Backyard Bees: a guide for the beginner beekeeper

Doug Purdie shows how easy and rewarding beekeeping can be

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Backyard Bees -  A guide for the beginner beekeeper by Doug Purdie

Backyard Bees - A guide for the beginner beekeeper by Doug Purdie [©Recipes and Images from Backyard Bees by Doug Purdie, published by Murdoch Books.]

Bee drinking from the bird bath


Doug Purdie fell in love with bees in 2009 when reading about the battle bees are facing in most of the world due to widespread diseases. Five years later and he's a self-described 'beevangelist' managing more than 70 beehives on city rooftops, balconies, backyards and community gardens.

Starting small, selling honey at a community farmer's market, Doug was given his first bee hive by his then father-in-law. ln no time he had joined the Amateur Beekeepers' Association of New South Wales Sutherland branch where he met his business partner, Vicky. The two bee fanatics have since formed The Urban Beehive, a business dedicated to bringing beehives to urban areas, and kick-started the Sydney City Branch of the Amateur Beekeepers'Association.

There's no doubt about it - bees have a bad rap.But many people don't realise that bees pollinate our food and without them we have a major
problem. ln Backyard Bees, Doug shows us that just about anyone can keep bees; they don't take a lot of time and by having a hive you are helping the planet. All you need is a bit of space in your backyard (or on your rooftop) and a little love for the creatures that pollinate the vegie patches of your neighbourhood. Once introduced to the charms of beekeeping and the taste of warm honeycomb direct from the hive, you'll be hooked.

Backyard Bees is the ultimate guide to installing and maintaining a hive through the seasons. Learn how easy it is to keep happy, healthy bees, and how and when to harvest the liquid gold. You'll find extensive advice on choosing a hive and the equipment you need; case studies and anecdotes from beekeepers from all walks of life; and delicious recipes for all that honey, from Toasted Honey Granola to Bees Knees Cocktails.

Backyard Bees by Doug Purdie (Sydney 2014, hc, 208 pp. RRP A$45.00) is published by Murdoch Books, an imprint of Allen & Unwin. It is available at all good bookshops or directly from the publisher »

We've reviewed Backyard Bees here »

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April 24th, 2015
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