Sunday, December 09, 2012
Book Review: Keeping Bees In Towns & Cities
by Luke Dixon
Published by Timber Press, 2012
Keeping bees is no longer a pursuit only for those living in rural areas. An increased knowledge and awareness of the vital importance of bees in the pollination of flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and crops, and the problems faced by the decreasing bee populations worldwide has made many gardeners and those interested in "green" issues to delve deeper into the feasability of keeping bees even if they do not live in rural areas.
Bees can be kept just about anywhere, no matter how unlikely. I was amazed to find that a basic box hive has a "footprint" of only 60cm square, which means that a hive can easily be sited on a rooftop, balcony, patio, small garden or patch of waste land, provided that a source of water - either naturally occurring or provided by the bee-keeper - is close at hand. Hives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and Luke Dixon, an urban beekeeper himself, walks the reader gently through the complexities and intricacies of keeping bees, from the choice and siting of a hive, buying bees and settling them into their new home, buying equipment, dealing with beestings, planting a bee-friendly garden, harvesting honey and the general day to day care of a hive.
This is an introductory book with a difference; full of colour photographs, it also has a section which details the varied experiences of urban beekeepers - young and old - from all over the world. It is engagingly written, conversational in style but crammed with information and it is an ideal book for those thinking of maybe venturing into producing their own honey and also helping bees to survive.