The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Natural Beekeeping

Natural BeekeepingNatural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture by Ross Conrad is the beekeeping equivalent of Weedless Gardening or Gardening When it Counts --- an intermediate text for those of us who want to reach beyond the mainstream, chemical techniques.  I love these intermediate books because they tend to turn me onto topics to experiment with on our own homestead, but you have to take the whole category with a grain of salt. 

For example, intermediate texts tend to fill up space with beginner's information that their intermediate readers don't need while not providing enough of that basic info to take the place of a book like The Backyard Beekeeper.  Especially in the case of this book, intermediate texts often lack essential organization and are prone to extended bouts of philosphizing.  And although the author makes a concerted effort to pull together related information from the literature and from other beekeepers, Natural Beekeeping is essentially the summation of one man's experiences trying to raise healthy hives without chemicals in Vermont.  (Hmm, those flaws sound a lot like the flaws of our blog....)

I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't take any book like this as the gospel, but do mine out as much data as possible.  Which is exactly what I've done for this week's lunchtime series.  If you've never petted a bee, the information I present might be too confusing, but I hope established beekeepers will enjoy seeing a different perspective on bee care.

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This post is part of our Natural Beekeeping lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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So I have a bee question for you. Do you think certain personalities are better suited for bee keeping? Certain qualities you would recommend a person have before she considered having bees?
Comment by Heather Mon Jan 31 12:19:53 2011
I think the only two personality traits you need in order to keep bees are a love of honey and an ability to keep records. Naturally calm people will find beekeeping easier, but I think that more jittery people (like me) will get a lot out of the experience because they will cultivate calmness.
Comment by anna Mon Jan 31 16:19:42 2011

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