I’m not going to beat about the bush with this review of “Backyard Bees – A Guide for the Beginner Beekeeper” by Doug Purdie (Murdoch Books, 2014) – I absolutely love this gorgeous, comprehensive and timely book about backyard beekeeping. Even those who have no experience of or interest in food production will surely have some inkling of the crisis which is facing the world bee population and what that means for future global agriculture. Just because we haven’t seen the worst of it here in Australia yet, doesn’t mean that it’s not going to come to us so, in the meantime, the more people who come to love, understand and care for bees the better. Beekeeping doesn’t have to be done on any large scale – almost anyone can have hives. They don’t take up a lot of time or space and reward you handsomely with liquid gold on a regular basis. Not to mention the warm glow of knowing you are doing your bit to help the planet.
“Backyard Bees” covers every aspect of learning why you might want to become a beekeeper (or apiarist, as the professionals are called), all about these very special little bugs, how to keep them happy and healthy, when and how to harvest your share of their labour and what to do with it once you’ve gleaned it (lovely honey and wax recipes!). You’ll find comprehensive advice on choosing a hive, what equipment you will need, case studies and introductions to beekeepers from all walks of life.
I’ve been speaking to honey producers about getting some hives on our property for a few months now, but this book has really spurred me on and I hope to have some this spring. Doug Purdie went from no bees at all to managing 70 urban beehives in five years. Of course, you probably won’t want to do that dear reader. But then again …?
“Backyard Bees” is now available at good book shops and retails for $35.
A complimentary review copy of “Backyard Bees – A Guide for the Beginner Beekeeper” was supplied to Lambs’ Ears and Honey by Murdoch Books.
Lambs’ Ears is taking a break. The last seven months have been extraordinarily stressful, especially the last 8 weeks or so. My husband and I are going have a well-deserved rest and lie around in Vietnam for the next week or so, so blog posts may be a little sporadic for the next two weeks. Of course, I doubt that I will be able to stay away from social media for any length of time, so if you are curious about what I’m getting up to you can always find me on Facebook, Twitter and sharing lots of lovely pictures on Instagram.