My most recent book was not necessarily one that I would have picked up if I saw it on the bookstore shelf, however, I received it as a gift from my aunt for Christmas, so I gave it a whirl. To my surprise, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping was one of the more informative beekeeping books I’ve read thus far, and I definitely learned a thing or two.
One of the most prominent themes I discovered (unexpectedly) in this book was the emphasis on natural beekeeping and caring for bees without chemical treatments or artificial feeds. In the books that I’ve read prior to this, it was normal to take honey from the hive and provide bees with a sugar syrup for the winter. I had simply never thought that there must be a better way. Obviously, the best food for bees is honey. It just makes perfect sense.
The other tidbit of information I learned in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping was about the benefits of small cells within a hive both for honey production and protecting against disease and pests. This book was the first resource that I’ve encountered that had even made mention of small cells. I have since done quite a bit of reading on the subject and plan on writing a post on small cell beekeeping one day.
If I had one complaint about this book, it would be the title. I know, I know. I shouldn’t judge a book by its title, but I’m a little embarrassed to say that I read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping”. I definitely would never have read this book if it wasn’t given to me as a gift. My other issue with the title is that it makes absolutely no reference to the natural and treatment-free approach to beekeeping detailed throughout. I think that there are a lot of beekeepers out there that could benefit from this book, but they wouldn’t know it by the title.
Overall, this book is a great resource for any beekeepers that want to take a hands-off, more natural approach to beekeeping. It is very thorough and detailed enough for beginners like myself, but I also believe this book would be great for experienced beekeepers who are looking for alternatives to treatments and supplements.
Purchase this book at Amazon.ca:
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beekeeping
By: Dean Stiglitz and Laurie Herboldsheimer