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Author Topic: ??Beekeeping book reccomendation for an aspiring comerical beekeeper??  (Read 993 times)
ThePlot
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« on: February 20, 2013, 02:33:31 PM »

Hello Community,

There are many beekeeping books, and I do not know which to choose.

I have a B.S. in physics, and have nearly have a B.S. in cellular biology. I'm highly capable and I don't want a "baby" book. I want to dive into the world of beekeeping. I want a well written book rich with information. I want a captivating book.

So, what books do you recommend?

What books are must haves?

Thank you for all your help and time.
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Moots
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 02:58:36 PM »

Received this one as a Christmas present and have been pleased:
Backyard Beekeeping

And of course, Michael Bush's Book!  While I haven't read his book, I've read plenty of what's posted on his website and he's a highly respected regular contributor on this forum.

Bushfarms.com
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 04:09:47 PM »

I'd say the book would depend a lot on your philosophy of life and you philosophy of beekeeping:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesphilosophy.htm

Then, depending on that, I would look for books consistent with that philosophy.  As far as learning how to make money at bees, I'd read everything you can find online by Kirk Webster and Michael Palmer.  They are contemporary beekeepers who are making a living and are fairly self sufficient.  But so far neither has a book out, although Michael Palmer is working on one.

Some of the problems of beekeeping such as the mites etc. are new ones, but bees are still bees.  I love the old books.  I read everything by C.C. Miller and G.M. Doolittle.  Both were successful commercial beekeepers.  I think you need to decide what you want to raise.  I doubt anyone can make a living raising honey in this day of cheap imports, but you could do honey, queens, nucs etc. and the diversity should help.  If that's what you want to do then books on queen rearing would be in order.  You can check out a lot of the classics for free on my website:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesoldbooks.htm

Another three books that are very much oriented toward the commercial concept are:
Advanced Beekeeping by -W.Z. Hutchinson (out of print but you can find it sometimes used)
How to raise bees and sell honey by Walter T. Kelley
Mysteries of Bee-Keeping Explained by Moses Quinby (out of print but I think some cheap scans are out there, plus you can read it for free on cornel'ls site)

Cornell's collection of old beekeeping books:
http://bees.library.cornell.edu/b/bees/browse.html
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ThePlot
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 05:06:30 PM »

Thank you for the help. I appreciate the wealth of information you have led me too. It's much appreciated Smiley


I love that there are "philosophies" It makes me more certain that I have found a gem of a profession, or at least a match for me.

Regarding my philosophy. I will adhere to the organic philosophy. I believe nature is amazing and wondrous. Mothers milk is better than formula. Personally organic is a must! Not only for my bees, but for the environment! (personal opinion but I feel strongly about it) I will gladly put in the extra time and effort to maintain an organic operation.

Regarding the science versus art. I highly value both. I intend to care for my bees in a very scientific manner (so I need knowledge) but i also intend to care for them with LOTS of feeling. I want to be one with the bees Smiley Science will help me provide for them, while feeling will help me care for them. I feel both are needed. Basically i agree with what was stated on the link you submitted although I disagree with Pascal's quote.

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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 05:34:39 PM »

Welcome and glad you are here.
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10framer
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 05:50:18 PM »

no matter what your aspect you focus on you will need a lot of money to get started on a commercial level (it's not even a cheap hobby).  
mr. bush is right about cheap imported honey.  my first job was working for a commercial beekeeper (he was also the state apiarist at the time).  i watched an era in commercial beekeeping in north america end as a young man and there were two major causes.  honey from argentina and the varroa mite.
honestly, we were raping the bees back then.  we fed them corn syrup through the winter, hit them with antibiotics, sold packages, took all the honey, pollinated, re-queened then started feeding syrup again.
those were different times.  i got to see most of the commercial operations in alabama and now only a couple of them are left.
sadly, a lot of those were several generations old.  
i hope you are able to pull it off.  i'd like to be up to a couple hundred hives by 2015 but i don't think i could survive on beekeeping alone.
keep us up to date and good luck.
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ThePlot
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 01:05:45 AM »

Once again i appreciate the input, even if it is dour. As John Dewey put it, "Ignorance is not bliss, it is unconsciousness and slavery."

I don't know anything of the financial state of beekeeping. I do know I can't afford to jump into commercial beekeeping. Luckily a single production unit (hive) is affordable so I plan to start small (very small) and slowly build up over time.
Regardless, bees pollinate 75% of pollinated crops. I know farmers "rent" bees to maximize their harvest. Bees ARE needed. I don't know how it would work, but I believe there must be a way and that is why I am here. I have much to learn. Hopefully I can make a living. There is only one way to find out.

And the first update: Today I got my Fictitious business name Cheesy

Thanks again.

-J
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bud1
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 09:43:45 AM »

comercial requires a total switch in yo ideas. not loving but wham bam thank you mam, you dont have time for the nicietys that we enjoy with our bees.   get in touch with redbee. he has spent a life time as a comercial from worker to oner. and will be glad to help you in anyway he can
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to bee or not to bee
10framer
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 10:42:32 AM »

yes^^^
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Mbeck
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 02:16:26 PM »

Organic?
Bees fly, it maybe impossible to maintain an organic status where you live.

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Stromnessbees
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2013, 05:51:59 AM »

Organic?
Bees fly, it maybe impossible to maintain an organic status where you live.



I agree. In these times of neonicotinoids you can rarely assume that your bees will be safe anywhere.

You need to do some careful research before you spend a lot of time and money on going commercial, especially if you want to do pollination contracts.

If businesses that have been in this for generations are going bankrupt now, then there has to be a major problem with this industry.


This is not a book, but the recent account of a major bee farmer in California who just lost 2000 hives to pesticides.
Just open the link to my thread and take note of his words, this is quite an eye-opener.


A UK beekeeper compiled the following document after receiving a shocking report from a US bee farmer:

to see full text and images please follow this link and log in:
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7FCgF0BwlDGbWhUUGd4ZkQtcWs/edit?usp=sharing


An Eye-Witness to Colony Collapse


A Midwestern beekeeper friend has earned his living as a migratory bee-farmer for almost 40 years, ...

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edward
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2013, 06:35:01 AM »

You need experience, start big and you will encounter big losses, start small and the losses will bee smaller.

The knowledge and experience go hand in hand, sure you can hit the ground running but it will bee expensive and cost you money and bees.

Also you will need time to build up a  network of clients and customers and colleagues.

Practical knowledge of working bees is a must, bee an apprentice at a larger beekeeper och company and learn what works for them, hopefully you will get payed in dollars and knowledge.

mvh edward  tongue
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10framer
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2013, 08:30:14 AM »

^^^^^ edward is absolutely right.  you also need business skills.  budgeting, scheduling, management and marketing all come into play. 
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edward
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2013, 09:07:57 AM »

I went from 6 to 13
8 to 30
22 to 40
35 to 69

and trying to land at about 100

You can divide a hive into 4 but if you do a division into 2 after the harvest and feed you can have your cake and eat it too, with a harvest of honey.

Also to expand and keep multiple hive you need to be able to breed your own queens or you'll kneed a big wallet to keep things going.
Money and business sens will only get you so far, hands on beekeeping experience is critical .

Also colleges, or clubs are a great help, a mentor to use as a sounding board, and to help understand new unexpected things that the bees get up to.

mvh edward  tongue
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edward
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2013, 05:02:55 PM »

Also something like this would bee beneficial to jump start a commercial beekeeping venture

http://extension.oregonstate.edu/mb/

mvh edward  tongue
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jpmeir
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2013, 10:18:53 PM »

The bee club I attend recommends The Beekeeper's Handbook.  It's a basic book on bee keeping and a good start.  ABC XYZ is another....

 
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ThePlot
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2013, 05:32:29 PM »

Thanks again for the book recommendations. Bush's website is very informative and I will order some other books next paycheck. So, thanks for helping the "bee"ophyte out.  (disambiguation: beeophyte = bee+ neophyte)




Below are individual responses, they may more or less be off topic, but came up
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edward: Just as you advised, I don't intend to start big. I believe I will get into bee keeping similar to your approach. My first year I hope to have 4-5 hives while I learn. I also intend to take your advice on queen rearing, which should also be fun and make will make me a better beekeeper as well as potentially providing a source of income. Maybe I will eventually go bee hunting as well Cheesy. I also plan to find work with a commercial beekeeper for the "hands on" experience and first hand knowledge. So thank you very much as well as for the OSU link. I will look into that.

MBeck: Regarding the question of organic honey, it is possible. TO my understanding bees stay within a 5ive mile radius(maybe 3mi.) of their hive. Therefore keep your hives 5 miles away from any "non-organic" source and your honey will be organic. Also there are standards for certification as organic which can be followed.

Bud1: Regarding a natural approach, it isn't the status quo but that does not mean it is impossible. If it is possible I will do it. I intend to find out... gradually. There may only be one way to make it the MOST profitable(the status quo), but I am willing to make less money and practice beekeeping using the methods I see fit.


Regarding the "state" of commercial beekeeping that has been shared with me.
Again, "Ignorance is not bliss; it is unconsciousness and slavery"  -John Dewey
So, once again thank you.


P.S. every time I use the verb "be" I'm soooo tempted to write "bee". Eventually I'm sure I will give in.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 11:36:31 AM by ThePlot » Logged

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edward
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2013, 06:34:27 PM »

P.S. every time I use the verb "be" I'm soooo tempting to write "bee". Eventually I'm sure I will give in.

 evil Yeesssss  evil give in to the bee side of the force and beecome one of us  lau



The most and best time I have learned from my mentor is beetween bee yards when we are riding around and discussing and talking about bees, Its great to have one on one time to sound out ideas and thoughts about bee keeping.

mvh edward  tongue

Beekeeping is FUN  grin
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