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OXFORDBEE 

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Beekeeping is one of those enterprises where old ideas get re-discovered all the time ...

So .. just for fun.. What's the oldest beekeeping book you've got and can you see anything in it that that relates to modern beekeeping in any way?
 
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Before I got any bees, but when I was interested, I helped on a bookstall at a local college open day. A load of beekeeping books had been brought in, so I bought them all, some newer than others, I read some of them and decided that one or two were rubbish so they went out, but in amongst them was a 1947 version of The Hive and The Honeybee. I'd put it on my bookshelf and only rediscovered it recently so I've not by any means read it all, but dib into it on occasions.

A friend also bought me R.O.B. Manley's Beekeeping in Britain. I find that book delightful, easy to read, full of common sense, of course some things have changed, but by and by most of it's contents still hold good today.

Frisbee
 

gavin 

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Wedmore I suppose. Absolutely stuffed with useful information, much of it still relevant.

G.
 

oliver90owner 

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1908 is the oldest

Not really read it, so no comment on that but it is one of about 10 (of 25+) which are over 60 years from publishing date.

Like Gavin, my Wedmore gets most wear - very much more than the modern books. Better lay-out and still mostly relevant. In fact all still relevant, I would say (tongue in cheek and awaiting comments).

A good all round reference book.

So, Oxford Bee, nothing really new, all been done before, just recycled in modern materials and supposed new inventions.

Perhaps you ought to define 'modern' - post varroah, I am thinking, but you may mean post bee space discovery as very little has actually changed since then. Standardised maybe, but the bees are still bees.

Also, you might have given us yours, or are you awaiting others' responses before deciding whether to be in the 'oldie' or a 'modern' camp?

Even skeps are still used by a few.

Regards, RAB
 

Brosville 

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Picked up from local markets recently (neither completely read yet ) -
"Instruction in Beekeeping for the use of Irish Beekeepers" published by HM Stationery office in 1912 (includes several plates, one of which is "driving bees from skep") and a modern (ish) paperback version of "The Bee Master of Warrilow, by Tickner Edwardes (first published 1920):)
 

Heather 

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Bee-keeping for all, by Tickner Edwardes, 1923
Bees and honey by George Carter (4/=, 4 shillings to you babies) 1945
The art of bee-keeping W Hamilton 1945

Somethings dont change but some makes me smile:svengo:
 

lazybee 

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I do like to sit and flick through Wedmore's offerings and do find some gems in them, there's also a lot of complicated methods too. It's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff in many cases. I think the methods used by Bert Manley and the like are more informative, clearer and much simpler to practice due to them being comercial beekeepers. Most is still relavent today. The exception being Rape and varroa. When I read Manley I was so conviced I changed to Dadants and found them easy to use (but heavy). I'm using langstroth at the moment, but this is temporary and can't wait to go back to Dadants again.
 

Chris B 

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A Modern Bee Farm. Simmins 1887.

A very interesting read but it might as well be called "Beekeeping on the Moon". Simmins was either prone to gross exaggeration or things were very very different back then. It's a shame Simmins isn't around these days and posting on this forum. It would be great entertainment watching him tangle with some of the characters here.
 

gavin 

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For those out there, like me, without the cash or the time to spends hours digging around in antiquarian book shops, you can get your fix of old bee books online.

Michael Bush has scanned some old books here:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesoldbooks.htm

And then follow the link at the bottom left for an amazing collection of scanned bee books (and the ABJ) at Cornell University's web site.

G.
 

OXFORDBEE 

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When I get time, my contribution will come from Pettigrew's A Handy Book Of Bees which has quite a lot of stuff in it. Pettigrew was an ardent skeppist but his thoughts and ideas translate to modern hives really well. His honey yields were very good too and I't quit suprising that in the 1860's beekeepers were getting 200lbs from single stocks (and their swarms...) in a good year.

I understand there is going to be an updated release of Wedmore coming out in the future. Jerry Burbidge (Northern Bee Books) has a lot of correspondence between Wedmore, Eva Crane and others which I gather was toward a new edition of Wedmore's work that never appeared.
 

MJBee 

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That's an interesting bit of news Oxfordbee, My copy a 1979 reprint of the 1946 2nd edition (revised and corrected). Still referred to regularly but an up to date version would be great.
:cheers2: Mike
 

OXFORDBEE 

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I've got the second edition (revised)...1945.

Jerry mentioned it would be his contribution to beekeeping.

I think it's a brilliant contribution and really can't wait!
 

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