For those interested in amateur beekeeping, and really, who isn’t, comes a new book from Les Crowder and Heather Harrell, Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health. The book focuses, as the name might suggest, on the practice of top-bar beekeeping, a strategy which has become very popular with the beekeeping scene; so popular, in fact, that some people have switched to it from the more traditional Langstroth model (probably what you see when you think of beekeeping; long, vertical slabs of pre-structured honeycombs that slide in and out of portable containers). This more laissez-faire form of beekeeping employs a basic structure from which bees construct their own hive, and it is this more natural asthetic that attracts connoisseurs to the top-bar approach, along with an ease-of-use and inexpensiveness that appeals to part-time beekeepers.
Crowder and Harrell’s book focuses on beekeeping organically, “without antibiotics, miticides, or other chemical inputs” (if you’re wondering what exactly a miticide is, it’s defined by the good people at Merriam-Webster as ‘an agent used to kill mites’). According the the book’s synopsis, the top-bar approach also is beneficial for encouraging pollination, a major reason that “It will also appeal to home orchardists, gardeners, and permaculture practitioners”.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to fight the urge to jump out of your seat, run to your nearest purveyor of books and buy it now, because it’s not out yet. It won’t be, until September 15th. I will admit, after doing some research into beekeeping, it does seem like a fascinating topic (those in the know refer to the beehive as a ‘superorganism’, with absolutely mind-blowing social structures based on the hive mind) so if you’re interested, I’d sincerely suggest checking it out. I also sincerely hope you have a good weekend.
“It’s wonderful to me that bees have this simple, age-old thing going on”