|Can order from: http://horizontalhive.com/keeping-bees-with-a-smile/natural-beekeeping-books.shtml|
I've been wanting to read this book for awhile since it was one of the works that inspired Lazutin's approach to beekeeping.
To say that this book is an amazingly comprehensive work doesn't really do it justice. It is thoughtfully organized into 4 sections:
- An intro to beekeeping focused on bees, the colony and the hive
- A tutorial that takes beekeepers through the first three years of beekeeping
- Other hive systems
- General observations on beekeeping, eg., apiarity products, diseases, pests, nectar sources, etc.
Some of the information is irrelevant to the modern reader (such as the information on skeps and how to transfer bees to a Layens hive from a fixed comb hive). But to me, those bits seems like an interesting little window back through time.
There were also lots of interesting little tips that I found delightful -- like rubbing one's hands with a lemon to reduce the chances of being stung (something I look forward to testing). I especially liked the chapters on nectar sources and yields.
Another fascinating aspect of the book were Layen's feeding recommendations. By today's standards, they seem so minimal. I don't know if it's because sugar was so much more expensive then, or if modern beekeepers are feeding too much. My guess is a little of both, but if we experience another terrible season this year, I'll certainly reconsider how much sugar I purchase.