The Lighter Side of Beekeeping

The BeeHolder, January 2012

Talking of bee books as presents, I very nearly got one myself. Rather than a bee book, it is a beekeeper book, “The Bad BeeKeepers Club” by Bill Turnbull. It is an autobiographical piece telling of how he got drawn into beekeeping almost by accident, and of the bee related adventures he has had since. The style of the book is very proboscis in cheek, perhaps how Bill Bryson would write if he had been English?

The trick of calling it the Bad Beekeepers Club relieves the author of having to educate the reader and takes the pressure off the reader feeling he/she has to learn something from it. Although I haven't finished it yet, I have to confess not only to being entertained, but also informed, by what I have read so far. So while you may not read it and become an expert in queen rearing, you will be able to take some comfort in knowing that you aren't the only person to have made the odd mistake whilst keeping bees.

Bill Turnbull is the radio and TV presenter of such shows as “Today” and “Breakfast Time” and so claims to be a BBC man twice over.

Chris Leech

Santa in for the sting

reproduced from Somerton BKA, courtesy of eBEES


  1. DECLINE all officer and committee appointments – you’re too busy. Then offer vociferous advice on how THEY should do things.
  2. DON’T WORK – it’s courtesy appointment. Then complain that the club has stagnated.
  3. DON’T INITIATE new ideas – that requires thinking. Then play Devil’s Advocate to those ideas submitted by others.
  4. DON’T PARTICIPATE beyond paying your dues (they’re too high anyway). Then complain about poor financial management.
  5. DON’T ENCOURAGE others to become members – that’s selling. Then complain that membership isn’t growing.
  6. DON’T READ newsletters or notices – they’re not important. Then complain that you’re never kept informed. (Give yourself a pat on the back if you read this).
  7. NEVER VOLUNTEER your talents – that’s ego fulfilment. Then complain that you’re never asked and never appreciated.

And when the clubs grows in spite of your “contribution”…..

Manawatu BK Club, NZ (courtesy of eBees)

Varroa cartoon

Winter cleansing flight

Surprisingly this photo of bees on a winter cleansing flight makes a beautiful image. And not a washing line in sight.

Photo courtesy of Konrad, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (via eBEES)