Winter is a time for beekeepers to reflect on their previous beekeeping season, build and repair hive parts and read as much beekeeping material as possible. Reading books such as Keeping Bees in Towns & Cities is how I choose to spend the winter months.
This 180-page book, written by Luke Dixon is a very easy read and includes many full colour photographs covering a wide range of bees, hives, beekeepers and urban apiaries. These photos definitely make this book.
I enjoyed reading this book very much as it served as a refresher and inspiration for me as a beekeeper. The fact that the author is from London, England highlights some of the differences in hives, weather and practices between beekeeping in Ontario, Canada and other parts of the world.
I would not necessarily recommend this book for a beginner beekeeper requiring specific instructions on how to get up and running with his/her first hive, as many of the specific details of beekeeping are omitted from the text. Subjects such as dealing with queen cells, robbing and winterizing hives are covered only with broad strokes. However, for any novice to experienced beekeeper, this book is an excellent resource.
Keeping Bees in Towns & Cities is a great eye-opener for how easy it can be to start your own urban hive and one quote that stood out to me from the entire book was presented on page 1:
If you have room for a composter or water barrel, you have room for a beehive.
The last section of the book is dedicated to sharing the stories of 23 different beekeepers located all over the world. It’s amazing to see the different ways that people from countries like Hong Kong and South Africa compare to the UK, USA and Canada.
I would encourage just about any beekeeper to add this book to their beekeeping library.
Keeping Bees in Towns & Cities
By Luke Dixon
Timber Press 2012