Had a really nice day today. Jo, Sebastian and I first went to a National Trust garden in Esher. It was one of those lovely sunny winter days with a layer of frost covering the ground which meant it was almost bitterly cold! The gardens were beautiful and dated back to 1715 and as usual old Capability Brown had an input somewhere along the line!

After the National Trust garden we went back via RHS Wisley as I had been meaning to drop in there for sometime now. They have a fantastic library there with every gardening book you could ever imagine available. I had a feeling that they may have a good selection of books about beekeeping and I was not disappointed.

One of the aims of this blog is to give the readers an honest appraisal of everything that a beginning beekeeper would do, reading books is one of them. Though obviously opinionated, I felt that telling aspirational beekeepers which were good or bad books would help them. Therefore I am going to start here!

I am already reading “Keeping Bees, a complete practical guide” by Paul Peacock which seems to be pretty good so far. It is by far the most modern book I have picked up so far with the best pictures.

I picked up “A World Without Bees” by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum which I am looking forward to read as it has such facts as “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left” which was quoted from Albert Einstein. I had often heard this as a probably quote but this book seems to be full of this sort of information.

I am also going to go through “Beekeeping, self-sufficiency” by Joanna Ryde which also looks pretty new and quite “fashionable”. We shall see how well it reads!

The last one I am going to read through was recommended to me by a lovely lady I met while I was in the library. It turned out to be Diane Steele one of our Regional Bee inspectors. What a great person to bump into by chance! Anyway she recommended “Bees at the bottom of the garden” by Alan Campion. On first glance it does look very good and though “Keeping Bees” looks pretty, this makes up for in functionality.

Anyway I will let you know how I get on with them all but something that I noted immediately, all the books seem so functional or practical. There were no books talking about experience – really interesting as I would have liked to read about someones experience!