I have been keeping a few hives for about 5 years. I dont want anything too complicated, just something that will enable me to produce totally raw honey and pollen, and to use natural remedies instead of so many chemicles and toxic medications. Thanks.
I have all of the old books which are useful for understanding bees. It sounds like you are looking for new ones to find remedies for mites etc. I think the only really promising solutions to mites without chemicals you'll find on this board. The two big ones are fogging Food Grade Mineral Oil (FGMO) and small cell. The simplest to implement woud be the FGMO. I have used wintergreen syrup and FGMO on the top bars in the spring, but I have not gotten satisfatory results with this alone. I'm going to go with the fogger (when the one I ordered gets here), because I'm trying to get away from the aptistan.
I agree with Michael, the most updated info is right here. Also, the info here is free to take or leave. I have the ABC-XYZ book, and find it most interesting. I have a few queen rearing books too. Even if you are not planning to raise queens, the is fantastic info on how bees do things in the hive, It just answeres alot of questions, that other books mention, but don't really get involved with. Dadant sells a good one to, "The Hive and the Honey Bee" I think is its name. But there are alot of books out there depending on what you are trying to do.
Has anyone tried oxalic acid applications? I just read in a german web site (http://de.geocities.com/vaporizerklaus/)that they apply it kind of like FGMO is applied and they even sell a vaporizer for that. They claim amazing results.
I have not tried it. It may be great but here's what I would worry about:
1. Is oxalic acid approved by the FDA?
2. Is it harmful to the bees.
3. I do know that it is the cause of my kidney stones, so why would I add it to my food?
As I understand it you apply oxalic acid in the winter when there is the least amount of brood. They claim that one ten second application at that time will give 97% control of varroa mites. Applying it before and after the flow would not be applying it while there is any harvestable honey in the hive.
No the FDA is not likely to approve an acid for human comsumption.
It has not proven to be harmful to bees in Europe and they have been useing it there for years. It may be that the reason that the brood is not affected is the same reason that brood is not affected by FGMO. The latest discussion on that area of this board is that the brood may be covered with royal jelly or that it lays deep enough in the cell that the fumes do not reach or expose the brood to toxic amounts.
I posted this earlier last week and did not get a response, I am interested in what Barry had in mind.
Barry, you wrote:
"FYI, oxalic is not approved for use in the U.S. It may work good, but like all chemicals, it too has a limited life of effectiveness on mites. We are already hearing of oxalic resistant mites from parts of Europe."
I don't understand, how could an insect develop a resistance to a corrosive acid? As I understand it, the insects suction-mouth part, (technical, eh?), is corroded away by the acid resulting in it starving to death.
It seems to me, resistance is futile.
Back to the original question...I would say the best "new" book is "Beekeeping for Dummies". Especially for new beekeepers.
the best info you could is to find a local beekeeper in your locale.
you can read books all day and that still don't make a person a beekeeper.
my advice is work with your local beekeepers and seeing is believeing.
Hands on experence is worth a lot then you might get out of a book.
I started out that way 48 yrs ago still keep my bees too.
I have been useing the natural oils for over 5 yrs now good reults.
Thanks Beeman, I believe you are absolutely right. I will take your advice and seek out a mentor in my area. I allways have found books to be too superficial, and hard to learn from anyway. Have a great day!! paul.
Paul: I was scrolling the forum and ran into your query and would like to offer a comment. Several seasons ago I bought a used beekeeping book titled "Beekeeping Tips and Topics" author Elbert R. Jaycock, printed 1982. Out of Print and hard to find, I loaned my first copy and it was never returned , I finally found another used copy and have it tied to the book shelf. This book cuts right to the bottom line, the author writes with authority and from experience (commercial beekeeper producing honey, package bee, and Queens. Supervisor of Apiary inspectors CA. Research entomologist with the USDA , taught bee behavior at the U of Illinoise , and so on)I just now laid the book down and opened it at random to pages 56-57 , page 56 titled "Queen Bees" Thoughts on royal succesion -or- requeening: How long live the Queen? at what age shoud a Queen be replaced , should you let your colonies rear their own Queens. You will find similar thought provoking questions and their answere on every page, example page 6 , some amature beekeepers have problems with 9-frame systems, other amature beekeepers make the mistake of using permanent frame spacers in the brood chamber.
In my humble opinion there is little that a new beekeeper needs to know that can not be readily found in the 155 pages of this book. I feel sure that there other books that are just as good,I am just not familiar with them.
I agree that an old local beekeeper is a good source of information on local stuff ( when does the Sourwood bloom ), but when the coversation turns to how to in the hive, take President Regans advice and accept, but verify.
Les in SC
Here are some books I have read.
BEEKEEPING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE,
by Richard E. Bonney, 1993
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BEEKEEPING,
by Roger A. Morse, 1994
BEEKEEPING FOR DUMMIES,
by Howland Blackiston, 2002
HOW TO KEEP BEES AND SELL HONEY,
by Walter T. Kelley, 1983
THE HIVE AND THE HONEY BEE,
by Roy A. Grout, 1963
A recommendation by another site user:
HONEY IN THE COMB,
by C. C. Killion