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The Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida Murray. By Wm. Michael Hood, Prof. Emeritus, Clemson U. Published by Northern Bee Books, www.northernbeebooks.co.uk. ISBN 978-1-912271-07-8. 6½” X 9½”, 139 Pgs, color throughout, soft cover. $15.75.
The basics on this bee hive pest. Mike Hood did much of the ground work on this pest before he retired from Clemson, and has updated much of the information he presented in the first edition. Biology, history, importance, and most importantly (and easily 90% of the book, control. This includes preventing, cultural practices, monitoring, genetic control, mechanical control, physical control, biological control and finally chemical controls. He finishes with the Top 20 Small Hive Beetle Management Recommendations. For some this is a pest to deal with on and ongoing basis, and this is the book for you. Check it out.
Anatomy & Dissection of the honey bee. H. A. Dade. Published by Northern Bee Books and The International Bee Research Association. ISBN 978-0-86098-280-7. 196 pgs., black and white line drawings. Soft cover. Available at bookstores and Amazon, for $37.
This reprint of the original 1962 classic is still the basis of teaching beekeepers the structure of the honey bee in part 1, and how to dissect one to expose all the components of this amazing insect in part 2. The drawings are accurate and supurb and easy to use. Additions include the changes in technology in microscopes up to a point, and techniques in dissecting soft tissues. But if dissection is part of what you want to be doing, this is a good reference, and it includes hundreds of other references for you to check.
– Kim Flottum
Beekeeping. Inspiration and practical advice for beginners. By Andrew Davies. Published by The National Trust Books, a registered UK Charity. Available at www.pavilionbooks.com. ISBN 978-1-909881983 5½” x 7½”, 95 pgs, hard cover, black and white and color drawings. $12.95.
This is one of those little books you give to a friend who is thinking of taking up bees and doesn’t have a clue where to start. Yes, eventually a beginner’s class, an association and all the rest, but this is a good place to begin. Chapters include life in the hive, equipment needed, bee biology, inspections, managing bees, honey, problems (including Varroa), and the beekeeper’s year. The chapters are short but to the point, in an easy to read format, with good art, though not photos, to support the information. Got a friend who is thinking of bees? Give them a head start this Winter with this fine little book.
– Kim Flottum
VENOM. The secrets of nature’s deadliest weapon. By Ronald Jenner and Eivind Undheim. Published by Smithsonian books, www.smithsonianbooks.com. ISBN 978-1-58834454-0. 6¾” X 9”. 208 Pgs. Color throughout, soft cover. $19.95.
VENOM will bring you face to face with some of the most dangerous creatures on the planet, including jellyfish, snakes, and wasps. It explores the difference between venom and poison and how each is used for predation, defense, competition and even communication. Fossil records and DNA traces venom back to its origin. And finally, it examines the relationships between these dangerous creatures and humans. And even using them to create new drugs, treatments, and vaccines. This is a definitive guide to this most deadly way of life. And it is, even with these explanations, still the scariest book I’ve read. The very last chapter is on honey bee venom and how it works, and how people have made it work for us. Compared to some animals, honey bees pale in comparison. Be very glad.
– Kim Flottum
Mini Urban Beehive. A Sustainable Method of beekeeping. Albert Chubak. Published by EcoBeeBox. www.ecobeebox.com. ISBN 978-0-692-91865-4. 8½” X 11”, 40 pgs., color throughout. $24.95.
This isn’t a typical book. It’s more of an occasional magazine in format, but it has book-like information, and, magazine like articles, and, no advertising. It defies description. There will be more in this series, and they will be similar in size, content and scope, but they will cost much less. If you like the first one, and you will, the rest are easy to get, see below, and should probably be in you collection. Nevertheless, it has a focus and a good discussion on a lot of beekeeping application. The author lets the science to the scientists, and shares from that what it takes to do well with bees. It starts with lots of history of bee hives, and small hives in particular. This hive, named the Mini Urban Beehive, or MUB, is the focus here, after the history and other information. It has information on setting up one of these smaller hives, and using any one of nine techniques to do so, ranging from swarms, packages, splits, joining colonies and more. There are notes from users on how they coped with these hives and bees, what to look for when inspecting a MUB, different configurations of the four-box hive, contacts in every state, good neighbor beekeeping, types of bees, forage, propolis, using the observation windows to best advantage, feeding, using the foundationless frames, the Eco Bee Box Bracket, which holds everything together, wintering – this list goes on and on. Each topic briefly explained in the context of using these small hives. It has a useful glossary at the end. You can find out more about these hives, and this book at www.ecobeebox.com.
– Kim Flottum
BeeCounted.org is a map-based public website where beekeepers and the general public can see the extensive data being collected across the country through BroodMinder products. This information will enable new insights into hive distress and help develop new interventions to improve outcomes. It will give researchers, clubs and backyard beekeepers alike the opportunity to examine a large, standardized data set from which to find solutions to common issues.
BeeCounted.org is the latest offering from BroodMinder, a company conceived by Rich Morris, a backyard beekeeper with a product design background. All BroodMinder products have been developed to address a huge issue that plagues beekeepers: how to get the best decision-making data to keep their bees alive.
According to company founder Rich Morris, “Our message is simple: every hive counts and BroodMinder products have been created to give you the reliable, consistent and trackable information you need. BeeCounted.org is the next logical step.”
It all started simply when Rich was frustrated at losing bees in the Wisconsin winter. In many Midwestern states, more than 40% of hives were lost in 2016. The real issue is that it is difficult to resolve a problem that has no solid information from which to draw conclusions.
From his experience working on medical products, Rich knew that the answer was to develop a system that gives you data that can be measured accurately, installed economically and shared widely.
Broodminder has created these devices using Internet of Things (IoT) interconnectivity principles: first, to measure hive temperature and humidity (BroodMinder-TH); second, to measure hive weight (BroodMinder-W). Continual testing all over the United States (with new sites coming on board every month) has enabled them to evolve the devices and their operation. So far, over 5,000 devices have been installed covering more than 1,000 hives with a reachable goal of over 10,000 devices by the end of 2017.
The Observation Hive Handbook. Studying Honey Bees At Home. By Frank Linton. Published by Cornell University Press. ISBN 13 9781501712210. 7” x 10”, color, 95 pages. Soft cover. SRP $24.95. Available from Bee Culture’s Book Store. www.BeeCulture.com.
The Observation Hive Handbook is a comprehensive text that provides all the necessary information needed for a beekeeper to select an observation hive design, stock it with bees, maintain it, and enjoy the experience that the hive will provide. This is from Jim Tew’s blurb on the back of Frank’s new book. It sums up nicely what this book does in only 95 pages.
But I’ll tell you, I wish I would have had this book 30 years ago when I started my first observation hive. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy and money, and if you don’t already have one (and why not?), it will do the same for you.
I’ve managed observation hives off and on for that long, and I think I’ve seen nearly everything that can go wrong. Starting with which hive do you buy? That’s a good question because every location has different requirements. This book reviews all the commercial models available and will save you a lot of grief down the road.
But it also looks at installation, how to work an observation hive (easier than you think if you know how), general management (like overwintering, feeding, cleaning), keeping a hive in a public place, both permanent and temporary, and fun things you can do with a hive once installed.
If you have plans for, or already have one of these, you need this book. It’s worth every penny.