The beekeeping books blog

You can find here all the books recommended by the association members:

March 2019

In Praise of Bees – A cabinet of curiosities by Elizabeth Burchill

in praise of beesThis fascinating and comprehensive book explores the bee’s place in human society from prehistoric cave paintings and inscribed clay tablets through to our contemporary world – a cabinet whose drawers are filled with nuggets of bee science and practical beekeeping, myth, religion, politics, philosophy and folklore. There is a selection of verse and a rich variety of illustrations ranging from Old Masters and scientific etchings to modern photographs. An in-depth look at bees’ complex society and their present plight, the ongoing political and scientific to and fro regarding pesticides and other threats are also discussed, given the bee’s importance as plant pollinator in agriculture and the wild.

It’s obviously the result of a great deal of research. Gathered into topics with short sections and lots of illustrations, it’s an enchanting book to dip into.


February 2019

Swarming: Its control and prevention by L. E. Snelgrove

swarming preventionAlthough it was published in the 1930s, it was the result of careful observation and analysis and is still relevant to how we manage swarming today. Just as importantly, it is written in simple and straightforward language and is (relatively) short. There are 2 copies in the library.

More about this book on this page.

November 2018

A Sting in the Tail by Dave Goulson

a stingDave Goulson has always been obsessed with wildlife, from his childhood menagerie of exotic pets and dabbling in experimental taxidermy to his groundbreaking research into the mysterious ways of the bumblebee and his mission to protect our rarest bees.

Once commonly found in the marshes of Kent, the short-haired bumblebee is now extinct in the UK, but still exists in the wilds of New Zealand, descended from a few queen bees shipped over in the nineteenth century. A Sting in the Tale tells the story of Goulson’s passionate drive to reintroduce it to its native land and contains groundbreaking research into these curious creatures, history’s relationship with the bumblebee, the disastrous effects intensive farming has had on our bee populations and the potential dangers if we are to continue down this path.

July 2018

Peter Sutcliffe recommended

Nudge Nudge, Hint Hint by John Yates

yates_nudgenudgehinthint-2John Yates wrote a series of monthly articles for the Plymouth Branch of the Devon Beekeepers’ Association during the period August 1989 – October 1992. These were published  as a most successful book later in 1992. The volume is full of wise advice and beekeeping insight which while written for the micro-climate around Plymouth can be applied anywhere in Great Britain so long as notice is taken of regional climate which in some parts is 3 or 4 weeks in arrears.

June 2018

Andrew Esterbrook recommended

The Bad Beekeepers’ club by Bill Turnbull

B Turnbull - the bad beekeepers club

Hello. My name is Bill and I’m a bad beekeeper. A really bad beekeeper.’
So begins Bill Turnbull’s charming and often hilarious account of how he stumbled into the world of beekeeping (sometimes literally). Despite many setbacks – including being stung (twice) on his first day of training – beekeeping somehow taught Bill a great deal about himself, and the world around him.



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