Keeping Bees In Towns and Cities

Fiona Dowson | Monday, 22nd July 2013
A fun book giving you the dos and don'ts of urban beekeeping.
Author: Luke Dixon
Publisher: Timber Press
Publication year: 2012
RRP: £14.99

It's taken a long time but beekeeping is finally moving away from the Miss Marple image with white hives and cottage gardens.

Urban bees are thriving while their country cousins are collapsing. Urban window boxes, trees and gardens are providing gourmet buffets for honey bees (and other bees).

Beekeeping is great fun, productive and endlessly challenging. If you live in a town or city and you're looking for a way of connecting with nature and the cycle of the seasons then beekeeping could be just what you're looking for.

While there are beekeeping books out there which are weighty tomes, Dixon's book is written in such an upbeat, chatty style that you are left feeling he'd be a great bloke to have a pint with. Living in Soho, with hives over much of London, Dixon knows urban beekeeping like no-one else and he tells a great story.

All the mistakes he's made are entertaining reading and you barely realise that he's explaining how to extract honey or move a hive. The 'and finally' chapters with tales of urban beekeeping across the planet round the book off neatly. The photo of the traditional Japanese beehive looks so beautiful it can only be described as zen.

The coffee table book style with elegant pictures means that this would make an ideal gift for any aspiring beekeepers in your life but for most people it really would be sufficient to borrow this from the library.

It's fun to read but isn't intended to be a reference book or to give you the necessary knowledge to take the Beekeepers' Association basic exam. If your local library doesn't have a copy ask them to buy one. It's a safe bet that each copy of Dixon's book will inspire at least one person to take the beekeeping veil.

The other readers will be entertained, enjoy the anecdotes and might even be inspired to plant some bee friendly flowers in their window boxes. 

Further resources

Apiculture and Permaculture: Keeping Bees

Taking Flowers Underground - Wildflowers in the urban environment

Defra Accused of Bad Science Regarding Neonicotinoids Research Used to Counter EU Vote

Darkbabygreen01 |
February 4, 2015 - 3:19pm

This is one great article. Interesting and at the same time very informative. Thanks for sharing this one.

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