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The Thinking Beekeeper


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction Part I: Beekeeping Basics 1. How Did We Get Here From There? 2. It's All About the Wax 3. Basic Bee Biology Part II: When To Do What - And Why 4. Your Top Bar Hive 5. On Getting Started with Your Own Top Bar Hive 6. Inspections 7. Overwintering Your Top Bar Hive 8. Treasures of the Hive 9. Bee Pests And Diseases Afterword Endnotes Glossary Appendix A: Sample Hive Inspection Diagram Appendix B: Bee Resources Index About the Author

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Give bees a chance - the complete how-to and why-to for keeping bees in top-bar hives

About the Author

Christy Hemenway is the owner and founder of Gold Star Honeybees, a complete resource for all things related to beekeeping in top bar hives. Before her conversion to bee-vangelism, she mastered such varied careers as computer systems engineering and professional alpaca herd-sitting. A chance encounter with a conventional beekeeper launched her on the road to natural, chemical-free beekeeping. A passionate advocate for bees and the pivotal role they play in our food supply, Christy is a highly sought-after speaker, helping audiences to understand the integral connection between bees, food, human health and the future of the planet.


No matter the box you keep your bees in, if you are a new beekeeper you need solid, practical and most of all accurate information to get started. You'll find that here. And if you are keeping your bees in a top bar hive, you'll find information you need here that's not available anywhere else. Both you and your bees will benefit from Christy's approach, advice and philosophy. ---Kim Flottum, Editor Bee Culture Magazine Christy Hemenway's The Thinking Beekeeper is a very nice book. It provides a blend of the author's philosophy, ranting (about the use of chemicals in beekeeping), and clear practical advice about honey bee culture, especially regarding Top Bar Hives. There has been little written about the specifics of raising honey bees in Top Bar Hives. The bees are the same of course, but the Top Bar Hive is quite different from the traditional Langstroth Hive. At the University of Maine we had plenty of questions when we first embarked upon the use of the Top Bar Hive. NOW there is a good guide. Not only is the book informative, being accessible to all with its clear concise prose and liberal use of photos and data tables, but in addition it is enjoyable to read. ---Dr. Frank Drummond, Pollination Ecologist, University of Maine Christy's passion shines through in this delightful book, which I'm sure will inspire many people to take up top bar beekeeping. I am particularly pleased to see that she has developed her own style, while staying true to the principles of simplicity and minimal interference with the lives of the bees. Having watched Christy's progress so far, I'm sure that Gold Star Honeybees has a great future! ---Phil Chandler, author of The Barefoot Beekeeper It is great to see that top bar beekeeping is alive and well in Maine and that Christy Hemenway is passionate about her top bar hives. The top-bar hive is coming! ---Les Crowder, coauthor with Heather Harrell of Top-Bar Beekeeping Whether you're looking for another argument for keeping your own bees or are already convinced, The Thinking Beekeeper is an excellent resource. Christy knows her stuff and shares her experience and passion on every page. ---Roger Doiron, Founder, Kitchen Gardeners International The Thinking Beekeeper is a unique and exceptional resource for the beginning beekeeper. It will enable the novice to make a successful start in the craft and as he/she progresses all those instructions offer the opportunity to object to something Christy recommends. And that ladies and gentlemen is the badge of an independent practitioner and mature thinking beekeeper. ---Marty Hardison

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