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Offline Occam

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Reading list
« on: July 04, 2023, 11:16:33 am »
Just got my copy of Hubers New Observations Upon Bees in yesterday. Looking forward to reading it. Planning on reading Honeybee Democracy followed by Keeping Bees With a Smile by Fedor Lazutin after that. Honey From the Earth and The Beeing both by Eric Tourneret & Sylla de Saint Pierre also look good. What books are y'all reading this year, or planning on reading?
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2023, 11:54:36 am »
As a rule, one of the several nonfiction books I'm reading at any given time has to be a bee (or pollinator) book, so I always have one going.  As I mentioned, I'm reading Honeybee Democracy as we speak.  I went secondhand book shopping for my birthday in May, and I found E.O. Wilson's Insect Societies for only $12!  I also found a book called Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation.  I'd never heard of it before, but for a couple of bucks, it was worth a shot, and I'm thinking I'll read that next (after I read another edition of 2 Million Blossoms, which I have all 8 editions of, but now that the magazine is out of print, I'm rationing them).   
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Offline Occam

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2023, 01:05:28 pm »
Ooh, those do look interesting to read as well. I don't have nearly the time to read that I'd like but I try to get some in regularly.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2023, 01:51:16 pm »
I don't have nearly the time to read that I'd like but I try to get some in regularly.
Tell me about it!
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Offline Occam

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2023, 02:05:37 pm »
Tell me about it!

I could but it's a long story. It can be summed up by one word however... adulting
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2023, 02:24:16 pm »
I could but it's a long story. It can be summed up by one word however... adulting
My problem is that I'm basically my family's Audible, so whenever there is time to read, I usually end up reading something to someone else instead of reading something by myself.  That and I can't seem to go to bed early enough in the summertime to read before I go to sleep. 
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Re: Reading list
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2023, 12:21:44 am »
I finished Honeybee Democracy.  I would HIGHLY recommend it, not only to beekeepers but to anyone who likes natural literature.  It's just so well written, very personable, but also highly detailed and methodical.  I learned a bunch of new things about swarms.  The only chapter I wasn't crazy about was Chapter 9: The Swarm as a Cognitive Entity.  It just seemed somewhat irrelevant, and the neuroscience was difficult to absorb. 

On to the next book, Bees in America.  :grin:
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2023, 06:58:01 am »
Wisdom of the Hive by Seeley is also very good.   Occam, what did you think of Huber?
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Re: Reading list
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2023, 05:54:56 pm »
Holy cow, this "Bees in America" book is atrocious.  I NEVER, EVER, NEVER don't finish a book.  It can be boring, extremely long, poorly written, and I always finish it.  I can literally count on one hand the books I have started and not finished in my entire lifetime.  But this book is going to be one of them.  And this is the first time I've had it be apparent that I can't finish a book after reading only one chapter.

The reason I always finish a book is that you never know what little good nugget might be hidden in there somewhere.  The problem is this book is so full of all sorts of things that I know aren't true, that I can't trust any word it says.  A few examples.

Pg. 20: "Because English settlers did not recognize or acknowledge Native American agricultural patterns already in place, they fundamentally changed the landscape by bringing cows, bees, apple trees, and even, inadvertently, mice."

Passing over that strange reference to Native American agriculture, while it is true that the house mouse was brought inadvertently to the New World from Europe, it had very little effect on the ecosystem, since there were already mice in the New World.  And while cattle very much affected the West, I can't see how they affected colonial America in any great ecological manner.  (This book was oddly obsessed with referencing cattle frequently, even though it's a completely irrelevant topic.)   

Pg. 23: "Good wives had legal rights in colonial America and had more freedom than nineteenth-century women had.  They often shouldered the responsibilities of farms and shops when men were away at sea or on trips. . . . Certainly, according to scholar David Freeman Hawke, the colonist's wife 'still performed a number of fixed duties as in England . . . .  But her role was no longer limited to household chores . . . she now became her husband's partner in the fields.'  When the English colonies merged with New Amsterdam in 1664, the term good wife  took on even more possibilities because Ditch women had more freedom than English women."

This is a meaningless paragraph.  It analyzes the female workforce of the 1600s as if it's comparable to a more modern era, where women are supposedly not "allowed" to work because women are supposed to only stay at home and do domestic things.  It completely fails to recognize that eking a subsistence living out of the wilderness required all hands on deck just so the family wouldn't starve over the winter, and had nothing to do with what women were or were not "allowed" to do.

Pg. 29: "A Mennonite Quaker from the Rhine Valley named Francis Daniel Pastorius crossed to Pennsylvania in 1683."   

One cannot physically be a Mennonite and Quaker at the same time.  That would be like saying Pastorius was an Episcopalian Mormon.  The two sects are completely unrelated.  Plus Wikipedia says he was a Lutheran.     

 On top of all this, the book is very poorly written.  This is a particularly bad paragraph.
"During the seventeenth century, Africa supplied the world's largest amount of beeswax, although its value was ignored initially in tribal economies.  Ironically, before the Portuguese arrived, many Africans threw beeswax away.  But when Portugal conquered large areas on Africa to provide slaves for their sugar plantations in Brazil, the Africans adopted the word candle for beeswax, kandir.  The Portuguese needed beeswax for two main reasons: church candles and lost-wax molds, which were used to create religious objects and weapons."

All these mildly dubious facts are completely unrelated, especially the sentence about the Africans adopting the Portuguese word for candle.  And I'm fairly sure the lost-wax method of casting can create many more things than religious objects and weapons. 

So to make a long story short, this book was a total bust.  Which is unfortunate because I now don't have a bee book to read.  I do have E.O. Wilson's Insect Societies like I mentioned, but a good bit of that is about ants, and I was really in the mood for something a little lighter and less scientific, since I just finished Seeley.  Does anyone have any recommendations for a bee book that is a light, easier read, perhaps something memoir-ish?     
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Offline animal

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2023, 09:09:22 pm »
or you could get a red pen and make going through the book more fun ?  :cheesy:
troll reviews of the book ?  :wink:
ought to be some way to get your money's worth ...
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2023, 09:36:28 pm »
or you could get a red pen and make going through the book more fun ?  :cheesy:
I would be marking every single sentence.  That's the point where I call something unreadable.  :grin:

troll reviews of the book ?  :wink:
Not my style.  :cool:

ought to be some way to get your money's worth ...
It was $12 at a local book reseller that I absolutely adore.  I'm perfectly happy giving them $12 for nothing.  I get far more than my money's worth most of the time.  :happy:
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Offline animal

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2023, 09:39:33 pm »
that's awfully mature of you ... and I mean that literally.

.... it's just awful when people choose maturity over fun :cheesy:
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2023, 11:03:12 pm »
Thanks for your review of the book Reagan.

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2023, 06:16:32 am »
>The problem is this book is so full of all sorts of things that I know aren't true, that I can't trust any word it says

Your examples show a definite bias towards a specific narrative.  It really is absurd to say "English settlers did not recognize or acknowledge Native American agricultural patterns already in place" when accepting Native American agricultural practices literally saved them from starvation.  All through time woman and men have formed partnerships and struggled through life together.  I'm sure they had no time to analyze just how much freedom women or men had.  They were too busy trying not to starve to argue over who had to do what.  If it needed doing someone did it.  It sounds like a college education once again spreads ignorance.

Have you read Huber?  This is about the research that discovered every useful thing we know about bees except parthenogenesis written by the blind man who discovered all of those facts.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2023, 11:30:35 am »
Have you read Huber?  This is about the research that discovered every useful thing we know about bees except parthenogenesis written by the blind man who discovered all of those facts.
I have not, and it's on my list.  And I may be in the mood for something historical, since I'm kind of getting fed up with the modern books that are trying to push a narrative.  This one is the worst in a string of somewhat disappointing modern pollinator books for me. 
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Re: Reading list
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2023, 07:33:04 pm »
I decided to go with Mark Winston's essays, which I found for a pretty good price on eBay.  I've heard Mark Winston on several podcasts and he is an amazing speaker, and his book "The Biology of the Honey Bee" is one I constantly refer to.   
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Offline Occam

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2023, 08:30:24 pm »
Wisdom of the Hive by Seeley is also very good.   Occam, what did you think of Huber?

I need to get some more reading materials together for winter. As for Huber I've quite enjoyed it so far. Fascinating how he was able to make his observations and the lengths he went to and attention he paid to detail to perform his experiments. I've often wondered while reading what I it would have been like to have been performing the experiments through his assistants yet having use of his other senses. What would he have picked up on by hearing or smell they may have initially not caught? I'm about halfway through the book having been slowed down by summer projects on the homestead.
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Offline max2

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2023, 08:49:00 pm »
>The problem is this book is so full of all sorts of things that I know aren't true, that I can't trust any word it says

Your examples show a definite bias towards a specific narrative.  It really is absurd to say "English settlers did not recognize or acknowledge Native American agricultural patterns already in place" when accepting Native American agricultural practices literally saved them from starvation.  All through time woman and men have formed partnerships and struggled through life together.  I'm sure they had no time to analyze just how much freedom women or men had.  They were too busy trying not to starve to argue over who had to do what.  If it needed doing someone did it.  It sounds like a college education once again spreads ignorance.

Have you read Huber?  This is about the research that discovered every useful thing we know about bees except parthenogenesis written by the blind man who discovered all of those facts.

" Huber"!!!
Now there is a real possibility that I'm distant related.
My Grandmother was a " Huber" and my uncle  also was " Huber"...and I'm Swiss born.
Can you point me to some good book by Huber?
I have read bits a pieces.

Offline max2

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2023, 08:50:58 pm »
Bee Culture advertises  " ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture" the newest edition.
It is not available in Australia.
Worth the money ( $US 75) plus about the same in postage?


Online The15thMember

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Re: Reading list
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2023, 12:25:52 am »
Can you point me to some good book by Huber?
I have read bits a pieces.
I think the only book of Huber's in print in English currently is the one that the OP has pictured.  I was able to find it on eBay for about $40 recently.  US Amazon has it for about $70.  Here is an Australian vendor, but it's a bit pricier, even considering the exchange rate. 
https://www.booktopia.com.au/huber-s-new-observations-upon-bees-the-complete-volumes-i-ii-francis-huber/book/9781614760566.html
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anything