A Christmas gift from the bees

It has been a fantastic year of beekeeping. To celebrate I’ve made a book to say thank you to everyone for reading my blog. I’ve enjoyed sharing the ups and downs, queens and swarms, honey and drones, with you all. This is a gift from the bees.


The industrious honeybee has inspired people for centuries, while the treasures of the hive bring sweetness in honey and light in candles. What is life like through the compound eyes of the bee? This little book of bee magic journeys through the honeybee year, from season to season.

You can download the ebook for free on Blurb books here to read on iBooks for iPhone and iPads. Or send an email using the form below and I will send you a copy of the ebook. I’ll wait a week to receive everyone’s requests before sending copies.

This is my first ebook, I hope you have as much fun flipping through the pages as I did making them. Let me know what you think, because I’m planning more ebooks with all funds raised donated to a charity Bees for Development.


26 thoughts on “A Christmas gift from the bees

    • The purple berries were taken in the Japanese Garden of Regent’s Park, London. I’m not sure what they are. They seemed to be there for a day and when I returned next day for my lunchtime walk, they seemed all eaten back, perhaps by birds. I’ll have to Google image search them or email the Regent’s Park gardener 🙂

  1. Thank you for the interesting iBook. I loved the pictures as I do your blog. I live in Idaho, USA, and am a hobby beekeeper. I identify with much of the trials and triumphs you all have had, though I don’t indulge in tea and biscuits after beekeeping. (My wife and I do drink much tea sweetened lightly with honey, Earl Grey being my favorite.)
    This year I was able to harvest honey from three of my six hives totaling over 200 pounds. Twice that harvested last year from two hives. Sadly, my best producing hive located right outside our back door (we live in town) succumbed to the sudden cold spell we had early this winter. They just didn’t have time to move to another frame with honey.
    Thanks again,
    Ken Rhodes

    • Thanks for enjoying my book and blog. I probably drink too much tea, although I actually like Lady Grey with honey.

      I’m sorry to hear about your longest standing hive – beekeeping is all about troubles and triumphs. One year, John Chapple showed us a hive that succumbed to the same thing – cold didn’t allow them to move fast enough between frames. He then showed us a trick – punching a hole in the centre of the frames with his hive tool, making a ‘tunnel’ for the bees in winter. He said it helped his workers move faster between frames in winter.

      I wish your bees a good winter and to see the sun in spring 🙂 Emma

  2. That is SO exciting EST, and such a great idea. Downloading just as soon as I can uncover my wretched Blurb log-in details… More in due course. RH. (I could do something like this for bird species. Must look into it)

    • Thanks RH! It’s very easy to do and I think a bird species book, stories from Abaco, is a great idea. My book is an experiment ahead of a bigger co-authored book next year, I’d say Blurb is the way to go. Easy clean templates, reasonable price, and flexible options for formatting and sharing.

    • Hiya! Yes, very easy. Join Blurb community for free and set up a profile (if you like) as easily as Facebook. I used Bookify for easy, flexible templates to create a photo book with text online for e-format, PDF or print. I’ve ordered one print copy to test the quality and pricing ahead of a bigger book project next year. I think it’s a great way to make charity books – my plan for next year doing bee, aromatherapy and travel/photography books for charity.

      • Yes, do try it. I’ve designed magazines and books in InDesign (industry standard for publishing) for over 10 years. The simple templates of Bookify provide similar results for an ebook – I’ll let you know about the print book when it arrives. Unfortunately Blurb were doing engineering on the site when I put my book together (thank goodness I kept saving and put my copy together in Word first) but still good.

  3. Nicely done. Well thought out information and great photos. It’s amazing to me that after tomorrow (winter solstice), the bees will sense the days getting longer and, in time, will get the queen back to laying eggs. I wish you the best of luck in getting your bees through winter for another great year of beekeeping and blogging. 🙂

    • Winter solstice or Yule has a special place in my heart from Germanic traditions and as a past mind body spirit editor and amateur astronomer, the darkest day of winter is one of my favourite days, how odd is that? I think the queens are already in lay judging from the look of our bees yesterday, not sure how effective the oxalic acid will be this year. Still our bees are looking well so I’m not worried. Wishing your bees a wonderful solstice sun-standstill day and looking forward to more bee adventures next year 🙂

      • I downloaded it and its wonderful! I actually teared up because it made me remember how much I love these fuzzy little creatures. I often forget in the middle of winter like this. Thank you for such a wonderful book!

      • Sorry for the delay in reply, I had a nice time off from being online for Christmas. I’m so happy my book brought back the joy of bees in winter. Nature really is magical and that’s what I hoped to share. Happy New Year willowbatel 😉

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