David MacFawn and Chris Slade
2011 141 pages (M935)
This is an unusual book, written in a chatty style by two very experienced and thoughtful beekeepers – one from North America - David Elgie MacFawn, and one from UK – Chris Slade. Their approach is summed up by MacFawn, quoting the mantra of another famous beekeeping teacher, John Ambrose: ‘To be successful with bees, you need to understand enough about their nature such that you do things supportive of their nature, and not against their nature. The bees know better what they are doing than the beekeeper’. With this attitude in mind, the book addresses many practical aspects of beekeeping, making no assumptions of the type of bees, nor the type of equipment in use by the reader, for ‘all beekeeping is local’ and beekeepers must learn the characteristic of their local bees and prevailing situations. The book provides an abundance of those practical details that beekeepers need to know, yet that are omitted often from standard introductory texts that tend to describe the ideal situation rather than what happens in real beekeeping life. For example, what do you do when a frame becomes jammed, or if the queen flies off while you are admiring her? So this book is not for complete beginners, but is an enjoyable read for those with some experience who aim to get the best from their bees, which is, after all almost the title of this excellent and helpful new book.