"There are an awful lot of different ways to keep bees and an awful lot more mistakes you can make in the attempt. Believe me, I should know - I've made loads of them. If only I'd had access to a Haynes Manual at the time."
BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull.
As the latest figures show a significant increase in beekeeping in the UK, Haynes is publishing the Bee Manual, the complete and easy-to-follow guide to the intriguing world of the honey bee and the addictive craft of beekeeping.
The British Beekeepers' Association's membership has doubled since 2007 to 20,000 and they estimate that there are around 240,000 hives in the UK. With the resurgence in allotments and 'growing your own', more and more people are showing an interest in keeping bees. Haynes' new Bee Manual will give them everything they need to know to get started as well as offering plenty of advice and tips for the experienced beekeeper.
What sets the Bee Manual apart from other books on this increasingly popular subject is the no-nonsense Haynes approach, including step-by-step sequences and instructions, carefully illustrated with specially created diagrams and full colour photography, primarily by the authors themselves.
The Bee Manual covers everything from how a bee colony operates and thrives, to techniques for swarm control. Diagrams show how beekeepers can work with the bees to help carry out pollination activities and maximise the honey crop. It includes advice on the honey bee's life cycle, choosing equipment and obtaining bees, finding and laying out an apiary, how to inspect a colony, handle frames and control the bees and dealing with the honey crop. It also explains what the most common pests and diseases are and how to prevent them.
It is clear that bees need our help now more than at any time. Thousands of honey bee colonies have been lost across the world, although not in the UK, due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The sharp reduction in the amount of suitable forage available to pollinators is also harming the bee population. When you consider that to collect a pound of honey, a bee might have to fly a distance equivalent to twice round the world, visiting more than 10,000 flowers, it is clear just how extraordinary these insects are and how important their survival is to our eco-system.
About the authors
Claire and Adrian Waring have kept bees for over eighty years between them and have been involved in both local beekeeping and more specialised associations such as the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders' Association (BIBBA) for most of that time. Formerly County Beekeeping Instructor for Northamptonshire, Adrian holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping and has lectured widely on the subject. Claire is Editor of the monthly magazine Bee Craft and is a founding trustee of the UK charity Bees Abroad, which seeks to relieve poverty in developing countries through beekeeping.
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