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The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute…
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The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees…

by Kim Flottum

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Every other beekeeping book I have read suggests having two deep (9"), ten-frame hive bodies (the bees' permanent home) and adding supers above those for honey (theirs and possibly some for you). Flottum suggests having three medium (6"), eight-frame bodies, not because of any advantage to the bees but because deeps are too heavy. I might as well install a scooter path from backdoor to hives so I don't have to walk all that distance either. That and a stairlift down the back steps.

He did suggest one interesting thing: one frame of specifically drone-sized foundation keep against one wall of a hive body so that wax moths (which prefer drones since their larvae are bigger and meatier than worker larvae) will concentrate there. He didn't suggest how the queen knows to lay only unfertilized eggs in that foundation, though. But queens know a whole lot; maybe they can sense different depths of cells.

At the end of the book are recipes for crafts, cosmetics, and food to be made with wax or honey. Most are sane. At least one is not: "Take selected large red or white currants. One by one, carefully make an incision in the skin 1/4" (.6cm) deep with tiny embroidery scissors. Through this slit remove the seeds with the aid of a sharp needle, preserving the shape of the fruit. [Preserve in honey.:]" (154)

Who am I, Danny the Champion of the World? Also there's a scene in the sequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in which Cassie's half-white-thus-alien cousin helps her dig chiggers out of her foot with a needle. I don't know which is less appetizing, currants full of sleeping pills or full of maggots.
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
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Flottum makes the time-honored and complex tradition of beekeeping an enjoyable and accessible backyard pasttime that will appeal to gardeners, crafters, and cooks everywhere.

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