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- Publié sur Amazon.com
I have done a lot of reasearch on beekeeping and stumbled on to the Top Bar Hive (TBH) method. I did a little more research and decided that this type of beekeeping seemed well suited for a beginner such as myself. I had read a lot of books on traditional beekeeping methods, but there is precious little out there on TBH's. So I bought this book to help me dive in over this winter and prepare to start my own hive in the spring.
I believe that the book falls short of its intended purpose for several reasons. And I also have one or two petty gripes about the book overall and some of the content in general.
Petty gripe #1: This is the third edition of this book. Yet despite that, I stumbled across half a dozen or more typos in the text. Petty sure, but they interrupt the flow of the reading none-the-less. At best, it represents a book that has just been poorly edited. However, at the price of almost $25, which is petty gripe #3, I would have expected a more thoroughly polished text.
Petty gripe #2: The overall physical features of the book, including the size of the text. This book is a paperback, about 8.5" x 11". The text is very large and therefore easy to read. But at 111 pages, it could easily have been reduced to about 70 pages if a smaller type and even page size were used. The short nature of the book, the typos and its size remind me of the "supplements" that professors in college used to write for their courses, and which we "had" to buy for the class. Cheap and easy to make with typos and mistakes included, but sold at a premium price. I suspect that the size of the book in its current format, to make it a larger book overall, has something to do with petty gripe #3, the cost.
Petty gripe #3: The cost. This book is just under $25. A bit pricey for the paperback that it is. If it was only the 70 or so pages that it should be if it were a "reasonable" size with a smaller font, $25 would be way too much for what the book contains on about 70 or so pages. I am guessing that if you make the book bigger and longer, it starts to look and feel like it should cost $25. It shouldn't.
Ok, so what about the book overall? I am comfortable with the 3 stars that I gave it. First, the book spends a lenghty portion of its pages talking about how we should all be embracing low impact, natural beekeeping. It then spends another lengthy portion talking about the evils of modern commercial beekeeping and the chemical giants who are making chemicals that harm bees. Great, good information to know. But telling me all of that and why modern commercial beekeeping and the modern beehive are not the best solution for our troubled bees can all be accomplished in about one chapter. Instead, these mantras are repeated again and again in each chapter. A book that does that is great for a person looking to find literature to convince them that TBH's are the key to low impact and sustainable beekeeping. But if you are like me and looking for a "manual" on how to perform top bar beekeeping, that is where this book falls short.
The book does provide general information on the top bar method and gives some specific directions on how to perform some specific tasks in the keeping of the hive. But consider this, the author maintains a website ([...])where you can find most of that same information. In addition, that same webiste provides you with a free download of the authors TBH plans. In addition, other websites devoted to TBH's also contain similar information on keeping TBH's. So why pay $25 for a book that contains a lot of information that you can glean from sites devoted to the TBH method?
Last, the author is a beekeeper in the UK. Almost all of his theories and methods reference their application or connection to beekeeping in the UK. While the author does note similarities bewteen the UK and the temperate areas of the USA, he does admit that his methods and theories should be adapted to wherever you personally are keeping bees. Well I bought this book to help tell me how to keep bees in TBH's; not for the author to tell me that I need to figure out how things would work in my own area. As a new beekeeper, how do I necessarily know what is appropriate for my area? The last admission the author makes is that in order to keep a TBH, the beekeeper will need to be familiar with some general beekeeping practices and procedures. Again, I bought this book to learn how to keep TBH's. The author basically says "this is generally how I keep them, but you might have to do it differently in your area, and by the way, there are some things in beekeeping you will also have to know but you will have to learn them somewhere else." This perfectly illustrates why I only gave this text 3 stars. It purports to be a "manual" on beekeeping in TBH's. However, the information is for the most part very general and to be successful, you will need to do more reading on the subject elsewhere; on both TBH's and beekeeping methods in general. So for $25, I would have hoped for more information and less persuasive argument about low impact, sustainable beekeeping. I already support that position. In fact, I got that argument/information from the author's website for free. I didn't buy the book to hear it or to be convinced again. I bought it to learn how to keep bees in TBH's. And after being able to read the entire book in two leisurely evenings, I find that I still don't know as much as I had hoped to before I bought this book. I am not saying don't buy this book. It does in many ways help you along the path to keeping a TBH. Just consider other sources for info on TBH's and beekeeping in general in addition to this book.