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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    lake geneva wi

    Default Greatest bee books

    I want to see what the consensus is about what are the best bee books.
    I will open it with my choices and observations. My current lineup is:

    CC Miller, 50 Years Among the Bees
    Ron Miksha, Bad Beekeeping
    Sue Hubbell, A Country Year: Living the Questions

    Some fast observations, please enhance and expound if you are inclined:

    First Miller. I have a particular interest here because I'm about 20 miles away from where he lived in Marengo IL. First of all there is some wicked non-pc humor tucked away in this book. Some parts could just as well have been written by Mark Twain. It sent me to the dictionary many times, factotum? A book very much reflective of the time so much that you feel transported. You realize that beekeeping of his day was filled with hucksters and gadgets of all sorts, then you snap back to reality. The "Bee Palace" is one I liked. There is also the obvious skill and integrity of the author that is refreshing. A true expert, peerless but matter of fact. Some of the advice about the real commercial economics of beekeeping is still valid and definitive.

    Ron Miksha humorously cites Miller about one of his economic dictums in Bad Beekeeping which places you fully in the modern commercial beekeeping world. I love the extensive citiations of this book! No other beek
    book comes close for being such a treasure trove of reading in this regard.
    His personal story is compelling here too. Just like Miller in many ways but so different in when and how it was written and the broad geographic scope as opposed to Miller's rooted focus. This is the one book I would give to anyone who wants to understand the current real world of working beeks.
    "Simply bad beekeeping" is a true classic phrase I like to quip every now and then which alone is worth the read.

    Sue Hubbell I include as a book of interest not so much as a great bee book. Why I include it is it is a book that has some fine personal insight about life transformed from the benefit of beekeeping. Perhaps a unique book from the perspective of a female commercial beek? Needs a bit of editing and update.
    Eg. a jab at the ABC-XYZ ref. book that is way out of date. A bigger example is an unattributed quote from whom I presume is a Haiku poet that is central to the author's philosophy which I find falls short. She gets consolation from more questions than answers despite also taking solace from ultra precise nomenclature. However, the poet she quotes gets it; beyond questions, answers and mind are things that are just unknowable but at some rare moments perceptible. That is the feeling of unworthiness that the poet touches, which I'm sure she feels as well but just does not get it elaborated any further than the quote.
    Last edited by JBG; 08-16-2009 at 06:07 AM. Reason: grammar

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