If you are considering bee-keeping, this book is a great way to get into it. The authors, Brian McCullum and Alison Benjamin, point out that bee-keeping is a way to reconnect with nature and that everyone who wants to take up bee keeping can do so even if they live in an urban environment and only have a balcony available. In Keeping Bees and Making Honey, McCullum and Benjamin provide the information you need to know from making the decision to keep bees, to securing and maintaining the bees, and then collecting and using the produce.
After outlining the history of bee keeping and the biology of bees, the authors focus on the practical considerations involved in deciding whether or not to keep bees, such as space, time and financial requirements, as well as concerns about children, pets, and neighbors. Subsequent chapters deal with types of hives, necessary equipment, securing and settling the bees, caring for the bees throughout the first and second year, and the health issues bees and the hive. A chapter on gardening for bees leads to a discussion on honey, which includes a very informative chart showing the relationships between plants, time of nectar, and the color, taste, and the consistency of the honey. A section on using honey and beeswax in a variety of ways includes recipes and directions for making beeswax candles, furniture polish, and cosmetics.
The authors write with an easy to read, conversational style filled with enthusiasm. The photographs are numerous, colorful, eye-catching and informative. Insets include tips, notes, and in-depth explanations to enhance the text. Lively, fun presentation of an interesting subject.