Global bee populations have been rapidly declining for years, and it’s not just our honey supply that’s at stake: bees’ contribution to the pollination of various crops is essential to human survival. But even in industrial apiaries—the most common approach to facilitate the rebound of threatened bee populations—bees are in distress, hiving in synthetic and hostile environments. Enter idle beekeeping: the grassroots, low-intervention system of beekeeping that seeks to emulate the behavior and habitat of bees in the wild—and it only requires two active days of beekeeping per year.
In The Idle Beekeeper, Bill Anderson calls upon his decades of experience as an urban beekeeper to highlight the invaluable resources that these underappreciated insects provide and show how simple and rewarding beekeeping can be. In this entertaining, philosophical, and practical guide, Anderson teaches step-by-step how to build a hive system developed to allow maximum idleness, harvest honey and extract honeycomb, make mead and beeswax candles, and to closely observe and understand these most fascinating and productive of insects.
Through his laissez-faire approach to maintaining a bee colony using the minimum-interference Warré hives—low-tech, low-maintenance, and bee-friendly hives that mimic the cavity of a tree, the bees’ natural habitat—Anderson illustrates how little effort is actually required to raise and nurture a thriving bee community. In fact, his idle approach to beekeeping requires only two days of work per year—one day in the spring, and another in the fall.
The Idle Beekeeper offers practical and philosophical advice for getting involved in conservation efforts, and Anderson’s expertise will show just how easy it is to make an environmental impact. For anyone interested in keeping bees, The Idle Beekeeper is the definitive guide that teaches you everything you need to get started, even in a city, and without effort.
About the Author
Bill Anderson is an urban beekeeper and educator based in London who writes the regular beekeeping column for The Idler Magazine, and his online Idle Beekeeping course is currently available from The Idler website. The other 363 days he isn't tending to his hives, Anderson is a television drama director, working on a huge variety of shows, including Dr. Who and Mr. Selfridge.