The Practical Beekeeper Volume I, Ii & Iii Beekeeping Naturally

The Practical Beekeeper Volume I, Ii & Iii Beekeeping Naturally

by Michael Bush


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614760641
Publication date: 06/16/2011
Pages: 670
Sales rank: 157,788
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 2.00(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
Why this book? 6
Learning 12
Bee Basics 16
Four Simple Steps to Healthy Bees 29
Choices 45
Getting Started 59
Foundation and Frames 68
Locating hives? 72
Installing Packages 76
Enemies of the Bees 87
Queen Spotting 119
Fallacies 125
Realistic Expectations 138
Harvest 143
Frequently Asked Questions 154
Appendix to Volume I: Glossary 182
Appendix to Volume I: Acronyms 253
Volume II Intermediate 259
A System of Beekeeping 261
Decisions, Decisions... 265
Locality 269
Lazy Beekeeping 271
Feeding Bees 298
Top Entrances 329
Swarm Control 341
Splits 348
Natural Cell Size 356
Rationalizations on Small Cell Success 380
Foundationless 385
Narrow Frames 400
Yearly Cycles 410
Wintering Bees 414
Spring Management 425
Laying Workers 429
More than Bees 434
Bee Math 437
Races of Bees 438
Moving Bees 442
Treatments for Varroa not working 450
A Few Good Queens 452
Volume III Advanced 459
Genetics 461
Feral Bees 464
Nucs 504
Lighter Equipment 515
Wax Dipping Equipment 525
Colony Decisions 528
Two Queen Hives 530
Top Bar Hives 532
Horizontal Hives 551
Observation Hives 554
Box Jig 568
Miscellaneous Equipment 573
Things I did not invent 580
Beekeeping Math 591
Unnatural Things in Beekeeping 593
Scientific Studies 596
Requeening a Hot Hive 625
CCD 628
About the Author 630
Index 633

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The Practical Beekeeper Volume I, II & III Beekeeping Naturally 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Intheswamp More than 1 year ago
First off, if you're reading this your are either a beekeeper or contemplating becoming one....either way you're nuts. Sane people (that means people with good sense) don't normally walk up to a box containing 50,000 stinging insects inside that could actually kill you. Most people would be running the other direction. Having said that, I own this book already, so where does that put me?<grin> ...and you're reading this review so...we have something in common (just don't tell the guys in the white jackets that I'm out!!!)<grin agin> Read on... I tend to seriously over-research when I get interested in something. Beekeeping has been no exception...just ask my wife. ;) I've already acquired somewhat of a "bee library". Of the books that I have The Practical Beekeeper ranks in the top tier. I have a few books that have lots of glossy page photos in them, nice pictures...but content is *very* weak. Bush's book gets down to details not found in many of the "coffee table" books. The information in The Practical Beekeeper comes from Bush's years of personal experimentation and experience. He states what has worked for his bees and what hasn't. He recently stated on one of the online forums the following treatment schedule that he follows: Spring=nothing Summer=nothing Fall=nothing Winter=nothing ...tough schedule, eh?...and his bees are healthy and productive with this treatment schedule. Bush's personal approach is natural and chemical free. There are no miticides, fumigants, or roach poison used in his hives and these aren't promoted. Small cell comb is highly promoted and thus smaller bees which seem to be more hygienic and of a more natural size. The book isn't a slick paged, coffee table type of book intended for your visiting interior designer to thumb through while you fix them a cup tea, but rather it's a treasure trove for the experienced or new beekeeper. It has great down to earth information on keeping bees the natural way without a lot of chemicals and drugs...after all, you can get all the chemicals and drugs that you want at the grocery store or nearest fastfood joint. The book doesn't actually have detailed "plans" on building your own equipment (you can get plans off of the internet) but rather it explains *why* it's built the way it is, shows improvements that you might think of, and offers some altogether different routes to take in doing a chore. Bush writes in a logical manner that is easy to follow (even for this hard-headed newbee). If you want a book that tells you to connect part 'A' to part 'B' then look elsewhere. On the other hand, if you want to know *why* you connect part 'A' to part 'B' then this is the book for you. Michael Bush's passion and appreciation for the noble honey bee is easily detected in his writing...The Practical Beekeeper is a treasure trove of information and I highly recommend it. I am Intheswamp, and I approve of this message.... ;) (can you tell a campaign season is approaching??)
D_Lindsley More than 1 year ago
Wow! This is the consolidation of the wealth of information available on Michael's website. I really value being able to dog ear the pages and haul this work out to the beeyard. I share this book with my friends to help explain why I do things differently than Grandpa did. This one doesn't sit on the book shelf.
rfullwood More than 1 year ago
An essential for anyone starting out beekeeping. Mr. Bush's work has been an inspiration for my approach to a more natural and sustainable form of beekeeping. There is a great deal of disbelief and even negativity towards folks looking to get back to a more practical approach and away from the over-medicating and chemical treatments and feeding, but experience such as his proves that the honeybee will survive and thrive when left to their own devices. Thank you for the e-book format as well!
WVgrrl More than 1 year ago
After a decades-long hiatus from beekeeping, I decided to return to the undertaking a couple of years ago. The wonder of, and love for, bees was instilled in me as a young girl, by my father who first introduced me to them in the back yard, with honey smeared across my fingers. As they licked up the honey with their funny, little tongues, he explained to me how they were all little girl bees (except for the lazy drones back in the hive!) and said, “They’ll never hurt you unless you hurt them first.” Never once was he wrong. And never once have I lost the fascination with the utter miracle that is a wee honeybee. But everything has changed since Dad first began teaching me about bees. Back in those days you pretty much just dumped a package in a box lined with foundation, walked away, and came back in a few months to reap the rewards of their unceasing labor. Even as I bought the first of my apiary equipment, in anticipation of spring, I was daunted. Pesticides, Varroa mites, tracheal mites, zombie flies, nosema, AFB, SHB, EFB, CCD, wax moth, stone brood, sac brood, chalk brood, parafoul brood, winter die-out…good grief – it’s enough to make you quit beekeeping before you ever start! To say nothing of all the cures and preventions for it all! Everything I read had an ominous whiff of gloom and doom and the odds of a hive making it for long without some serious issues didn’t look good - to say nothing of the costs and work involved in keeping them hanging on. I come from a “conventional” beekeeping background, and I read up on all the treatments and preventions. I didn’t like any of them. Why give antibiotics to someone that isn’t sick, for crying out loud? And why dump poisons into a hive of little bees, the label for which warns in bold print that you have to be wearing gloves to touch it yourself? Why force into their lives and home what I wouldn’t want to eat in my own honey? Even organic essential oils and other “natural treatments,” are intrusive and disruptive to the delicate balance which is the ecology of a beehive. None of it made sense to me, and none of it seemed to be working particularly well, but it seemed like there was no other way. Daunted, but undeterred, I ordered my bees and started reading about natural beekeeping. I perused a number of web sites, read some forums, scanned through books but, I am sorry, they were mostly a turn-off. Not a few of the people writing some of the stuff seemed like absolute flakes, some of whom were downright nasty in their philosophizing (not to say that doesn’t occur on both sides of the apiary, because of course, it does). Maybe I was looking at all the wrong sources, but nowhere could I find anything like solid evidence their way worked – just esoteric opinions on the evils of the conventional beekeeper and his methods. Enter Michael Bush and “The Practical Beekeeper” (Volumes I, II, and III). In a clear, succinct way “The Practical Beekeeper” intelligently illustrates why what we have been doing, and they way we have been doing it, simply is not working any longer and will never work again. Michael Bush shows us – proves to us – the incredibly simple, natural methods that do. “The Practical Beekeeper” series addresses the plethora of issues facing our bees around the world today, intelligently and historically relates how we got where we are, and what we need to do to get back where we need to be. There is no issue facing beekeepers today – from Varroa mites to old-timers being able to lift heavy hives – which “The Practical Beekeeper” series does not address. Michael Bush’s beekeeping methods are natural, cheaper, easier, proven to work and – most important of all – what is best for the bees. Everything he says makes absolute sense because it is founded squarely upon the science of nature and proven results. Mr. Bush is clearly an extremely intelligent, learned, and articulate man who knows his bee stuff. His matter-of-fact style isn’t preachy or flaky and his manner of writing, though sometimes addressing complex issues in a thorough and scientific manner, is easy to read and understand. “The Practical Beekeeper” series will take you through everything you need to know, starting with the basics in Volume I and moving up to rearing your own queens in Volume III (Yes, it can be done – it’s easy, and produces better queens!). If you are a new or aspiring beekeeper, or maybe just curious about bees, buy this book. You need it. There’s nothing wrong with some of the old, conventional standbys – they’re great books; I own most of them and still refer back to them. But get started out on the right foot from the get-go: Buy “The Practical Beekeeper” first even if, like me, you have to buy them one volume at a time. It is the best money you will ever spend on your bees. If you are a conventional beek and you have had umpteen hives, and dozens of bee books for years, buy “The Practical Beekeeper” anyway. You need it. Put aside, for a moment, what you think you know (which may, in fact, be a lot) and just listen to what Michael Bush has to say. If you don’t believe his way works, take a look at his Health Certificates since 2004, which he makes readily available on his web site. The methods in “The Practical Beekeeper” will save you time, save you money, make your life so much easier, and increase the health of your apiary. Make no mistake, the majority of beekeepers of every persuasion – from “conventional” to “organic” – love their bees. From the guys who make a living on pollination, to the vegans who think it is immoral to rob them of their honey, beeks are dedicated to helping their bees survive and we do what we do because we love them and we are trying to do what is right the only way we know how. And there is wisdom on both sides. But, in ways we are only just now beginning to understand, we have, with our tinkering and our interfering and our meddling, been unknowingly hurting these incredible little creatures for centuries. We are finally paying for it. What is worse, so are the bees. Michael Bush’s “The Practical Beekeeper” shows us the way home.
DSemple More than 1 year ago
Covers everything for keeping bees organically in a very easy to read and well organized book. I like this book so much I ordered 4 extra to donate to our local libraries here in the Kansas City area. Don Semple Overland Park, KS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yes, you can find the author's info on the web, but if you want a good resource for beekeeping to read and have on your book shelf as I do, this is a great book. Beautiful book and easy to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has allowed us to start our bees without chemicals. We enjoy the bees and their honey. Many thanks.
montfriz More than 1 year ago
An exceptional beekeeping book. If you want to keep bees in a truly natural way, without the use of chemicals and artificial feeds then this book is a must have . The book is well organized making it easy to look up topics. It is written by an successful, experienced beekeeper who does practise what he writes. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned beekeeper you will enjoy this book. This book may change forever the way you keep bees.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When bees came to my property, I asked a friend named Penny who kept bees to come and help me get the bees into a proper hive. I did not plan to 'learn a new trade; and told her I would just do things the way she had learned to do them. Then we went to the December 2012 ‘mainstream’ beekeeper event in Cabazon. It opened my eyes to the fact that the beekeepers were responsible for the colony collapse thing. I got online and read and read, and it became clear that Michael Bush was doing things in the most sensible and natural way. I got his ‘Practical Beekeeping’ book, three volumes in one, though you can buy it as 3 separate books. I also got the ''Better Queens' book which he publishes for the dead author. After I read them, I immediately sent for two more 'Better Queens'. Even if you do not plan to make queens this small book tells more than I found anywhere about how bees do things. When Penny came again to check the hive, she stayed overnight. She took the two books to bed. Her light was on all night and in the morning she bought one of the copies of 'Better Queens'. I have a knowledge of genetics, and how to breed animals without diminishing the natural gene pool. I have never in my life read anything so sensible and practical. Michael Bush never fails to focus on the essential things to do that keep a gene pool from further deterioration, build it up, and keep it as what it was intended to be. The things he suggests as proper for maintaining bees can not be improved upon with any advances in science. He never insults or disparages other ways of doing things, just gently suggests what is best to do. I will continue to learn from online articles and videos, but I will probably not ever buy another bee book for myself. I did previously get a CD with 100 old bee books on it, because I never expected to find a modern book with so much sensible information, and would need old books to learn natural ways of controlling diseases and pests. Patricia Weissleader
wheeler88 More than 1 year ago
This book is a must have if you are a beekeeper. I wish I had it when I first started keeping bees. It is well organized and eazy to read. Writen in simple words so you don't have to be an expert to understand it. I highly recommend it....... Matt Noble Lost Creek, KY