Thursday, June 10, 2010

Review of Beekeeping Books: The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping

The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping by Roger A. Morse.

I still maintain that all the Roger Morse Guide to Beekeeping books are the best basic introductions to bee keeping that there are. People often ask me about top bar hives and foundationless comb. What I always say is, get "Roger Morse" right first. By this I mean understand the accepted way that most people have been successfully keeping bees in America since about the 1950s.

Roger Morse writes plainly and logically in a way that makes the reader understand the basic tasks and work by season. He also covers, in reasonable detail, swarm prevention, queen rearing and comb honey production. While the latter subjects aren't really required for the first or even second year bee keeper they are covered in enough detail to illuminate the many areas of even basic beekeeping that they touch upon. As an example, while the novice may not raise queens, reading about queen production will help her to understand the biology and life cycle of the queen.

Roger Morse's complete guides fall down in that they cover a little bit of everything, but don't go into a lot of detail about anything. Still, once you understand everything that Roger says because you have seen it in your hives you can call yourself a bee keeper.

There hasn't been a new edition of any of these books since about the early 1990s. So, the information is old but all the basic techniques still apply. Understand everything in a Complete Guide first, then make up your own mind. You probably know by now these are my most referred to and favorite books for basic information.

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