1. Home

Discuss in my forum

The Beekeeper's Bible - Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

By

The Beekeeper's Bible - Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses

The Beekeeper's Bible

Stewart, Tabori & Chang - New York

The Bottom Line

An amazing compendium of information, lore, facts, tips, techniques and benefits of having bees in your life - whether you choose to keep a hive yourself, enjoy the by-products, or just appreciate these wonderful creatures for all that they contribute to our human ecosystem. It is truly a comprehensive “bible” of bee and bee-related information. Although primarily about bees and beekeeping, there are recipes for in the last section will give soap and candle makers a new found appreciation for the honey and beeswax they use in their creations.
<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->

Pros

  • Truly comprehensive about bees, keeping bees, and the benefits of bees.
  • Gorgeously illustrated and filled with delightful tidbits of folklore and history.
  • Fascinating information about bees, how they live, communicate, and the threats they currently face.
  • Detailed information on practical beekeeping - hives, feeding, safety, diseases and harvesting.
  • A delicious section on honey - highlighting medicinal & practical uses with recipes, tips & crafts.

Cons

  • Only a small section is actually on honey/beeswax-related craft projects.
  • Warning: If you’re like me, you’ll be tempted to start a beehive of your own!

Description

  • A fabulous compendium of everything related to bees - from history to beekeeping to using the variety of bee byproducts.
  • Rich and fascinating history and lore of bees will give any reader a sense of awe and respect for these amazing creatures.
  • Detailed information on how to keep bees yourself - from building and maintaining the hive to harvesting the honey and wax.
  • Extensive information on honey, types of honey, beeswax and other bee byproducts.
  • A delicious collection of honey themed recipes for food, beauty and health.

Guide Review - The Beekeeper's Bible - Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses

When I first picked up "The Beekeeper's Bible" by Richard A. Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch, I was immediately reminded of a candle making book called "The Complete Book of Candles and Candlemaking" by Gloria Nicol. It is a gorgeous hardcover book that is as much about candles themselves, as it is about candle making - and is as inspiring as it is instructive.

The Beekeeper's Bible is much the same - part historical, part scientific, part practical - and very inspiring. Accompanied by gorgeous photos and illustrations, it covers pretty much everything bee, beekeeping, or bee byproduct possible, from honeybees in myths and symbols (did you know that there were bee gods and goddesses?) to bee hives and equipment to food and beauty recipes and making beeswax crayons.

The book is heavy - over 400 pages - and bound like a solid, college textbook. Like a textbook, it is full of hundreds of (often full page) illustrations, photographs and tables. I first turned to the recipe and craft section in the back to satisfy my crafter curiosity. But after leafing through recipes for Curried Honey Sweet Potato Soup, Honey and Cucumber Eye Treatment, Honey, Orange and Egg Hangover Cure, and Hand-Dipped Beeswax Candles, I started back at the beginning of the book where the real weight of the book is (both figuratively and literally) - the bees.

Overview of the Book
The first section, Bees and Beekeeping History, covers bee related myths, lore, and history from ancient times to today.

The second section, Understanding the Honeybee, tells you more about this special insect than you ever thought possible. From different types of bees, to their social life and survival techniques, you will have a new found appreciation for bees. The authors also discuss the current worldwide threats to bees, both old and new.

After reading the first and second sections, I immediately plunged into the third section, Practical Beekeeping. This section contains all of the details on choosing, populating and maintaining bee hives...and of course, harvesting the honey and beeswax.

The fourth section is all about that “Nectar of the Gods” - honey - and wonderful beeswax. I never knew there were so many different types of honey!

The last section, Recipes and Home Crafts, contains dozens of food and drink recipes that feature honey, and a number of beauty, health and craft recipes.

After going through the book once, I found myself leafing and skipping to various sections with a newly discovered respect, appreciation and a little bit of awe for bees. This tiny little insect creates such wonderful things - that, like our candles and soap, and even IN our candles and soap, we experience sensually through our taste, sight, touch, and smell.

<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.