Hard question. I think I am always changing my thinking on how I keep bees. I have only done this for 6 years and I have done something radically different each year.
I don't think this book had much of an influence on how I keep bees, but probably did have an influence on what I think about bees. I don't want to give away spoilers, but some of the high points to me were his discussions on how the North American (my term) bee has evolved from German blacks, Caucasians, Carniolans, Apis m. sculleta, et. als. I thought the DNA comparison between the specimens he collected decades ago (late 70's?) and a modern day nest of the Arnot Forest was pretty fascinating.
If I had to be critical, I would say that I thought some of the nest preference stuff was a little recycled from Honey Bee Democracy, but I did not mind reading it again.
The primary focus was his Darwinian Beekeeping discussions, where he compares wild bees to managed bees. Some beekeepers get a little bored with this because we are . . . beeKEEPers. We are not wild honey bee observers. So comparing Wild vs. Managed can seem a little pointless, since beekeepers are never going to be able to replicate anything resembling the Arnot Forest.
However, I think Seeley's point is that we, as beekeepers, need to understand as many factors as we can why wild bees may thrive and managed bees may struggle. The better we understand these issues, the better we can attempt to mitigate the impacts of keeping bees the way we do.
I see that my library has both of his books in paper and audio. I put the new one on hold and checked out the other. I have no idea how such a book would be audio but for the price I am going to try it.
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