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parsed(2023-07-20) - pubdate: 2023-07-20
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pub date: 1689829200
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Raising Resilient Bees

Heritage Techniques to Mitigate Mites, Preserve Locally Adapted Genetics, and Grow Your Apiary

July 20, 2023 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781645021940
$46.95
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Description

"Right from the start, this book takes you on a journey that is fascinating and thought-provoking. . . The McEwens demonstrate creative, out-of-the-box thinking and challenge traditional ways of keeping bees."--American Bee Journal

With over 100 color photographs and illustrations, Raising Resilient Bees is the comprehensive source for new and experienced beekeepers, offering a sustainable, natural, and repeatable model of care for hive health and production.

Global pests and diseases present an unprecedented challenge for the modern honey bee. Hobby and commercial beekeepers alike continue to experience troubling rates of mortality for their colonies, with potentially deleterious consequences for the stability of our wider ecosystems and overall food security. It is time for a global focus on restoring the health of the shared apiary through naturally reared, genetically diverse, and resilient lines of bees.

Raising Resilient Bees establishes these parameters and provides guidance for new and experienced beekeepers alike to translate these goals into real practice, thereby safeguarding the honey bee from the unknown threats of the future.

Authors Eric and Joy McEwen take two decades worth of beekeeping experience, experiments, and professional production to deliver groundbreaking methods in queen-rearing, varroa mite management, and Natural Nest hive design. Inside, you'll discover:

  • Revived and adapted heritage Integrated Pest Management techniques
  • How to naturally rear queens and select for resilient, mite-resistant genetic lines without relying on swarming or grafting
  • Key tenets of apicentric beekeeping
  • Advice for establishing a flourishing and sustainable business with beekeeping at the center
  • How to naturally rear bees with distinctive characteristics suitable to their locale

As in large-scale agriculture, the trend toward genetic homogenization is having long-term implications for bees' capacity to withstand diverse environmental stressors. With expert advice, enthusiasm, and easy-to-follow instructions, Raising Resilient Bees delivers important and timely information for every beekeeper to create a healthier future.

"Vivid, practical, evidence-based . . . . Biodynamic and organic beekeepers will applaud the authors' use of 'natural nest hives' with single-size boxes and vertically uninterrupted brood nests, populated with locally adapted bees and naturally reared queens."--David Heaf, author of The Bee-Friendly Beekeeper; bee-friendly.co.uk

"The McEwens look at every aspect of a honey bee's life in this book--pest and disease issues, living space, the genetics of resistance and tolerance, qualities of successful queens, optimal feeding, and seasonal management that fits the bee above the beekeeper."--Kim Flottum, author of The Backyard Beekeeper; podcast producer, Growing Planet Media 

About this Author

Eric McEwen heads the beekeeping operation for Diggin' Livin' Farm & Apiaries. He holds a bachelor of science degree in botany and plant pathology from Oregon State University. He has spent the last 20 years experimenting with the development of organic management practices while tending approximately 700 honey bee colonies. A former mentor for the Oregon State University Master Beekeeper Program, Eric has served as the Southern Oregon Representative on the Oregon State Beekeepers Association administrative board. He is a member of the Adaptive Bee Breeders Alliance, a SARE-funded consortium of honey bee professionals and academics collaborating on stock improvement focused breeding efforts. He is the originator and manufacturer of Natural Nest beehives, an improved style of 8-frame Langstroth equipment for organic beekeeping. Eric is also a trained botanist and naturalist who loves the wild side of the great outdoors.

Joy McEwen manages Diggin' Livin' Farm & Apiaries, a homestead, organic farm, and commercial beekeeping operation. She holds two bachelor of science degrees, as well as a master of science in environmental science from Oregon State University. When she isn't tending hives or farming, she works as an apitherapist with a practice in southern Oregon and makes a line of jun beverages called Honey Bee Brews. Joy is a committee member on the USDA Farm Service Agency board for Josephine and Jackson Counties, Oregon, and serves as a board member on the Illinois Valley Watershed Council, as well as a board member for the American Apitherapy Society.

Diggin' Livin' is the McEwens' farm in Takilma, Oregon, located on the pristine Illinois River, where the McEwens manufacture their woodenware and teach beekeeping and apitherapy. Joy and Eric live there with their three daughters, Fern, Clarysage, and Tulsi. Their website is digginlivin.com.

ISBN: 9781645021940
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 272
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Published: 2023-07-20

Reviews

"Right from the start, this book takes you on a journey that is fascinating and thought-provoking. . . The McEwens demonstrate creative, out-of-the-box thinking and challenge traditional ways of keeping bees."--American Bee Journal

"Raising Resilient Bees challenges accepted practices in commercial beekeeping, based on decades of experience on an organic farm. . . [It's] inspiring. It will strike a chord with those who feel an instinctive love for the land and a desire to follow the most harm-free practices in agriculture."--Foreword Reviews

"Beekeepers and the bee-curious alike will revel in this fresh offering from long-time honey bee stewards Eric and Joy McEwen. In a conversational and approachable fashion, this husband-and-wife team gracefully offers up solutions to some of the most difficult contemporary beekeeping problems. Beautiful photos and colorful illustrations provide vital basics for those new to the craft, as well as creative ideas for advanced beekeepers to mull over. Opening this book is opening a window into a resilient and regenerative beekeeping operation. Your bees will thank you for it."--Sarah Red-Laird, founder and executive program director, the Bee Girl Organization (BGO); past president, Western Apicultural Society 

"Joy and Eric McEwen give a vivid, practical, evidence-based demonstration of how a commercial beekeeping enterprise of over 600 hives can work in a way that is more ecologically sustainable and bee-friendly, while remaining profitable enough to support a family and employees. Biodynamic and organic beekeepers will applaud the authors' use of 'Natural Nest' hives with single-size boxes and vertically uninterrupted brood nests, populated with locally adapted bees and naturally reared queens."--David Heaf, author of The Bee-Friendly Beekeeper; bee-friendly.co.uk

"Raising Resilient Bees offered me a new way to consider honey bees. My previous framework was borrowed from Dr. Tom Seeley, who looked at the honey bee colony as a whole; something more than just individuals strung together. Eric and Joy McEwen have taken this a step further with their concept of the 'hive bee-ing,' which is not just the colony but also the environment in which it is housed and with which it interacts intimately. 

The McEwens look at every aspect of a honey bee's life in this book--pest and disease issues, living space, the genetics of resistance and tolerance, qualities of successful queens, optimal feeding, and seasonal management that prioritizes the bee above the beekeeper. Resilience means being adaptable--finding new and better solutions to old problems. Adaptability. That is the best quality a honey bee, and a beekeeper, can have."--Kim Flottum, author of The Backyard Beekeeper; host, Beekeeping Today Podcast 

"Raising Resilient Bees shares the McEwens' quest and commitment to steward bees respectfully and responsibly. This guide is a mellifluous manifesto that touches upon the diversity and majesty of what it means to work in tandem with our honey bee relatives and Mother Nature. May stewards near and far find inspiration and motivation in the McEwens' path of purpose, and may they learn to nurture their own beekeeping journeys through the Diggin' Livin' teachings."--Melanie M. Kirby, founder and director, Adaptive Bee Breeders Alliance 

"Raising Resilient Bees is a comprehensive guide to beekeeping that emphasizes sustainable and ethical practices. Drawing on their years of experience as beekeepers and farmers, the McEwens offer practical advice on everything from setting up a hive to harvesting honey. This isn't just a how-to manual. This book also explores the important roles bees play in our ecosystems and the threats they face, as well as guidance on how to support and protect these crucial pollinators. Raising Resilient Bees is a must-read for anyone interested in beekeeping, sustainability, and the natural world."--Penny Livingston, permaculturist, beekeeper, and educator 

"Eric and Joy are a rare breed; professional beekeepers taking a creative and nuanced approach to commercial beekeeping. In Raising Resilient Bees, they consider the entire cycle of the professional beekeeper's life and work with a sustainable focus, from sourcing salvaged timber for beehives to breeding locally adapted bees, modifying conventional hive designs to crafting high-value bee products. Eric and Joy's hard work and deep commitment to learning from their bees and the local environment will be an inspiration to any aspiring beekeeper and to those wishing to transition to more sustainable practices."--Tim Malfroy, owner, Malfroy's Gold and Natural Beekeeping Australia

"Much akin to the wondrous distillation that honey bees perform while alchemizing nectar from flowers into concentrated pearls of sweet, nutritious, and healing honey, Joy and Eric have distilled decades of earnest, caring, and arduous work tending their apiaries into pearls of valuable wisdom. As a seed grower, I have long marveled at the unique cosmic dance between bee and flower that gives rise to the seed, and this book amplifies this sense of wonder. If you are holding this book in your hands, then I presume that you too will be grateful for this valuable contribution to the art and science of natural beekeeping."--Don Tipping, farmer and seedsman, Siskiyou Seeds

"In Raising Resilient Bees, Eric and Joy not only provide us with a bee-centric approach to beekeeping but also a human-centric one. As farmers, our desire to practice a method of agriculture that seeks to regenerate our natural systems and resources rather than exploit them requires us to consider how to bring our whole human selves to the task. Raising Resilient Bees is not just a how-to manual on holistic beekeeping for hobbyists and professionals alike, but a manifesto on how we, as humans, can practice respect, humility, and love, in service to the earth and each other."--Beth Hoinacki, farmer, Goodfoot Farm; president of Demeter Advisory Board, Biodynamic Demeter Alliance

"Few relationships are as complex, and indeed as agonized over, as that between humans, honey bees, and our shared environment. This lovely book--a detailed guide, an homage, and a story all in one--offers huge insight to anyone currently beekeeping or considering entering into that great interspecies relationship with a view beyond the purely economic. Rich in detail, photos, diagrams, and the authors' learnings--often from their own challenging experiments in bee breeding and care--Raising Resilient Bees conveys the McEwens' love for bees and their admirable desire to ensure that the lessons learned from their good and bad times help others. We never do stop learning, and this book, part of a great beekeeping canon, will contribute immensely to your own learning journey."--Vicki Hird, writer and campaigner; author of Rebugging the Planet 

"In this important new handbook, Eric and Joy McEwen provide a comprehensive approach to the extraordinary world of beekeeping and honey production. These two long-time practitioners offer detail and instruction for both the commercial farm enterprise as well as the homestead producer. It is authoritative, delightfully readable, and will be a lifelong reference."--Garry Stephenson, professor emeritus, Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems, Oregon State University

"A Jacqueline Freeman journey through some super solid information. Eric and Joy McEwen cover all the bee basics and the challenges one should expect when getting started with the species. They offer a very genuine depiction, through real-life experiences, of what it takes to manage bees sustainably. Raising Resilient Bees is a testament to regenerative beekeeping by way of responsible practices, understanding of place, and most of all, the appreciation of deep bee ecology."--Rob Keller, Napa Valley Bee Co.

"Simply stated, Raising Resilient Bees: Heritage Techniques to Mitigate Mites, Preserve Locally Adapted Genetics, and Grow Your Apiary is essential reading for anyone who aspires to keep bees, and has a great deal of practical value as a resource for even the more experienced beekeeper. Nicely illustrated with color photographic images, informatively comprehensive, exceptionally 'reader friendly in organization and presentation, Raising Resilient Bees is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library bee keeping collections and as a textbook for supplemental Animal Husbandry and Entomology curriculum studies lists."--Midwest Book Review

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