If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea for a beekeeper in your life, or for a way to spend some of your Christmas cash, consider The Biology of the Honey Bee by Mark L. Winston. It is a good basic text for any beekeeper, regardless of experience level. Not a beekeeping manual, it is, however, an in depth study of honey bee biology, an understanding of which is crucial to becoming a successful beekeeper. It would also be a great choice for anyone with a general interest in insects or nature, who wishes to learn more about honey bees. This volume should be on every beekeeper’s reference shelf.
When I teaching beginner beekeeping courses, I don’t discuss beekeeping in the initial class; I always open with an overview of honey bee biology. At the end of presentations, I frequently cite Dr. Winston’s book and suggest that beekeepers acquire a copy. Winter, with its long nights, cold days, and no work to do in the beeyard, is a good time to learn or to brush up on the basics. So, if The Biology of the Honey Bee is not on your book shelf, think about adding it soon.