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.
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.
Dave Goulson became obsessed with wildlife as a small boy growing up in rural Shropshire, starting with an increasingly exotic menagerie of pets. When his interest turned to the anatomical, there were even some ill-fated experiments with taxidermy. But bees are where Goulson's true passion lies—the humble bumblebee in particular.
Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the English short-haired bumblebee went extinct in the United Kingdom, but by a twist of fate still exists in the wilds of New Zealand, the descendants of a few pairs shipped over in the nineteenth century. Dave Goulson's passionate quest to reintroduce it to its native land is one of the highlights of a book that includes original research into the habits of these mysterious creatures, history's relationship with the bumblebee, and advice on how to protect the bumblebee for future generations.
One of the United Kingdom's most respected conservationists and the founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Goulson combines lighthearted tales of a child's growing passion for nature with a deep insight into the crucial importance of the bumblebee. He details the minutiae of life in the nest, sharing fascinating research into the effects intensive farming has had on our bee population and the potential dangers if we are to continue down this path.
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.