Book Reviewed in ‘An Beachaire’!

‘Getting the Best from Your Bees’, by Dave MacFawn of S.Carolina and me, is the subject of a 2 page review in An Beachaire, the Irish Beekeeper!  The reviewer, Mary Montaut, doesn’t exactly bubble over with enthusiasm for the book as she thinks it is too American based. It is rather, but, although over this side of the pond we are used to the National hive and associated methods, the book is aimed at the whole world where far more people use the Langstroth.

She doesn’t think that, in Ireland, they could get away without winter feeding their bees while the book advocates leaving enough honey for the bees by not over-robbing.  I wonder how bees survived in Ireland before cheap cane sugar became available?  I haven’t routinely fed my bees for years and rarely lose a colony to starvation, except occasionally isolation starvation where they die in the midst of plenty.

She may be correct in her observation that the book is a little disjointed.  It’s what comes of having 2 authors: we suffered from the same problem as the committee designing a horse and producing a camel!

Mary concludes in a more complimentary manner, praising our skill and knowledge and admiring our chatty style. She says she would really like to visit an apiary or two with us and talk bees. Maybe we could arrange something when I’m over in Ireland for Gormanston.


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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2 Responses to Book Reviewed in ‘An Beachaire’!

  1. Emily Heath says:

    Maybe the problem with comparing how bees survived in Ireland in the past to how they survive now is that the available bee-friendly forage has been more than decimated. The British Bumblebee Conservation Trust attribute the decline of bumblebees to the loss of flower-rich grasslands – over 97% of these have been lost from the UK.

    I walk around my local area and see front gardens turned into car parks and parks which are sterile grass lawns punctuated by a few trees. Beekeeping has become more popular recently but the amount of available forage seems to be decreasing, so this may be contributing to beekeepers needing to feed.

  2. It’s like that in the cities in Ireland also, however, in the countryside, agriculture doesn’t seem nearly as industrialised as it is here. This is strange as Ireland is one of only 2 net food exporting countries in Europe – I think Holland is the other one.

    Some parts, the bog country for instance, may be a little lacking in floral variety but other parts are abounding with wild flowers. What I have found odd is that I can walk for miles along country lanes with lots of bee-flowers and not see a single bee. They’re not generally over-stocked.

    As a clue to the difference in the insect friendliness of our two countries, I stayed in Co. Galway for a couple of days pre-Gormanston and saw more swallows in the air than I had all year in England.

    Why not come to Gormanston this year to help your bee-education? The guest lecturer is Jennifer Berry of the University of Georgia.

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