The intention is to give my perspective on three books I have purchased
I am not a book critic (English always dragged me down though school and university) but a retired engineer and new to bee keeping, so I cannot comment on the factual accuracy of information.
The books will be reviewed in the order I received them.
- The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture by A. I. Root 39th edition 1983
- The Australian Beekeeping Manual by Robert Owen 1st Edition 2015
- The Practical Beekeeper Vols 1, 2 and 3 by Michael Bush 2011 edition
I do not necessarily agree with everything in these books but they, together with information from forums and web sites form the basis of how I intend to manage my bees.
Michael Bush in his book says in effect, grab every book you can lay your hands on,read it and take what you think is right for you (apologies Michael if I am miss quoting). I agree with this. I have always had the philosophy that if you get just one bit of information you can take and use from a book, that book has paid for itself.
1.The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture.
I have the 1983 edition of a book first published in 1877 and found it to be very easy to read and has heaps of detail on bees and beekeeping. Being in encyclopedic form I was able to go to the alphabetic section and find just about anything I could throw at it.
Bees have not changed all that much since 1877 so beekeeping fundamentals are the same today as then, with the exception of diseases. Obviously the section on diseases is outdated in the number of diseases and their treatment. Some of the hive and extraction methods have been improved or discarded but the basics are still there.
Pertinent for Newbees
Most certainly. I found a wealth of information, usually with out trying, when browsing through this book. Gives great, sometimes over burdening, information on just about every thing a Newbee would want to know.
This book is not intended to be picked up and read cover to cover. More of an alphabetical lookup just as the Title indicates. The language , while obviously of a 1877 style is surprisingly easy to read and understand.
The illustrations are not what we expect today. The original photographs and drawings are
in the main very low definition and difficult view. The line drawings are Ok as they don’t demand the detail a photo does. Never the less, mostly you can figure the point of the illustration and I was happy that there were photos recording bee keeping over a hundred years ago.
Would I buy this Book in Hindsight.
- The information is detailed and easy to find.
- Gives an understanding of how beekeeping has evolved since 1877.
- Has heaps of very interesting historical photos and sketches.