, easy and healthier ways to keep your own hive!
Rob and Chelsea share all the wisdom from this ancient practice in a way that is fresh, modern and easy for anyone to do. Along the way, they bust up some common bee myths:
- You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on equipment. They tell you the most essential tools you need to get started and what you can make yourself.
- You don't need any chemicals, pesticides or supplements to keep your bees healthy. Rob and Chelsea tell you how to recognize and maintain a healthy hive and how to save a failing one. The treatment-free way is not just a way to keep bees; it's the best way - good for you, the bees and the world.
Save the Bees breaks down the complexity of beekeeping so you can learn step-by-step how to acquire a colony, care for it and reap the reward - that incredibly delicious, all-natural, chemical-free, unprocessed, sweet, sweet honey. Not to mention you'll be welcomed into the quirky, amazing and fun family of beekeepers around the world. So get on board and let's save some bees.
"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.
This book informs beekeepers of best practices so that their hard work results in a product of optimum quality. It also describes the threats to honey quality which can occur through poor handling skills or poor design of facilities. It includes references to legislation about food production, where relevant. It shows the way to document procedures so that they can be used as evidence of best practice.
PART A: HIVE TO EXTRACTION
Part A is about:
· safety of personnel
· properties of honey
· removing honey from the hive
· transporting honey to the extracting facility.
PART B: EXTRACTION PREMISES
Part B is about:
· the location and construction of the extraction facility
· surrounding grounds
· site as a food premise
· mobile extraction facilities.
PART C: EXTRACTION PROCESS
Part C is about:
· the extraction process
· extraction equipment
· maintenance of the equipment
· storage of honey.
PART D: EVIDENCE
Beekeepers and other food producers must have documented and traceable evidence that food materials have been handled safely and free from any contamination.
Part D of this book outlines the requirements for the documentation and provides examples of satisfactory ways to demonstrate compliance. This is the Hazard Analysis at Critical Control Points or HACCP for the honey industry.
The text is rounded out with profiles of urban beekeepers from all over the world, including public hives at the Maryland Center for Horticulture, beekeeping on an office balcony in Melbourne, Australia, and a poolside hive at a hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Top-bar hives yield slightly less honey but produce more beeswax than a typical Langstroth box hive. Regular hive inspection and the removal of old combs helps to keep bees healthier and naturally disease-free.
Top-Bar Beekeeping provides complete information on hive management and other aspects of using these innovative hives. All home and hobbyist beekeepers who have the time and interest in keeping bees intensively should consider the natural, low-stress methods outlined in this book. It will also appeal to home orchardists, gardeners, and permaculture practitioners who look to bees for pollination as well as honey or beeswax.
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.