The Practical Beekeeper Volume I Beginning Beekeeping Naturally

The Practical Beekeeper Volume I Beginning Beekeeping Naturally

by Michael Bush


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This book is about how to keep bees in a natural and practical system where they do not require treatments for pests and diseases and only minimal interventions. It is also about simple practical beekeeping. It is about reducing your work. It is not a main-stream beekeeping book. Many of the concepts are contrary to "conventional" beekeeping. The techniques presented here are streamlined through decades of experimentation, adjustments and simplification. The content was written and then refined from responding to questions on bee forums over the years so it is tailored to the questions that beekeepers, new and experienced, have.
It is divided into three volumes and this edition contains only Volume I: Beginning Beekeeping Naturally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614760610
Publication date: 07/26/2011
Pages: 282
Sales rank: 461,052
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.72(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Michael Bush has had an eclectic set of careers from printing and graphic arts, to construction to computer programming and a few more in between. Currently he is working in computers. He has been keeping bees since the mid 70's, usually from two to seven hives up until the year 2000. Varroa forced more experimentation which required more hives and the number has grown steadily over the years from then. By 2008 it was about 200 hives. He is active on many of the Beekeeping forums with last count at over 50,000 posts between all of them.

"His writing is like his talks, with more content, detail, and depth than one would think possible with such few words...his website and PowerPoint presentations are the gold standard for diverse and common sense beekeeping practices."--Dean Stiglitz

Table of Contents

Volume I Beginning 1
Learn from the bees 3
Why this book? 6
Unsustainable beekeeping system 7
Beekeeping Pests 7
Shallow Gene Pool 7
Contamination 7
Wrong Gene Pool 8
Upset Ecology of the Bee Colony 8
Beekeeping House of Cards 9
How do we get a sustainable beekeeping system? 9
Stop Treating 9
Clean Wax 10
Natural Cell Size 10
Natural Food 11
Learning 12
Bee Basics 16
Life cycle of a bee 16
Queen 16
Queenlessness 17
Supersedure 18
Swarming 18
Worker 19
Drone 21
Yearly cycle of the colony 22
Products of the hive 24
Four Simple Steps to Healthy Bees 29
Comb 29
No Treatments 35
Breeding locally adapted queens 38
Natural Food 41
Choices 45
Beekeeping Philosophy 45
Important Decisions 47
Easy Things to Change in Beekeeping: 47
Difficult Things to Change in Beekeeping: 48
Choices I recommend 49
Frame depth 49
Number of Frames 50
Style of Frames and Cell Size of Foundation 51
Eight Frame Mediums 52
Plastic Small Cell Frames 53
If you don't like the idea of plastic 53
Bottom Board Feeders 54
Essential Equipment 54
Here are some essentials for the beekeeper: 54
Nice to Have Beekeeping Equipment: 56
Avoid Gadgets 57
Useful Gadgets 57
Getting Started 59
Recommended Beginning Beekeeping Sequence 59
How Many Hives? 60
Package or Nuc? 60
Race of Bees 61
More Sequence 61
Observation Hive 63
Nucleus Hive 63
Managing Growth 67
Starting With More Hives 67
Foundation and Frames 68
Brood foundation 68
Foundation for supers 69
Kinds of frames 70
Locating hives? 72
Installing Packages 76
Not to do: 76
Things to do: 84
How to install: 85
Enemies of the Bees 87
Traditional Enemies of Bees 87
Bears 87
Bees Robbing 87
Skunks 91
Opossums 91
Mice 91
Wax moths 92
Nosema 96
Stonebrood 100
Chalkbrood 101
European Foulbrood (EFB) 102
American Foulbrood (AFB) 103
Parafoulbrood 105
Sacbrood 105
Neighbors 107
Recent enemies 107
Varroa Mites 107
Tracheal Mites 114
Small Hive Beetles 116
Are treatments necessary? 117
Queen Spotting 119
Fallacies 125
Myth: Drones are bad. 125
Myth: Drone comb is bad. 125
Myth: Queen Cells are bad 126
Myth: Home grown queens are bad 126
Myth: Feral bees are bad 127
Myth: Feral swarms are disease ridden 128
Myth: Feeding can't hurt anything 128
Myth: Adding supers will prevent swarming. 128
Myth: Destroying queen cells will prevent swarming. 129
Myth: Swarm cells are always on the bottom. 129
Myth: Clipping the queen will prevent swarming. 129
Myth: 2 Feet or 2 miles 130
Myth: You have to extract 130
Myth: 16 pounds of honey = 1 pound of wax. 130
Myth: You can't raise honey and bees 131
Myth: Two queens can't coexist in the same hive. 131
Myth: Queens will never lay double eggs 131
Myth: If there is no brood there is no queen. 132
Myth: Bees only like to work up 132
Myth: A laying worker hive has one pseudo queen 133
Myth: Shaking out a laying worker hive works 133
Myth: Bees need a landing board. 134
Myth: Bees need a lot of ventilation. 134
Myth: Bees need beekeepers. 134
Myth: You have to requeen yearly. 135
Myth: A marginal colony should always be requeened. 135
Myth: You need to feed pollen substitute 135
Myth: You should feed syrup in the winter. 136
Myth: You can't mix plastic and wax. 136
Myth: Dead bees headfirst in cells have starved. 137
Realistic Expectations 138
Harvest 143
Frequently Asked Questions 154
Appendix to Volume I: Glossary 182
Appendix to Volume I: Acronyms 253

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