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Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on the Planet
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Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on the Planet

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  266 ratings  ·  57 reviews
A fascinating guided tour through the history, folklore, and function of the endangered honeybee.

Featured recently in major national news stories because they are disappearing at an alarming rate, bees are the unsung-and absolutely essential- heroes of the food chain. Now they get their due in this delightfully illustrated, fact-filled book, courtesy of a professional beek
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Perigee Books (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 691)
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Jennifer
Aug 25, 2009 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in bees or beekeeping!
Shelves: 2009, bees
Fantastic! This is a book I would cheerfully recommend to folks interested in getting into beekeeping, or wanting to understand more about bees or beekeeping. It's a light-hearted and easy read that still manages to deliver good information without being overly scholarly or preachy.

Susan Brackney is definitely speaking from the hive tool and the heart. I found myself nodding at her descriptions, and she manages to elegantly capture the soul of beekeeping. In a book less than 150 pages, it captu
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Monique
Everything you ever wanted to know about honeybees? I have no idea. Lacking the expertise to confirm if this book is, indeed, everything I could ever want to know, I can confirm that it is motivating, informative and beginner-friendly.

Brackney successfully writes in a way that informs without being patronizing or overly technical. She breaks down and explains everything in a manner that is hugely interesting. Her anecdotes are cute and enjoyable, lending confidence to a reader such as I, that,
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Driftless
Farmer fantasies are all the rage, especially amongst my white-collar, middle-class neighbors. People with no farming background are searching out ways to get their hands dirty, striving to produce beautiful crops and taking well-earned credit for the results of their hard work. When I was a kid, Burpee tomatoes and zucchini were sufficient to fulfill the fantasy, but modern times have upped the ante considerably, adding not only hundreds of heirloom plants, but livestock such as chickens, tilap ...more
Diane
Second book about bees in about a month. If you have to choose just one, choose this one. I did like the enthnology and history in the other one, but Brackney is more readable. Now, I have no particular interest in beekeeping or in bees - other than I enjoy most things about nature. Brackney has a style that some might not like - sort of jovial and self-demeaning, but she kept it just at the level that I found amusing not annoying. I actually liked her opening sentence: "This could have been a b ...more
Jaffrey Clark
This book was something of an impulse read for me. I have a streak of homesteader wanna-be in me, and the idea of keeping bees is certainly a romantic notion. And, since I find nature fascinating, this book was fascinating. The author educated me about bees without boring me. It stayed interesting, and at times somewhat entertaining.
York Honey
This is a really well written an accessible book full to bursting with fascinating facts about bees. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in our fuzzy pollinating friends.
Fran
Those cute black and yellow flying creatures that can cause us to stiffen in anxiety are really very fascinating. They work a lot harder than I do! Their social structure and communication methods quite advanced. Though their protection weapon is very intimidating, they are essential to our environment. They are responsible for pollinating about 80% of all the plants on the planet. About 30% of what we eat is the result of the activity of honeybees. As much as we usually want to kill them so the ...more
Ryan Williams
Plan Bee is a non-fiction book that has proven it self to be one of a kind. Though it has a gratuitous amount of information on bees, it is so well written that the whole time, I fell as if I were reading a fiction novel. Brackney found a way to put vital information about bees in a book that even for someone who wasn't interested in the subject could find it fascinating. She starts from the basic information of a bees anatomy, to why bees do what they do, to the history of bee keeping. The book ...more
Inga

A Quick and interesting intro to honey bees written by a bee keeper. Covers a little of everything; colony collapse, how to be queen, bee anatomy and more. Falls in nicely with the current trends of DIY (real start to finish bee's wax projects) and sustainable agriculture (learn exactly how bees contribute and are effected by shifts in cultivation and habitat). There is even a quiz to determine if you have what it takes to tend a hive yourself.

Funny, illustrated and broken into short sections, t
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Cameron Gleed
Made beekeeping sound interesting and exciting. I found myself asking unanswered questions throughout like, what's the difference between honeybees and other types of bees, or how do you avoid getting nectar mixed in with your honey?
Melissa Guimont
This is a new favorite of mine. For the average nature lover who knows little about bees, this is a great introduction. This author has the gift of telling you fascinating facts with humor and respect for these invaluable creatures. I have always wanted to have a beehive, but know that it requires a great deal of patience, work, and time. This book gave me a glimpse into that life and made me feel better for having other ways to help these bees with plants and gardening techniques. I hope Susan ...more
Kirsten
I enjoyed 75% of this book but could have done without the recipes/crafts section. I picked it up to learn about bees...that other stuff I can find elsewhere
Jessica Loomis
Brackney's book about bees and bee-keeping is a great introduction for those who are interested in honeybees and considering possibly-maybe becoming a beekeeper (including a cute quiz to rate your commitment level). Her style is somewhat narrative with a humorous and educational tone that grabbed my attention but may frustrate those looking for more in-depth explanations. Therefore, I'd highly recommend this book to the bee novices out there.
Jennifer
Aug 02, 2013 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those interested in nature, honey bees
Recommended to Jennifer by: my own curiousity
enjoyable and educational. read it if you're interested in learning about honey bees. The author has a pleasant way of writing, almost as if you were walking along with her and she was sharing humourous and informative stories with you. Illustrations were decent, however, there were a few things described I would've liked more had there been an illustration with it. Good resources list at the end if one wanted to delve more into the subject.
Martin
Super easy read but very interesting and full of beekeeping information. I had hoped that it was going to be a bit more scientific and explain why honey bees are disappearing and why they suddenly abanadon their hives. Brackney has a wonderful sense of humor and this was a good introduction to the art of beekeeping which, one day I hope, will be a hobby of mine.
Tom
This book is a light introduction into bees and beekeeping. It also contains an interesting mix of instructions for bee box assembly, candle making, recipes for lip balm, energy bars, and how to make a bees wax death mask. It wouldn't have hurt if this book was more in depth, but it was a pleasant read, and its always nice to be able to fly through a book.
Melissa
I was assigned this for a class and was not expecting to enjoy it so much! A quick read that is correct in that it will tell you everything you want to know (and some things you didn't!) about bees. Anyone who is interested in beekeeping, or just in learning more about the beautiful creatures buzzing outside their window would enjoy this book.
Megan
This was a quick (and surprisingly fun!) overview about honeybees that was interesting. It had the right about of detail for those who are curious about bees and beekeeping, without one feeling over or underwhelmed with information. Black and white photos, woodcuts, and drawings are used through out the text and were helpful.
Mary Anne


This is just the best book! Chock-full of information, and written with humor and love! I can't wait to get my own girls and experience the beekeeper's roller coaster of emotions! I would prefer to stay OFF the roller coaster, but that is not nature's way, I'm afraid. Onward with fortitude!
Wan
did you know that bee dna is closer to humans than that of other insects...it's true, i read it in a book.
This was an informative read. By no means is it an instruction manual on bee keeping, but it doesn't claim to bee (sorry).
For a great how-to bee keeping book check out "The Backyard Beekeeper".
Hannah Stowe
Very interesting and entertaining. Truly enjoyable.
Claire
Some of the information in here is wrong, and there's definitely more informative books for aspiring beekeepers out there but it's ok.

N.B. Just get the bees sting out as quickly as possible. DO NOT worry how you get it out. Just get it out. Stay calm. If you panic it'll take longer.
Christina Dudley
Quick, fun and informative. Did not know that honeybees are not native to North America. Makes me feel slightly better about their population collapse...This is the book to read if you want to know about bee sex or find instructions for a do-it-yourself beeswax death mask!
Juliet Ekinaka
This book taught me so much about beekeeping! I love this book and I continue to go back to it and read over her experiences and use her awesome tips and resources! A great, light hearted book that has information yet is a fantastic story all in one!
Kate
I enjoyed this quick read because it contained a lot of good information about beekeeping, who's in the hive, how the bees organize and run their world, and gardening tips to attract and support honeybees. Written in an entertaining manner.
Heidi
Excellent, conversational tone. Whether you're scared of bees or are curious about them, this is a great little book that is chock-full of details. You'll finish with new respect for these busy little pollinators and see how valuable they are.
David R.
Brackney sets out to teach the subject of beekeeping in a short treatment that encompasses bee biology, the tools of the trade, and even recipes with honey and wax. It was a bit cloying for my taste and tends toward eccentricity.
Teresa
An enjoyable and very quick read about bees and the people who love them. I'm not starting a second career as an apiarist, but I do have a better appreciation for honeybees and their keepers. Good book for a lazy Saturday morning.
Skigirl
Good book and a fun read if you're interested in the subject, however Fruitless Fall has a lot more information and is considerably more in depth if you're interested in bees/pollination/problems facing future food production/etc.
Amy
The title is pretty accurate. This is like a tiny textbook on bees. Would have been more engaging if it were more rooted in the author's experience or in someone's story of beekeeping and discovery. As it is, it's pretty dry. Yawn.
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Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on thePlanet

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