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The Australian Beekeeping Manual - Robert Owen

The Australian Beekeeping Manual

Hardcover Published: 15th February 2016
ISBN: 9781921966880
Number Of Pages: 352

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The book is aimed at both the novice and experienced beekeeper in Australia and explains in detail the steps required to manage colonies of bees. Supported by over 350 photographs and drawings, each action to be performed is explained in detail with photographs showing the steps as well as the final result. Many potential beekeepers are unclear about the equipment they need to buy and how to obtain their first colony of bees. The first chapters in the book explain in detail the equipment needed as well as equipment that may be useful later on as their confidence and experience grows.

The chapter ‘Your First Bees’ explains how to obtain bees, where to locate them in the garden, and the basics of colony management. In addition to chapters on keeping bees, there are detailed chapters on the life cycle of the honey bee, extracting honey, the bee-friendly garden, entering honey in competitions, native bees and rearing queens. The result is a comprehensive manual that includes material not available in other Australian, North American or European books and is the ultimate Australian reference source.

About the Author

Robert Owen was introduced to the world of beekeeping in 2002 and hasn’t looked back. At first beekeeping was a hobby but it has now evolved into a family business, Bob’s Beekeeping Supplies, that offers beekeeping equipment and education. This book is the culmination of his own years of expertise and experience and also draws on the individual tales he has heard of the challenges and successes of managing honey bees in various environments.


Great book, quick delivery


Great book, very informative and quick delivery



Essential reading for beekeepers


A fascinating insight into the amazing life of bees, as well as a practical reference book on keeping bees.



Great Book. easy to find information


I've only had the book a few weeks and it has been a great help in my beekeeping journey. I bought it initially as it was listed on nearly every website and page as one of the best references on the subject of beekeeping in Australia. Most beekeeping courses refer to it and in fact often offer it as an recommended additional purchase.





Australian Beekeeping Manual . Well written , informative Lots of Colour photos & illustrations . Easy to understand .

Gold Coast


Prompt service


Very promp service


At long last a comprehensive Australian manual for apiarists


As a relatively new bee keeper and living in a remote region I found it frustrating that most detailed information on the subject was written for the northern hemisphere and climates nothing like Australia. This is an incredibly comprehensive manual that is written in such an easy to read style and is so well structured that it is easy to find whatever you specifically need to know, and in great technical detail if you want it. If not you can gloss over the detail and quickly find exactly what you need. Congratulations to the author I only wish you published 2 years ago when I started bee keeping!

Esperance, Western Australia


Highly recommended for beginner beekeepers


A great reference book and very practical with step-by-step diagrams and photos.



A good, simple but thorough, beekeeping book


This is a great, concise reference with a focus on Australian beekeeping, and will give you a grounding in every phase of the beekeeping operation. It's a great way to narrow down the information overload, since it seems everyone has an opinion on beekeeping, and half of them are contradictory, or irrelevant to Australian conditions.

Ariah Park



5.0 8


"a standout reference for the new beekeeper...Even experienced beekeepers will learn a thing or two...contain(s) a wealth of information and is better value than many bee books currently on the market"


Chapter 1
- Life history of the honey bee
- Castes of the honey bee
- The Western honey bee and its subspecies
- Lifecycle of the honey bee
- Mating and drone congregation areas
- Life as a young adult bee
- Collecting nectar and pollen
- Communications and navigation
- Honey bees as superorganisms
- Superorganism decision making

Chapter 2
- Basic equipment and protective clothing
- Equipment
- Protective clothing

Chapter 3
- Constructing hives
- Constructing a hive
- Other parts of a hive

Chapter 4
- Frames and how to build them
- Frames
- Cleaning used frames
- Attaching foundation to the frame
- Using wax or plastic foundation
- Using plastic sides for frames

Chapter 5
- Your first bees
- Obtaining your first bees
- What kind of bees should I keep?
- Should I buy an established hive or catch a swarm?
- Swarms and swarm catching
- Transferring an established colony
- Moving hives
- General maintenance and inspections during the first year

Chapter 6
- Locating your bees
- Locating hives on your property
- Hive position in summer and winter
- Urban beekeeping
- Feeding bees water

Chapter 7
- Spring and summer management
- Inspections
- Inspecting hives during late spring and summer - what is involved?
- Managing the build-up of bees in your hive to maximise honey production
- Managing the honey flow
- Merging colonies
- Feeding syrup
- Sugar candy
- Feeding pollen or pollen substitute
- Swarms
- Splits
- Demaree method
- Providing hives for pollination
- Collecting pollen

Chapter 8
- Autumn and winter management
- Autumn
- The winter shutdown
- Winter

Chapter 9 Extracting
- Using a sieve to harvest honey
- Use of an extractor to harvest honey
- Choosing an extractor
- Type of extractor to buy
- Comb honey
- Reuse of wax foundation
- Colour of wax

Chapter 10 Preparing honey for sale and for competitions
- Preparing honey for sale
- Preparing honey for competitions

Chapter 11 Rearing queens
- Introduction
- The three reasons for a colony to produce a new queen
- Hive splitting
- Queen candy

Chapter 12 Sustainable beekeeping
- Natural beekeeping hives

Chapter 13 The bee-friendly garden
- Bee-friendly flowering plants
- Further considerations of the bee-friendly garden
- A garden is a work in progress

Chapter 14 Native bees
- Social bees
- Solitary bees

Chapter 15 Diseases of the honey bee
- Diseases of brood
- Good management practices to minimise disease in the colony
- American Foul Brood (AFB)
- European Foul Brood (EFB)
- Sacbrood virus (SBV)
- Chalkbrood
- Adult bee diseases
- Nosema
- Deformed wing virus (DWV)

Chapter 16 Parasites of the honey bee
- Varroa
- Tropilaelaps mites - the Asian mite

Chapter 17 Pests of the honey bee
- Wax Moth
- Small Hive Beetle (SHB)
- Braula fly

Chapter 18 Other problems of the honey bee
- Pesticide and fungicide poisoning
- Chilled brood
- Overheating of the hive
- Damp hives
- Cane toads
- Ants
- Mice
- Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

Chapter 19 Other types of bees and wasps
- The Asian honey bee (Apis cerana)
- Bumblebees
- Wasps
- Asian hornets
- Other races of Apis mellifera
- Other species of Asian bees

Appendix: Size of frames and boxes
Acknowledgements and photographic credits

ISBN: 9781921966880
ISBN-10: 1921966882
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 15th February 2016
Publisher: Exisle Publishing eBooks
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 18.4  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 1.2