I have just finished reading a wonderful book about the world of bees with a smile on my face and a deep sigh just thinking there is no more to read. I really enjoyed this book and like all beekeepers, most of us have a strong connection for books written about this wonderful hobby we have beekeeping.
The book is entitled “The Honey Factory” written by the World renown scientist Professor Juergen Tautz together with Diedrich Steen, a practical beekeeper for 20 years.
The book reads like a poem and follows through each chapter without being disjointed. Most pleasing.
The one thing I like about this book like with Juergens other books written: he does not put much focus on maladies, virus, pests or disease. The way like we nature and beekeepers intend it to be.
Tautz and Steen cover every element of beekeeping in the book being it practical or science and a little history, some about beeswax vs stearins and animal fats, and their uses for candles, fresh honey vs refined sugars. Following on with a smite of history from the spider caves in Spain to the types of hives we use today from baskets, wood then on to plastic including referencing the bee masters of today Dzierzon, Zander, Langstroth, Menzel, Dyer, and believe me a lot more.
The authors not only write about bees in this book but they have cleverly written in a way that they seem to get inside your head as though they were in your living room talking directly next to you over a glass of wine or two. To me, this is an art in itself. The piece about “comb network technology” is awesome, to some of my friends who are not interested in science and bees, they are only in it just for the beekeeping, so they say, fair enough so!
The authors have recognized this, how! on p. 24, 25 Figure 1 A.B. it displays a very simple fig drawing of 4 bees on the face of the comb which explains everything about acoustic stimuli and the bee dances that they portray. How easy and siple is that to explain to the none science beekeeper.
Whilst, reading on “Oh and Behold” I am not sure if I am picking this up right the authors have mentioned Karl von Frisch and adding “fresh air” and a little bit more than one could imagine towards his experiments on the bee dances, I love the thinking and the data on this, I am certainly no scientist but, the way its put, it makes sense. It takes someone courageous enough to put their head on the block, I will leave this decision to the reader.
Teamwork in the honey factory this part cracks me up! To think that I have never heard of someone mention that the hives contain “volatile antibacterial and antifungal substances in the air”. “A man on the chair with a mask over his face a tube from his mouth leads to the hive”, how cool and a sound idea is that. What a perfect medicine for his lungs and natural.
The authors have written well referencing all the casts of the colony following up and touching on their job roles. “Sperm Bombers”, LOL, of course, the drones another fascinating piece of literature. The writings included everything about bees, including the products of the hive, the aggressive bees, colonies, swarms, scouts, venom, and honey plus, the list is endless with sound valuable knowledge for the reader.
I like how wonderfully an uncomplicated the turn is taken on how to explain the uses, treatment, and the hazards of insecticides that have made to our bees worldwide.
People say that there are many books written on the Honeybee, to me I say there are not enough written on the Honeybee. Quite a few are very similar.
Tautz and Steen seemed to have pulled this off, a great duo one a scientist and the other a beekeeper a perfect match, both experts in their field and their writings administered in this book.
The Honey Factory holds a richness of science and a richness of practical beekeeping they go together like hand in a glove.
This book is not just for beekeepers or scientists alone this book is for the family the coffee table and more importantly due to our dying planet it is most valuable as an educational tool for our children and would serve any school’s curriculum.
An excellent Christmas Present for anyone …