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There are as many ways of keeping bees as there are beekeepers. Most of them are probably mostly right most of the time. Nobody knows it all. The day I open a hive without learning something will be the day I give up beekeeping! Read bee-books (especially this one!) and talk with your beekeeping neighbours.
Beekeeping programs in the United States have historically focused on theoretical test questions and answers but have not included extensive practical hive manipulation techniques. This book explores practical in-hive techniques that should be learned by at least an advanced beginner level, beekeeping year 2, and fully utilized by the Master Beekeeping level. Other techniques exist, but we listed what we thought were the most important techniques. This advanced beginner book is international in scope. The authors are from the South Eastern United States and United Kingdom. We hope we bring this diversity and beekeeping commonality to this text.
This book focuses on practical hive manipulation techniques, practical colony and beeyard management techniques, seasonal management, in-depth marketing discussion, the basis for good colony management via Integrated Pest Management and other techniques, a short discussion on queen rearing for a hobbyist, and much other practical information useful to a developing beekeeper. The Taranov Swarm prevention technique is discussed in detail with pictures. The book contains many pictures of equipment sold at Dadant and Brushy Mountain Bee Farm in the United States, in addition to discussions and pictures of equipment available in the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe. The book contains close to 100 pictures embedded in the text. This book is a practical application of current honey bee research and utilizes over 80 years of authors combined experience. We know our bees.
The concept for this book was born at the Virginia Tech Winchester Virginia Research Center USA, for ways to improve management of the research colonies. One of the overall themes of this book is you need to go with the natural tendency of the bees to be successful. You need to learn what "normal" is for a beehive.
"All beekeeping is local" and what might work in Alaska may not apply in Australia. We advise beekeepers to join their local Beekeepers' Association and apply the techniques described in this book after discussion with more experienced members. The Association will also be able to advise on the current state of the law locally.
I was discussing bees with someone at work and mentioned what I learned years ago from Dr. John Ambrose the North Carolina State Apiarists, United States at North Carolina State University. John said to be successful with bees you need to understand enough about their nature such that you do things supportive of their nature and not against their nature.
The bees know better what they are doing than the beekeeper. Watch and listen to the bees.