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The Secrets of Bees

An Insider's Guide to the Life of Honeybees

Michael Weiler
Foreword by Horst Kornberger
Translated by David Heaf
April 2019
More details
  • Publisher
    Floris Books
  • Published
    30th April 2019
  • ISBN 9781782505808
  • Language English
  • Pages 160 pp.
  • Size 5.43" x 8.5"

Bees make honey; we all know that. But what happens between the bee buzzing around our backyard, and the sticky knife in the jar, is a mystery to most of us. How many bee-hours does it take to make just one jar of honey? What do the honeybees’ waggling dances really mean? Why do bees swarm? What is a “house bee”?

From exploring their life cycle and development, to revealing their societies and behavior, expert biodynamic beekeeper Michael Weiler answers these questions and many more.

Combining poetic observations with scientific detail, The Secrets of Bees uncovers the incredible world of these remarkable insects.

“If you want to know about the lifecycle and development of the bee, this is the book for you. Written by an expert biodynamic beekeeper and combining scientific detail with poetic insight into this extraordinary and important insect.”
Paradigm Explorer

“The author is not only an experienced beekeeper who looks after fifty colonies but also a committed teacher who possesses a great passion for bees and a deep understanding of their behavior and nature.... The text conveys the reader smoothly through this refreshing insight into the bees' world, the photographs, various biological illustrations, line drawings and tables are all designed to enhance the learning process from this book. On a literary note, there are also two delightful add to the reader's pleasure...Good value for money.”
Bee Keeping

“Michael Weiler is an experienced beekeeper who looks after fifty colonies. He is a teacher with a great passion for bees and deep understanding of their nature. I had already begun to apply organic principles within my own beekeeping and I am now convinced that the biodynamic route is the one I shall take.”
Philip Chandler, Wholesome Food Association, in Star and Furrow

“Informed by a Goethean perspective, this fascinating book about the life cycle of a bee tells the reader all they need to know about the subject.”
Scientific and Medical Network Review

“This delightful and detailed little book takes us on a wonderful journey through the beekeeping year.... The outline of the Demeter Beekeeping Guidelines at the back of the book will be especially useful to beekeepers considering how they can best work with their bees.”
Sue Peat, The Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain Newsletter

“If you're an experienced bee-keeper wishing to know your bees better, and more so if you're one that likes to share the art of bee keeping with fellow human beings, then this little book shows how!! The writer, Co-director of the Demeter association in Germany, takes us by the hand on a wonderful journey through the beekeeping year.”
Star and Furrow

“From poetic opening lines to a royal jelly finale this wonderful book has been written from the heart-mind of a man who truly loves his bees. Readers may feel themselves transported to stand beside the beekeeper, accompanying him as he tends to his hive. Which is of course the book's defining strength. Well-illustrated with excellent photographs and clear diagrams.”
Harvests Magazine

C O N T E N T S:

Foreword by Horst Kornberger

Part I: Observing Bees

1. Foraging
2. In-flight Observations
3. The Swarm

Part II: Inside the Hive

4. Building Comb
5. Bee Development
6. Bee Life
7. Summer Impressions
8. Queen Development

Part III: Winter Is Coming

9. Maturity
10. Winter Inspections
11. Varroa Destructor
12. Bee Christmas

Part IV: Build-up

13. Awakening
14. Surviving Spring
15. From Winter Bees to Summer Bees
16. Preparing for the Honey Harvest
17. Summer Inspections

Part V: Gifts from the Bees

18. Honey
19. Pollen, Bee Bread and Royal Jelly
20. The Power of Honey for Bees and People

Appendix: Demeter Beekeeping

About the Author
Endnotes and Picture Credits
Useful Organizations

Michael Weiler

Michael Weiler has lived in Kassel since 1985 and is the father of five. In 1982, he began beekeeping while studying agriculture. After working as an agricultural consultant, he attended the teacher training at the free Rudolf Steiner School in Kassel and taught at the Jean Paul School until 1996. He currently does research in biodynamics. He is editor of the magazine Lebendige Erde. Since 1992, he has helped to develop guidelines for approaches to ecological beekeeping and leads seminars on the life of bees and healthy beekeeping.