Beekeeping Books – The Urban Beekeeper by Steve Benbow


Posted by admin | Posted in Beekeeping, Beekeeping Equipment, Book Review, General | Posted on 15-09-2012

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Beekeeping Books – The Urban Beekeeper; A year of bees in the city

Beekeeping Books: The Urban Beekeeper

You know you are reading a good beekeeping book when you start talking about it in the pub with other people, especially if you have never met them before. I had read a good review about this before with Ian Douglas’ review in the Telegraph, but here I was talking about it to strangers.

I often go to my local pub while I am waiting for my take away curry. We live in a tiny village but it has the most amazing set up. An Indian Restaurant (award winning) across  the road from the most fantastic pub (also award winning) and so it would be rude not to just saunter across having put in an order. Often I pop across the road for 20 minutes, pick up the Guardian (Sorry Ian) which is left on the bar and read a bit about forthcoming weekend football. It is not often that I pray that it will be a busy night and they say to me “it will be at least 40 minutes Mr. James” but reading Steve’s beekeeping book was one of these times.

Buy now!

You would instantly be drawn to the cover. Some fantastic photography is evident in this beekeeping book and not just on the cover – Steve has had the privilege of working with Eric Tourenet (the self titled Bee Photographer) who’s beekeeping books I am dying to read and look at. However, something else is nice about this beekeeping book; it is particularly tactile. It isn’t often you want to stroke the cover but this is one of those times – strange as it sounds and maybe this is the reason that after half a pint of Sussex Best, I was being asked questions about the book I was reading.

Anyhow, what I found most peculiar about Steve’s beekeeping book is that he and I wrote a diary about the same year. My book; From A to Bee is about my struggles and adventures in my first year of beekeeping and Steve’s is equally an adventure about turning his dream into a reality. Turning his commercial beekeeping business into a London dominated one i.e. beehives in all 33 London boroughs. Okay, it is a lot more than that and is a fascinating insight into Steve’s quite nomadic but lovely sounding lifestyle.

What I had to laugh at though is that at one point we both discuss the same event in that year, through our respective beekeeping books. I discuss the Abel and Cole Beekeeping event from the audience and Steve talks about it because he was actually giving the talk. 

Steve is getting a lot of press out there at the moment and rightly so. If anyone is well placed to take beekeeping to a new level and appeal to new audiences, he has the ability to do so. He has beehives in various locations of amazing significance; Tate Modern, Fortnum and Mason to name but a few. I wish him every success with his venture involving The London Honey Company as this has got a great brand and should do very well in coming months and years.

From a personal perspective I have to recommend both of our beekeeping books together as they are both diary formats, his commercial beekeeping and mine amateur but both equally enthusiastic and passionate about the subject. If I am honest, Steve writes far better than I do and the book will keep you engaged throughout. I definitely recommend you reading this beekeeping book and out of all the personal experience beekeeping books I have read, this ranks up there at the top.

Should you want to read about other beekeeping books you can do so on my Beekeeping Books Review page

It is 290 pages long and you can buy it here

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