Review of HOMEGROWN HONEY BEES @storeypub
A few of the chapters are titled:
How do I get started?
The first month.
The first season.
Congratulations and condolences.
As you can see from the chapter titles the book is very practical but also weaves in a bit of humor. There are many very scientific focused books out there (my favorite is The Beekeeper's Handbook by Diana Sammataro - you have to have this book in your beek library). Homegrown Honey Bees is quite different which makes beekeeping seem very fun and not so intimidating. On page 66 there is a page about the 'gear' you will need to consider for beekeeping - the title is "Gorilla Suits and Other Inappropriate Dress". I actually think it would be awesome to tend bees in a gorilla suit.
The chapter I found most useful, as a rookie, was the Varroa Mite chapter. I have read quite a bit about Varroa, and seen them but for some reason I still feel as if I don't know anything about them. They are mysterious. This book has a chapter with four bullet points for what to look for, this was incredibly helpful: Lots of brood cell cappings with small holes, indicating dead pupae, bees that are stunted or have shriveled wings (accompanied by very good pictures).
Lastly, throughout the book are pages dedicated to Urban Beekeepers from New York to New Mexico. These profiles of beeks are very interesting because it is fascinating to see and understand how other people tend to their hives. I am going to keep this book in my bee kit.