If you’re after a last minute gift for a beekeeper (perhaps yourself 😉 ) consider a subscription to the American Bee Journal (ABJ). This is the oldest English language beekeeping journal and dates back to 1861. There are a number of regular columnists including Wyatt Mangum, Jamie Ellis and Randy Oliver. Obviously the content is very US-centric, so the hives are Langstroths, they use strange things like slatted racks under the brood box and have to protect their apiaries from marauding bears. Nevertheless there’s something of interest every month, in particular – for me – the science-based pieces by the correspondents listed above. The articles range from those for the enthusiastic amateur to the large scale bee farmer, so include discussion of the honey markets and bulk honey pricing. The advertising includes lots of interesting things you’ll never see in the BBKA news … even if you’ll also never have a use for some of them.
Digital subscriptions (via Dadant, manufacturers of the world’s best smokers) – probably the sensible option because of postage costs – are $16 and you get access to all the back issues. You can download them as PDF’s or view them in a web browser. There’s also an app to view them on an iPad – its a little slow to boot up but, as before, you can download them to the iPad and read them offline. You can get a pretty good idea of what your 16 bucks buys by viewing their digital sample.
If you’re thinking of going shopping tomorrow for presents, think again. It’ll be like Armageddon out there. Subscribe to the ABJ, open a bottle of wine and relax. You know it makes sense.