Bees make honey; we all know that. But what happens between the bee buzzing around our backyard, and the sticky knife in the jar, is a mystery to most of us. How many bee-hours does it take to make just one jar of honey? What do the honeybees' waggling dances really mean? Why do bees swarm? What is a 'house bee'?
From exploring their life cycle and development, to revealing their societies and behavior, expert biodynamic beekeeper Michael Weiler answers these questions and many more.
Combining poetic observations with scientific detail, The Secrets of Bees uncovers the incredible world of these remarkable insects.
This book was first published in German in 2003 as Der Mensch und die Bienen: Betrachtungen zu den Lebensäußerungen des Bien and first published in English in 2006 with the title Bees & Honey from Flower to Jar.
Michael Weiler has been a beekeeper for twenty-five years and runs courses and conferences on ecological beekeeping in Germany and the UK.
Horst Kornberger was born in Austria in 1959. He is a poet, artist, writer and lecturer. He has taught at the Rudolf Steiner College in California and now lives in Western Australia. He is the founder of the School of Integral Art where he pioneers creative, biographical and story writing. He is the author of The Power of Stories: Nurturing Children's Imagination and Consciousness and Global Hive.
David Heaf is a translator and biodynamic expert. He lives in Wales, UK.
"The author is not only an experienced beekeeper who looks after fifty colonies but also a committed teacher who possesses a great passion for bees and a deep understanding of their behaviour and nature [...] The text conveys the reader smoothly through this refreshing insight into the bees' world, the photographs, various biological illustrations, line drawings and tables are all designed to enhance the learning process from this book. On a literary note, there are also two delightful poems [...] to add to the reader's pleasure [...] Good value for money."
– Bee Keeping
"Michael Weiler is an experienced beekeeper who looks after fifty colonies. He is a teacher with a great passion for bees and deep understanding of their nature. I had already begun to apply organic principles within my own beekeeping and I am now convinced that the biodynamic route is the one I shall take."
– Philip Chandler of the Wholesome Food Association, in Star and Furrow, after participating in a day-course on 'The Nature of Bees and Biodynamic Beekeeping' with Michael Weiler organised by the BDAA
"Informed by a Goethean perspective, this fascinating book about the life cycle of a bee tells the reader all they need to know about the subject."
– Scientific and Medical Network Review
"This delightful and detailed little book takes us on a wonderful journey through the beekeeping year [...] The outline of the Demeter Beekeeping Guidelines at the back of the book will be especially useful to beekeepers considering how they can best work with their bees."
– Sue Peat, The Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain Newsletter
"If you're an experienced bee-keeper wishing to know your bees better, and more so if you're one that likes to share the art of bee keeping with fellow human beings, then this little book shows how!! The writer, Co-director of the Demeter association in Germany, takes us by the hand on a wonderful journey through the beekeeping year."
– Star and Furrow
"From poetic opening lines to a royal jelly finale this wonderful book has been written from the heart-mind of a man who truly loves his bees. Readers may feel themselves transported to stand beside the beekeeper, accompanying him as he tends to his hive. Which is of course the book's defining strength. Well illustrated with excellent photographs and clear diagrams."
– Harvests Magazine