Beekeeping Book Review – The Hive and the Honey-Bee

Beekeeping book review - The Hive and the Honey-Bee.

Beekeeping Book Review

The Hive and the Honey-Bee is the greatest beekeeping book you can own. It is an older beekeeping book, but still appropriate to the beekeeping practices of today.

This book has been an enormous help to me through the years. Seriously, if you do not own this book, you need to stop what you are doing right now and get a copy.  It will be the best investment you make as a beekeeper.  I will even make it easy and provide a link where you can buy it.  Amazon Books – The Hive and the Honey-Bee.

I have read this book, from cover to cover, numerous times, and still draw on it to find answers to questions.  This is the most useful beekeeping book out there, and is full of helpful information.

The layout of the book makes it very easy to navigate.  This makes it easy to reference when a question arises and will help you answer almost any question about bees that you can think of.

The Hive and the Honey-Bee is what led me to rear my own queens.   I would not have fully understood the process of queen rearing if it had not been for this book.  I had the book with me the entire time I was learning. Because of this, my copy is now tattered and covered in propolis stains.  The condition of the book is evidence of its usefulness.  My other beekeeping books look a lot nicer.

About The Author

Lorenzo Langstroth not only wrote The Hive and the Honey-Bee, but he is also the founding father of modern beekeeping. Langstroth developed many of the practices still used by beekeepers today.

Langstroth’s biggest contribution to beekeeping was his discovery of “bee-space.”  Following his discovery, he developed and patented the first movable frame hive on October 5, 1852.

This new design allowed beekeepers to remove or add combs depending on the needs of the colony.  It opened up new opportunities for beekeepers in queen rearing, honey extraction, and disease control.  It was a revolutionary design which modernized the practices of beekeepers around the world.

The impact of langstroths hive was revolutionary.  The new design allowed beekeepers to add boxes to increase honey storage.  It provided almost unlimited access to the brood chamber for inspections.  Queen rearing in it’s modern form was now possible.  Most importantly, it allowed beekeepers, and scientists to study and better understand the processes in the hive.

A year after patenting his new beehive design, Langstroth published The Hive and the Honey-Bee.  The book documented his findings and methods. Soon, beekeepers around the world would be thrown into a new era of beekeeping.

Despite his attention to detail, Lorenzo’s hive had one fault. It was too simple, and too easy to replicate. Beekeepers around the world began replicating and modifying his design. Lorenzo would spend a lot of time trying, and ultimately failing, to stop infringement of his patent.

Langstroth’s contributions to beekeeping are invaluable.  After 40 editions of The Hive and the Honey-Bee Langstroths book is still valid today.  Not only does this show the value Langstroth brought to the world of beekeeping, but also proves that The Hive and the Honey-Bee is the best beekeeping book you can own.


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