The Secrets of Bees

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The Secrets of Bees: An Insider’s Guide to the Life of Honeybees

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.

C O N T E N T S:

Foreword by Horst Kornberger

Part I: Observing Bees

1. Foraging
2. In-flight Observations
3. The Swarm

Part II: Inside the Hive

4. Building Comb
5. Bee Development
6. Bee Life
7. Summer Impressions
8. Queen Development

Part III: Winter Is Coming

9. Maturity
10. Winter Inspections
11. Varroa Destructor
12. Bee Christmas

Part IV: Build-up

13. Awakening
14. Surviving Spring
15. From Winter Bees to Summer Bees
16. Preparing for the Honey Harvest
17. Summer Inspections

Part V: Gifts from the Bees

18. Honey
19. Pollen, Bee Bread and Royal Jelly
20. The Power of Honey for Bees and People

Appendix: Demeter Beekeeping

About the Author
Endnotes and Picture Credits
Useful Organizations

About the Author

Michael Weiler has lived in Kassel since 1985 and is the father of five. In 1982, he began beekeeping while studying agriculture. After working as an agricultural consultant, he attended the teacher training at the free Rudolf Steiner School in Kassel and taught at the Jean Paul School until 1996. He currently does research in biodynamics. He is editor of the magazine Lebendige Erde. Since 1992, he has helped to develop guidelines for approaches to ecological beekeeping and leads seminars on the life of bees and healthy beekeeping.

Additional information

Weight 17 oz
Dimensions 5.5 × 0.25 × 8.5 in


David Heaf


Horst Kornberger




April 2019






Floris Books


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