Book review - 'Bees at the Bottom of the Garden' by Alan Campion
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What is one to say of one more slim book for the relative newcomer to beekeeping with one or a few hives, a book moreover that is a revision of one first issued in 1984? Well in this case, I say 'Buy it!' It won't take up too much shelf space or break the bank, but it's on good paper and well illustrated. Most importantly, the book guides you concisely but clearly through the initial stages of becoming a beekeeper and the major hazards of the bee year, from choosing and siting a hive, to facing up to the pile of sticky cappings left after extraction of your first crop, and feeding your bees for winter if you need to. The beautiful illustrations serve partly to complement and clarify the text, and partly to remind you that, while you are far from alone in your mistakes or minor disasters, you are engaged in an inspiring and enjoyable hobby which will prove a source of satisfaction and friendship if you can stick with it.
The revision has been thoroughly done to bring the book up to date, e.g. to cover varroa and provide useful current addresses, without losing the clarity of the original writing. I don't say you will never need another book or that I agree with every word this one contains - given half a chance I will bore anyone with my personal views on hives and the spacing of frames - but if you have one or a few hives and less than years of experience behind you, I don't think you'll regret your purchase. The book has been republished by the author (originally by A & C Black ) and is no doubt obtainable from various sources. You can get it for £10.25 including postage from Northern Bee Books, FREEPOST HX2488, Hebden Bridge, W. Yorks. HX7 5BR.

Malcolm Clarke
President, Surrey Beekeepers Association

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