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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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Friday, March 01, 2013

Clarence Collison's What Do You Know?

I gave a talk at the GBA Spring Meeting a couple of weeks ago about why one might go for certification such as Master Beekeeper.  It was such fun to get ready for this talk and fun to give it as well.  In the talk I highly recommended Clarence Collison's book, What Do You Know?    For me, it was a priceless study guide for the Master Beekeeper exam.

Today I found out on Amazon that it is out of print and they don't even have used copies available.

What I would suggest is that anyone wanting the book go to Bookfinder.  It's a purveyor of used books and often has what one is looking for, if the book is out of print.  I couldn't today find a copy of the Collison book, although one might be there tomorrow.

Many apologies to those who went looking for the book after my talk.  It is a great reference book and I am sorry that it isn't easily found.


  1. Can you recommend any other books to study from?

  2. Winston's Biology of the Honey Bee and anything by Tom Seeley - Honeybee Democracy or the Wisdom of the Hive.

  3. Before Collison started the column A Closer Look with Audrey Sheridan in Bee Culture, he had a monthly multiple choice quiz called What Do You Know? for many years. It was a challenging test, but his answers always gave great explanations for the correct choice. (I didn't buy the book since I saved the columns and thought the book was probably a compilation of them, though I'm not sure.) Perhaps Bee Culture subscribers could access those columns through the magazine's archives.

    I think Clarence Collison also would be happy to let beekeepers know where to get copies-- perhaps he even has some for sale from his author's stock. Bee Culture doesn't give his email, but does say he is Emeritus Professor of Entomology and Dept. Head Emeritus of Entomology and Plant Pathology at MS State Univ., Miss State, MS so a web check of the school and an email to the dept. should reach him.

    1. The Wisdom of the Hive is also out of print. BestWebBuys shows prices on that used book ranging from $93 to $150! I feel lucky to have found one for about $35 several years ago; I can't remember the online bookseller now, but it took them awhile to find it and fill my order. Other possible sources are GoodWill (yes, they sell books online) and local library systems which cull little-read books for Friends of the Library sales to get more shelf space. Unfortunately library systems don't usually provide an online listing of sale books (you'd think that would be simple since they have online catalogs), but a check of the catalog to see if they have it and calls to librarians may be worthwhile so you're alerted if a book you want is culled.

  4. Try asking for the title at your public library. Lots of public libraries have interlibrary services that allow you to borrow the title from other libraries

  5. Although they don't have Collison's book right now, I love www.bookfinder.com for used books - they are a link to a ton of used bookstores. They only have Wisdom of the Hive for the prices Penny quotes. I paid a lot for mine - I think $80 - in 2009.

  6. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Just listed this book on Ebay if anyone is interested

  7. Linda, do you know anyone who knows how to contact Dr. Collison? I have a question for him! Again and again I get questions in meetings on feeding cane sugar syrup and whether one should alter the pH to mimic that of honey, and/or alter its nutritional profile. I would love to hear Dr. Collison's response to this question!

  8. Linda, WicWas Press still has this book.


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