Saturday, 27 February 2010

Research So Far

Over the winter I've been cramming on all things bees - looking at loads of websites; reading a number of books and emailing / talking to various people.

The first book to arrive after a frenzied afternoon on Amazon was:

Bee by Claire Preston - a brilliant book about the history, folklore, myths, facts and information about honeybees and honey.

Then came Guide to Bees and Honey by Ted Hooper MBE - I've read the first few chapters, but not the whole thing as i think it'll become more useful when we start bee keeping on site.

My friend Helen gave me a beautiful little book Beekeeping published by the National Trust - which seems to be a good basic guide.

Then I switched to bumblebees - The Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain & Ireland by Mike Edwards and Martin Jenner. This is a great book on the life cycle, distribution, conservation and guide to identifying all the British bumblebees - I'm hoping the identification charts will really help me in the summer...

Then I read The Queen Must Die And Other Affairs of Bees and Men by William Longgood - although some practical observations of keeping bees are quite interesting, I absolutely hated this book with a passion - in the preface the author admits he will probably be accused of anthropomorphism and that's why i really hate this book. I only finished it because i parted with money for it.

I've also used The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore by Hilda M Ransome - and this has been an invaluable resource.

At present I am nearly half way through The Fable of the Bees or Private Vices, Public Benefits by Bernard Mandeville. This was recommended by my friend Neil and although it's not the easiest of reads I'm really enjoying it. The version I have has an introduction by Phillip Harth which I found very helpful before tackling the book.

I think I should also add that last year I read (or should i say wrestled my way through) On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. In the chapter on instinct Darwin uses bees to demonstrate his theories and this definitely influenced my decision to propose a project about bees.

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