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Book Review: Homegrown Honey Bees

Homegrown Honey Bees: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide
by Alethea Morrison

Homegrown Honey Bees

159 pages
Storey Publishing, 2013
List price: $14.95

If you’re thinking of keeping bees (and don’t think I haven’t!), then Morrison’s new book for beginners will be invaluable in two ways. First of all, read it so that you know what you’re in for, and secondly, if you decide to take the plunge, read it for guidance as you make your way through your first year.

I’ve never kept bees before, and if I wasn’t allergic to their stings, I’d seriously consider doing it. Having our own honey made from the nectar of our garden would be an experience unlike any other – literally – because as Morrison explains, every bee’s honey is unique, depending on the hive’s location. Bees gather nectar from about a two-mile radius of their hive, so whatever you or your neighbors grow will play a part in the flavor of your honey.

Homegrown Honey Bees is written in a friendly, easy style and details are clearly explained with many outstanding photos to further illustrate what to do and how to do it. Personal profiles of various home bee keepers show that in both rural and urban settings, beekeeping is possible. As Morrison says, beekeeping isn’t easy or simple, but very much doable and her book provides just the guidance you need to get started.

Alethea Morrison and Homegrown Honey Bees photographer Mars Vilaubi lived in San Francisco before stepping into the wild yonder of rural Massachusetts to raise their son, keep bees and chickens, brew beer, sew clothes, grow heirloom beans, and otherwise slow down to smell the flowers of a handmade life. They both work as creative professionals, and Alethea serves as president of the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association.

Read more garden book reviews.
Read Kylee Baumle’s blog, Our Little Acre.