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Book Review: Keeping Bees by Ashley English

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Keeping Bees is part of the Homemade Living Series of books that includes reference books geared toward people everywhere who are interested in seasonal, local food with an interest in knowing how and where it’s produced, becoming engaged in their communities, exploring self-sustainability, and enjoying fresh flavors. Other books in the series include Keeping Chickens, Home Dairy, and Canning and Preserving.

Keeping Bees begins with an introduction to the do-it-yourself food movement along with how keeping your own bees can be a great step toward championing home-grown food. Chapter one is an extremely detailed introduction to honey bees that looks at the history of honey bees from prehistoric cave paintings up through the current times. Then learn all about honeybee anatomy, with descriptions as well as pictures to follow along. The book also includes pictures and descriptions of each of the three types of honey bees in the hive hierarchy.

I had no idea some of the information I read in this chapter! I definitely do NOT want to be a male honey bee! You will also learn all about the different duties of the worker bees and the life stages of honeybees.

Also included in the book is everything you need to know from considering whether or not bees are for you to the housing requirements, feeding bees, essential bee-keeping supplies, where to find the bees, a look inside a beehive, a look at bees through the seasons with handy checklists on health and wellness, and a chapter on the honey itself.

The last chapter in this book is definitely my very favorite and it includes honey recipes! You can easily make these honey recipes from your own honey or from honey purchased from the store or local supplier.

If you’re considering keeping your own bees, you definitely need to check this reference book out. There are tons of full color photographs and helpful pictures that explain just about every aspect of the bee-keeping process. It’s very well written and the author’s style is fun to read.

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.