Monday, April 14, 2014

So You're Thinking About Bees? Win a Book!

So you've come to that time in your life when considering ordering a box of a couple thousand angry insects makes sense? Well, congratulations. Honeybees are wonderful, relativity inexpensive to obtain, and don't require a quarter of the attention other livestock demands. Beekeeping is not cattle ranching. Heck, it isn't even chicken keeping. These girls do not need the constant care of other critters nor the space. You can be an urban-residing, world-traveling, beekeeper. You can be a beekeeper at your summer home, or your cabin, and you can be a beekeeper right in your town backyard. You can also keep bees in the city...

And no one knows this better than Meg Paska, who is a dear friend and now a bonefied author! Her new book came out recently called The Rooftop Beekeeper and it is a wonderful introcution for beginners - rural or urban. The book has a comfrotable narrative style, sharing the journey step by step. You learn about Meg, her homesteading adventiures in Brooklyn and beyond, and what kind of chops it takes to keep a hive. You can pick up this book knowing nothing and set it down after a joyful read with enough know how to make a bee keeping workshop worth it's weight in gold for questions alone.

Meg, I loved this book. And it reminded me very much of how you talk and teach. It brought me back to the workshop you did at my farm as well! Thank you again for being here and part of the CAF extended family.

For those of you bee-curious out there, know this: While there is a certain level of study, effort, and skill that goes into tending a hive it isn't the arcane knowledge some folks think it is. Getting started in keeping bees really only asks that you learn enough to cobble together a hive, dump the bees into it, and the usual care of checking in on their progress and vitality. That is, of course, over simplified but stands true. Some people check their hives every week. Others check in twice a year: once when they add honey supers in the spring and again when they harvest the honey. I fall right in-between. I check often in the spring and even help feed the bees in their early stages. But as the garden takes over my summer I let them do their own thing, making sure they have enough vertical space to grow in. I don't hassle them much until Harvest Time. And when I do have golden jars in my larder every minute spent, every sting healed, and every dollar spent was worth it - several times over.

They say no honey will ever taste as good to your lips as what you harvest from your own hive. They are right.

Oh, And Meg has offered to give away a signed copy here on this blog! So leave a comment about bees, your bee dreams, or anything honey related to win! 

80 Comments:

Blogger Cat H said...

We've thought about bees but my concern is that I'm allergic. Not die from a single sting but the sting site swells up something terrible. Not sure if this is something we could do. How often does the hive have to be checked?

April 14, 2014 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger crisc said...

Oh, I would LOVE to keep bees. But, being allergic, it's not such a grand idea...sigh. I do, however, steward a Little Free Library chock full of all sorts of homesteader titles (Jenna, all of your books are in there!) and this would be a perfect addition to the "collection". I'm sure folks in the neighborhood would love to read it, and maybe, share some of their honey with me. :-)

April 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM  
Blogger Donna Rae Barrow said...

We started beekeeping almost a year ago by capturing a swarm and now we're up to 2 full size hives and three nucs! Just checked out "Rooftop Beekeeping" from the library and LOVE IT! Would be thrilled to have my own copy!

April 14, 2014 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Controlled Jibe said...

My husband and I have just transitioned from a sailboat cruising lifestyle to buying 40 acres and an old farmhouse in the Pacific NW. Although we're just 2 months into this new world, we're loving every minute. We currently have ducks, chickens and goats. It's been inspiring and informative to follow your blog and learn from your experience. We're someday hoping to add a pig, some turkeys and bees to the menagerie. My husband is currently building a top bar bee hive in the basement and would love an additional resource to follow. Thanks again, Jenna, for opening your life to us all. We'll keep following along the adventure!

April 14, 2014 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

We had 3 hives. Two died this harsh winter. I would love the book! It would be such a handy reference when caring for our bees. We are expanding our farm and getting closer to being self sufficient.

April 14, 2014 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger CallieK said...

I'm a member of a bee co-op here in Toronto so I know a bit about keeping urban bees but my dream is to keep my own hives on my roof!

April 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Sarina said...

My father helped me build a top-bar hive this winter, and since we've had such mild sunny weather this spring in the PNW, bees have already been swarming for a couple weeks now! I have hopes of being able to catch a swarm with a bait box to fill the hive... we'll see.

April 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Rae said...

I'm hoping to finally get those bee boxes in my garage going!

April 14, 2014 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger jules said...

My DH has a 'want-to' for beekeeping. I'd love the resource in my library. Thanks for the give-a-way, Jenna and Meg! You two are such an inspiration.

April 14, 2014 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Woohoo! Looks like an awesome book! :D I'm currently interning on a farm in MO, where there are currently 4 hives. I think we're planning on scaling up to 8 or 10 by summer though... So far I'm loving them, and definitely want my own hives when my internship ends!

April 14, 2014 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Getting off My Ass to Write said...

When getting my Masters of Entomology, I occasionally helped out other grad students with hives of aggressive bees. "Never would I ever keep my own hives," I thought. But now, I've seen the BeeHaus, and I make teas from my herb garden, and I've got enough years between me and the aggressive bees to make me think it's time.

April 14, 2014 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger S.e. Hardy said...

Bees are the first thing on my list after I get out of apartment living. Until then it's encouraging wild pollinators :)

April 14, 2014 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger steph said...

I've been dreaming about bees for years.

April 14, 2014 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger kjc said...

i just finished building warre-style beehives, and am really excited to start beekeeping!

April 14, 2014 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

More and more I have been thinking of beekeeping. I live in the mountains of Colorado and I've given a fair bit of thought to how to keep the bees warm and healthy and to keeping the bears away from them. Best answer so far is electrified fencing with the hives in the center.

I'd love this book as a starting point in furthering my education on bees!

April 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

Unfortunately I live in the middle of a city in the basement of an old Victorian, with no access to rooftops and not a whole lot of open space where the "ten thousand angry insects" could putter around without people complaining. But someday, I swear!

April 14, 2014 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger J.D. Collins said...

Just finished a six-week beekeeping course offered by the local beekeepers. Left me want to know more!

I'd love to win a copy of this book as I live in the city!

April 14, 2014 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I am on my second week as a beekeeper, and boy have I learned a lot in the past week. The bees are absolutely facinating and it is hard not to open those hives every day to see what they are up to.

April 14, 2014 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Patty Woodland said...

My husband wants to add bees this year. It's been on his wish list for a while. Just finding the time

April 14, 2014 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Torie Post said...

I have plenty of room, but no knowledge! I would love to win a beginner’s book!

April 14, 2014 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger Mary Wilson said...

In the immortal words of Winnie the Pooh:
"Isn't it funny
How a bear loves honey?
Buzz buzz buzz...
I wonder why he does."

And I does too -- and I'd love to win the book!

April 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger CheshyrCat said...

My brother in law and I have been trying to grow bees for three years now with top bar hives. So far, they've either run away a few weeks after we get them or died during winter each time.

We finally got tired of buying bees only to have them leg it away most of the time, so now we only catch feral swarms. We got three last year, but they all died over the winter, although none of them abandoned the hives.

But there's always this year!

April 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Katlyn said...

Eventually I would love to have bees, not really for the honey, I'm not a big honey fan, but just for the pollinators. Giving them a good home so they can pollinate my crops, veggies, and orchards.

April 14, 2014 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I dreamz of beez! Part of our house has a flat-top roof and I've long thought it was a nice spot for a hive. Or two. Or three. Or . . . more!

Thanks for the chance to win this book!

April 14, 2014 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

When my boyfriend and I started talking about hopes for a life together he asked, "Can we have bees?"

"Of course," I replied enthusiastically. We steel don't know when or where or how, but will have bees. Even if we don't win it, we'll have to check out Meg's book!

April 14, 2014 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

I have just let a local bee keeper set up hives in my suburban back yard and have so many questions. Meg ypur book would be much appreciated ( and i suspect, a bit dog earred over time) addition to my backyard farmer book collection.

April 14, 2014 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Amelia said...

I was just saying thinking that bees could be my first step into farming! Then I could begin to work my way up from bees to chicks to a goat....

April 14, 2014 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I've been considering bees for a while, and this book looks like a great resource!

April 14, 2014 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Crisy said...

One day I will have bees!

April 14, 2014 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Wendy Iannarone said...

My husband has wanted bees for years and years. Now seems like the time and this book would be just the thing to get us started. Excited to add bees on our 2.5 acres in North Carolina.

April 14, 2014 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger M. Pearl said...

Yes! Bees have been on my short list for awhile now. Is really like to start a hive this year but rather I plan on learning as much information about them as I can and record the different flowers that they will visit throughout the season. Next year I plan to get a hive going. Can't wait!

April 14, 2014 at 5:27 PM  
OpenID rawketstarling said...

oooh I want this!! My neighbor has started keeping a hive in-between our backyards so it'll service both our gardens, but I want to keep my own, as well as learn HOW to do it, and not rely on him alone. I've been wanting a good starter book!

April 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Jess Sheppard said...

Bees are our next "big" purchase. To prep I'm planning a bee garden this year-so even if it's another year (or more) to our hive at least the locals will have something to munch on!

April 14, 2014 at 5:57 PM  
OpenID alissasandersonphoto said...

My kids and I are attending our first ever local beekeeper association meeting tonight with the intention of learning for a year and getting bees next spring. So excited! Don't have any books yet :-)

April 14, 2014 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

I have been considering bees for awhile now. This book would be a great introduction and lead me to the next steps of making bees a reality.

April 14, 2014 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger LIS519 said...

I have always been intimidated by the idea of bee keeping. However, as we slowly expand our self sufficient life style...maybe we should consider it?! I would love to learn more!

April 14, 2014 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I love honey. We happen to have access to affordable local honey, and we consume it copiously (mostly in baked oatmeal). I would describe myself as bee-curious.

April 14, 2014 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Stefanie DePugh said...

Stepping into the world of beekeeping this year (one workshop under my belt and bees on the way when it warms up!) I'm trying to read all I can to hopefully help my bees get a good start. Thanks!

April 14, 2014 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger English sheep gal said...

I love to watch the bees around the garden, my lavender bushes are always covered in them, as is the phlox and bee balm. I also love honey on toast - and this week with a cold and sore throat a big spoonful in a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon is very soothing. Plus of course have been reading about increased yields from crops with a hive nearby, and using honey to heal wounds... seems I've covered everything except how to raise my own bees! So I'd love to win the book.

A coworker has just watched the bee documentary 'More Than Honey' and highly recommends it.

April 14, 2014 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Deairdre said...

We had bees when I was a child and they are next on my list! I hope to get everything around and be up and running by next summer :)

April 14, 2014 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Sarah from Schuylerville said...

when i attended the bee workshop at jenna's i thought meg was simply the bees knees! i would love to read her book!

April 14, 2014 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Just bought a house in town and have been wondering about bees and would love to know more.

April 14, 2014 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger Donna Bolls said...

Bees are definitely in my future. I've been doing research already and would love to add this book to my library.

April 14, 2014 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Donna Bolls said...

Bees are definitely in my future. I've been researching a good bit and would love to add this book to my library.

April 14, 2014 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Chari Nicely said...

Lost both my hives this winter. Getting my new colony on Sat. Would love the book

April 14, 2014 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger K. Jean said...

We have been thinking about bees for a year or so now - hoping to gather supplies and a hive this year for next year's foray into bees!

April 14, 2014 at 10:09 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Yay bees! I've wanted to try them for a long time, but I've been worried about letting my dog or any future kids near the hive, and I hadn't yet found a good book to tell me what to do!

April 14, 2014 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I got my first bees a year ago. It is a challenge to learn the ins and outs of beekeeping. We don't have a mentor, that would really help! I would love the book for reference!

April 14, 2014 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Jen B-K said...

I am a reluctant beekeeper and would love to learn more so that I can embrace it with my whole heart. Now, I suit up when my husband is out of town and something has to be done. I want to love it, but I don't yet.

April 14, 2014 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Patty said...

I want to keep bees. I plan to keep bees. There, I named it. I have gone to a bee class, read some bee books, including, "The Beekeeper's Lament," and even collect small bee-themed items (to go with my chicken-themes items). I would love a book that is practical and helpful. BTW, I own all your books, and even ordered one from Battenkill Books (sp). Also, I take your book and video recommendations to heart. No, I am not a stalker, just an admirer of your work and your passion. Pick me!

April 14, 2014 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Patty said...

I want to keep bees. I plan to keep bees. There, I named it. I have gone to a bee class, read some bee books, including, "The Beekeeper's Lament," and even collect small bee-themed items (to go with my chicken-themes items). I would love a book that is practical and helpful. BTW, I own all your books, and even ordered one from Battenkill Books (sp). Also, I take your book and video recommendations to heart. No, I am not a stalker, just an admirer of your work and your passion. Pick me!

April 14, 2014 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Ducky said...

One day, when I don't live in an apartment in suburbia, I will have some hives. I have a friend with a couple hives and I've gone over to watch her check her hives and ask questions. I can't wait for hives of my own.

April 15, 2014 at 12:58 AM  
OpenID sheepyhollow said...

Always wanted bees... would be a very nice addition to my farmstead!! I should take the plunge!!!

April 15, 2014 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Mary Schroeder said...

I have been thinking about keeping bees for a few years but worried about doing bad by them. My Dad loves honey and I want to produce some for him.

April 15, 2014 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger T. Crockett said...

I'm buying my first house and one of the things I'm looking forward to is beekeeping.

April 15, 2014 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Gelfling said...

I'll be throwing a coat of paint on my second hive this weekend in preparation for our next nuc of bees to arrive in a couple of weeks... would love to win this to give to a friend who's interested!

April 15, 2014 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Sounds like a great book to have in my bee librabry. I am getting 2 packages of bees in May and we're getting the hives all ready and painted right now. Can hardly wait to get them, I am so excited! I had a small hive of bees last year but they got invaded by those nasty wax moths. So we're trying again, in a different spot this time. We sure learn as we go around here!

April 15, 2014 at 8:51 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I have bee aspirations, a spot picked out, and a garage sale head net thing. I am eager, but wish I had some sort of bee mentor as a neighbor.

April 15, 2014 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Trina said...

I would love to keep bees if I could only figure out where to put them and keep the kids away from them! I have so enjoyed reading your books - they are inspiring. And if you like "Rooftop Beekeeping" I'm sure I will!

April 15, 2014 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger dc said...

Bee still my bee-ting heart! I should have bees because my yard is a bee haven,I never use pesticides so our grassy areas are full of dandelions and clover, we have fruit trees and shrubs galore, linden trees that buzz in June because they're so full of bees etc. and we love honey and burn only bees wax candles.

Thanks for the chance!

April 15, 2014 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

This year, I've got my hive bodies (not assembled or painted yet). Two swarm traps built and hung near the woods, a smoker, a hat with veil, and some frames and foundations. All I need now is to head to Goodwill to find clothes to piece together a bee suit, gloves, and the bee's :)

April 15, 2014 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Sammy Q said...

I would love to keep some bees but since I live in NYC I always figured it wasn't a possibility... Until my friend sent me this video about how these guys keep bees on rooftops in brooklyn!! And now I see this book is literally all about that (or partially) which makes me have hope that maybe I could pull that off too!

April 15, 2014 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Sammy Q said...

I would love to keep some bees but since I live in NYC I always figured it wasn't a possibility... Until my friend sent me this video about how these guys keep bees on rooftops in brooklyn!! And now I see this book is literally all about that (or partially) which makes me have hope that maybe I could pull that off too!

April 15, 2014 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Cresta Ogle said...

We have a small piece of land (1.5 acres) with 16 chickens, 2 dogs, a cat, and a parakeet. We're hoping to get a mama goat in milk and her wether son soon. We would LOVE to have a hive, but I'm not sure where to put it! The house is in the middle of the property, and our plot is a relatively-narrow rectangle. We would really benefit from having "Rooftop Beekeeping," since our available space isn't the hugest, and we're total NOOBS!
I am in the process of reading "One Woman Farm," Jenna, and I love it! =) Before that I read "Made From Scratch," and loved your honesty, voice, and that you shared the tough parts of homesteading as well as the "days of milk and honey." Thank you for keeping it real and sharing your heart!

April 15, 2014 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger kristi.durbin said...

I've worked at a farm that has bees, but never had the opportunity to really work with these amazing creatures myself. I've been mulling over a bee book purchase for a while, so thanks for this recommendation (and the giveaway)!

April 15, 2014 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger CT said...

I just got my first hives and they are all set up awaiting my bees! I am so excited. I would love a copy of 'Rooftop Beekeeping' to help my on my journey!

April 15, 2014 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger The Morrissey said...

We went to my daughters high school today to feed the hive of bees her biology teacher has in the classroom. It was so cool!

April 15, 2014 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger The Morrissey said...

We went to my daughters high school today to feed the hive of bees her biology teacher has in the classroom. It was so cool!

April 15, 2014 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

I am definitely into the idea of keeping bees in the future! When we lived in Brooklyn, a few people in our neighborhood kept bees on the roofs of their apartment buildings. Now that's dedication. :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

April 15, 2014 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Kimberly Busby said...

Oh, I love bees and keeping a hive has been a lifelong dream. A recent move now has me living in a place that I can make it happen. Thank you for the chance to win!

April 15, 2014 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Rick Topping said...

Almost successful in talking my friend that owns land where we can have bees into giving it a shot. I'll keep grinding away at him until he gives in!

April 15, 2014 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Rick Topping said...

Almost successful in talking my friend that owns land where we can have bees into giving it a shot. I'll keep grinding away at him until he gives in!

April 15, 2014 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

We pulled up our lawn and planted the entire expanse with California native wildflowers. The bees love it! It's inspired me to get a bee box, but of course I have no idea where to start, so the book would be fabulous!

April 16, 2014 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

I would love to keep bees. Every year in August I buy 2 gallons to last the next year. I would love to make my own but my beekeepers have been having trouble with their hives dying off. Don't know if I can do it or not. Would love a copy of her book to see what all is involved. If I could do that then maybe I could do chickens!!

April 16, 2014 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Monica W said...

When I was in high school, I jumped off a low wall in our yard and onto a bee. I had a swollen, itching foot all summer, and my cousins had to take over my paper route.

April 18, 2014 at 5:33 AM  
Blogger Monica W said...

Back in high school, I jumped off a low wall in our yard and onto a bee. My toes were itchy and swollen all summer, and my cousins had to take over my paper route.

April 18, 2014 at 5:35 AM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

I'd love to win meg's book! There used to be a hive on the building next to my apartment building. I secretly wish to put one back out there!!!

April 18, 2014 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Shall I pick a winner, or would you like to? :)


My last goat kidded last night. A singleton doeling. Kidding season is officially over. The tally- 5 boys and 2 girls. Oof!

April 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Shall I pick a winner, or would you like to? :)


My last goat kidded last night. A singleton doeling. Kidding season is officially over. The tally- 5 boys and 2 girls. Oof!

April 21, 2014 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I would love to keep bees. It actually frightens me how few bees I see in my hometown. When we moved into our house there was not a dandelion in sight. Over the last three years we have changed that. Not only are there dandelions for the bees but a garden and lots of wildflowers as well. I just need to learn the know how to add to my local bee population. It will happen. :)

April 24, 2014 at 9:35 PM  

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