By Kim Flottum
I want to share a bit about our sister publication Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping. Both are published by the A. I. Root Company here in Medina, but Bee Culture started back in 1869, when the Root Company was the largest manufacturer of beekeeping supplies in the universe. They were also one of the largest queen producers, honey packers and beekeeping book publishers in the US at the time.
Beekeeping lends itself to beeswax, and over the years the Root Company eased over to producing candles instead of wooden ware and queen bees, but kept up with the book and magazine publishing, and so here we are today.
Bee Culture’s content is aimed more toward experienced beekeepers, serious honey producers selling their products for a living, migratory beekeepers, queen and package producers, serious pest and disease discussions, scientists (but it isn’t a science journal), gardeners interested in pollinators and the like. It makes the broad assumption that its readers have the basics mostly under control. That can be a stretch sometimes as all of us still struggle with the basics sometimes, but mostly that’s our reader.
In the world of beekeeping Bee Culture has, and sometimes shares, some of the best known writers in the industry. You’ve seen Jim Tew here, Ann Harman, Clarence Collison and Ross Conrad. All are good at working with beginners as well as talking to scientists. And, many of the writers you see here are also book authors that you can find where books are sold. Jim and Clarence are retired University Professors. Jim was Beekeeping Extension at The Ohio State University with a couple of basic beekeeping books under his belt, and Clarence was the same at Mississippi State with two books that we have published with him. Ann writes for several beekeeping publications, many of them in the UK, Ireland and other countries and she’s a sideline beekeeper. Ross is a commercial beekeeper and author of Natural Beekeeping. Others include Jennifer Berry, Lead Researcher at the Univ of GA, and Phil Craft, retired State Apiary Inspector from Kentucky. Occasionally you’ll see Larry Connor, once a queen breeder, Extension Specialist in Ohio (Jim replaced him), and now beekeeping book publisher.
And then there’s the related stuff. History articles with Jim Thompson occasionally, arguably the most studied beekeeping historian in the universe, and those cooking with honey recipes you’ll see (honey isn’t only good in tea and on toast you know).
Of course while we keep some things and most of our writers separate, we do share information that is pertinent to all beekeepers. Our Honey Report, New Products, and many of our advertisers are in both magazines because that information can be used by just about every beekeeper.
But the information you find here is aimed right at the 0 – 3 year beekeeper. I tell writers to imagine a beekeeper who still isn’t sure which end of a hive tool to use, all the way to a beekeeper who feels comfortable with smokers, but maybe not yet good disease ID, but is trying. The original idea came up for the same reasons A. I. Root started Bee Culture. I found I was answering the same questions every Spring for folks just starting out, so it was always difficult to get new items and information in the magazine. So…BEEKeeping began.
Of course BC is monthly, so the stream of information is wider and deeper, and that does make a difference to some, but a quarterly is just fine for a lot of folks we’ve learned. So we try and pack as much in as we can, both how-to, why-to, when-to and where-to so you have a reference point on timing and doing.
If you’re curious, there’s probably a BC on the same newsstand you found this one on, or drop us a line and we’ll send one out.