Review of the Second of Three Book’s I have Purchased

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.

  1. The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture by A. I. Root 39th edition 1983
  2. The Australian Beekeeping Manual by Robert Owen 1st Edition 2015
  3. 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.

2. The Australian Beekeeping Manual by Robert Owen

The book I have is a first edition and must say he has done a very good job.
This a book you can pick up and read front to back or dive into the particular section you are interested in. Almost all facets of beekeeping are covered in an interesting and well laid out book.

Pertinent to Neebees
Yes. I would have liked this book well before I started with my hive as it is so easy to read
and understand. Particularly the basics. Not sure how commercial beekeepers would benefit
as the book is more about getting started and the information needed as background to the venture.

As mentioned earlier you can start at the beginning and just read on. The life of the bee starts you off and you end with “problems” and “other types of bees and wasps”. Owens is easy to understand and uses photos, diagrams and drawings to better illustrate what he wants to get over.

To me this sets this book apart from others. The photos are in colour and high definition and the illustrations are very well labelled and easy to understand. In fact a great deal of this book is photos and drawings and makes following the text very easy.

Would I buy this book in Hindsight
Yes I would.

  1. The illustrations are outstanding.
  2. It is easy to read and logically laid out.
  3. Has everything for a newbee to get going

Edits. Couple of word corrections due to a couple too many G & Ts last night.


I get my bee supplies from Bob & have had many great conversations about beekeeping with him. He’s always very helpful & knowledgeable. I believe he’s presently doing a PHD focusing on Varroa presence & management tactics/practice in Australia. I have this book too & would definitely recommend it. However my favourite, because of some of it’s ‘vintage’ qualities (illustrations, diagrams) is ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture.

I agree. Robert Owen’s book is great from my (beginner’s) perspective too. I have tried to read almost everything that I can get my hands on in preparation for my entry into the world of apiary. I’ve found Owen’s book to be easy to read and informative, although perhaps this is because it builds on already accumulated knowledge.

A great read, and I wish that I had found it earlier in my studies.