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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Monday, February 06, 2012

Richard Taylor, a Lyrical Beekeeper

As spring approaches, I am always drawn back to The Joys of Beekeeping by Richard Taylor.  I've quoted him in other places on this blog.  He loves the bees and the experience of being with them.  His book which is quite short (166 pages) is so nurturing to read and replenishes my spirit about the bees every time I read it.

This is what he writes about his bee yard (I'm going to quote several paragraphs and hope I'm not violating copyright):

"But the bee yard, when not the scene of herculean labors, as at harvest time, is largely a place of quiet where one feels not alone but rather an integral part of the scheme of things.  Solitude is not really the word for it.  Communion is.  One is not separated from company but only from distraction.  One's thoughts and feelings are not imposed from without but elicited from within, rising in absorption with the vast surrounding nature.

The hum of bees overhead, which in spring and during a honey flow approaches a roar, is to me what the sound of the surf is to the beachcomber.  It is not a menace or warning, but a reassurance, almost a voice speaking.  It would instantly carry the thoughts of others, the uninitiated, to the association with stings.  The sight of the bee master, placidly standing in the midst of this roar, would give an outsider no reassurance at all.  The rare intruder who comes upon me in one of my yards, therefore retreats, and the yard and its master are again as secure as if surrounded by a high wall.

Smaller visitors, feathered and furred, come and go at will, of course, as oblivious to the bees as the bees are to them.  The chatter of the birds is unabated, and my appearance produces a squeak from an occasional chipmunk.  Off in the meadow a pheasant gives warning to her chicks.  But in general all these living things share the peace with me, and I shall always keep it with them.  The bees themselves have very few enemies, and I am glad to move about my yard with the understanding that, from the standpoint of nature, this domain is primarily theirs."

Isn't that perfectly lovely?  And isn't that your own experience of your own bee yard?  It is my experience of mine, though I am not so eloquent.  Thank you, Richard Taylor, for expressing it so beautifully.

And on this lovely bee day, my daughter brought me this treasure she and Jeff found in an antique store in Thomaston, GA:

In celebration of the bee, this now sits in my bookcase on the shelf with all the old bee books like AI Root's the ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture.

The skep is on hinges at the back and lifts up, but I have no idea what one would put under it.


  1. It looks like your treasure is a candle holder. I'd put a candle in a glass votive holder in there. Amber, of course.

  2. What a lovely post, enjoyed reading that very much. I agree Robin, a beeswax candle would be beautiful inside the skep.

  3. Anonymous12:34 AM

    Maybe it is an incense burner for the cone shaped incense.

  4. One of my favorite books. I bought it many years ago when I was a hobby bee keeper. My grandson has expressed interest so I am sending my copy of the joys of bee keeping to him.

  5. Are you sure it's not a cage to transport queen bees? I just saw something similar on Antiques Roadshow.


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