Monday, April 1, 2013

New Book on Sustainable Beekeeping at Shelter

Christy Hemenway, founder of Gold Star Honeybees, has published a thoughtful and innovative guide to beekeeping titled, The Thinking Beekeeper: A Guide to Natural Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives. The book has been chosen as a Mother Earth News Wiser Living Choice and is being touted as the definitive do-it-yourself guide to natural and sustainable beekeeping.

Christy has offered her Top Bar Beekeeping class at Shelter, and we have seen a significant increase in interest in beekeeping. With honey bee populations under threat (see this recent piece in the New York Times), many are choosing to help sustain this small and vital part of our ecosystem by providing a pesticide-free home for bees in their backyard. If you're getting started beekeeping or are an experienced beekeeper and looking for guidance, we highly recommend this book, which is available at Shelter or online at Shelter Tools.

If you're curious about beekeeping and Christy's ideas, you can watch a brief talk she offered at the TEDxDirigo conference held in Portland, Maine, titled, "Making the Connection: Honeybees, Food, and You." You can watch the video below.

More from The Thinking Beekeeper: A Guide to Natural Beekeeping in Top Bar Hives Publisher's Site:
What's the buzz about the growing popularity of backyard beekeeping? Providing habitat for bees, pollinating your garden and producing honey for your family are some of the compelling reasons for taking up this exciting hobby. But conventional beekeeping requires a significant investment and has a steep learning curve. The alternative? Consider beekeeping outside the box.

The Thinking Beekeeper is the definitive do-it-yourself guide to natural beekeeping in top bar hives. Based on the concept of understanding and working with bees' natural systems as opposed to trying to subvert them, the advantages of this approach include:

  • simplicity, sustainability and cost-effectiveness 
  • increased safety due to less heavy lifting and hive manipulation 
  • chemical-free colonies and healthy hives.
Top bar hives can be located anywhere bees have access to forage, and they make ideal urban hives due to their small footprint. Emphasizing the intimate connection between our food systems, bees, and the well-being of the planet, The Thinking Beekeeper will appeal to the new breed of beekeeper who is less focused on maximizing honey yield, and more on ensuring the viability of the bee population now and in the coming years.

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