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Publisher: New Society Publishers
Pub. Date: 2020-04-07
ISBN: 9780865719279
Format: Paperback - 400 pages
Size: 6" x 9" (w x h)
BISAC: TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / Beekeeping

Keeping Bees with a Smile

Principles and Practice of Natural Beekeeping

Are you a beginner beekeeper curious about bees or a practicing beekeeper looking for natural alternatives that work? Then this book is for you!

In the second edition of the bestselling beekeeping guide Keeping Bees with a Smile, Fedor Lazutin, one of Europe's most successful natural beekeepers, shares the bee-friendly approach to apiculture that is fun, healthful, rewarding, and accessible to all. This new edition includes dozens of color photographs, new hive management techniques, and an updated version of "Lazutin hive" plans. Additional coverage includes:

  • Keeping bees naturally without interfering in their lives
  • Starting an apiary for free by attracting local bee swarms
  • Building low-maintenance hives that mimic how bees live in nature
  • Keeping colonies healthy and strong without any drugs, sugar, or gimmickry
  • Helping bees to overwinter successfully even in harsh climates
  • Enhancing local nectar plant resources
  • Producing truly natural honey without robbing the bees
  • Reversing the global bee decline... right in your backyard!

Keeping Bees with a Smile is an invaluable resource for apiculture beginners and professionals alike, complete with plans for making bee-friendly, well-insulated horizontal hives with extra-deep frames, plus other fascinating beekeeping advice you won't find anywhere else.

About the Authors

Fedor Lazutin was a natural beekeeper, homesteader, and advocate for habitat restoration and sustainable living in Russia.

Leonid Sharashkin, PhD, is a full-time natural beekeeper and founder of He has edited numerous books on natural beekeeping, writes for major magazines, and speaks internationally on bee-friendly beekeeping. He keeps bees in the Ozarks of southern Missouri.

"In Keeping Bees with a Smile, author Fedor Lazutin proposes that we take a more humane and holistic look at our relationship with the European honey bee. And while the established beekeeping industry doesn't want to hear it, Lazutin's approach is one that mimics nature and is more humane for the bees and humans alike— leading to a healthier life for both. This second edition, as beautifully translated and edited by Dr. Leo Sharashkin, has been revised and updated with many additional color illustrations and photos, as well as appendices packed with more information. I had the opportunity to hear master beekeeper Sharashkin speak several years ago and have found great success by using the methods he and Lazutin promote. We no longer medicate, we no longer lose colonies (and sleep), and we populate our new home-built hive boxes with feral swarms that we attract. This book should be on every beekeeper's bookshelf as it represents a paradigm shift, worthy of consideration by everyone that calls herself a beekeeper."
Hank Will, author, Plowing with Pigs, and Editorial Director, Mother Earth News

"Keeping Bees with a Smile— 2nd Edition is an updated version of Lazutin's wonderful book on natural beekeeping in a horizontal hive. If you want to learn about natural methods of beekeeping with minimal work and no boxes to lift from someone with a lot of experience, an optimistic view, and a natural philosophy, you should read this book."
Michael Bush, author, The Practical Beekeeper,

"At its core, Keeping Bees with a Smile offers an appreciation for all forms of life and a glimpse of how beautifully all can work together if we allow the rules of nature to be our guide. The decline of honeybee health in the last decade has helped renew interest in beekeeping, and this book provides a blueprint for creating a harmonious relationship between bees and their human partners. These foundational principles can be adapted and applied in different geographical areas and climates, helping us build more resilient and sustainable communities and reconnect with the natural world."
Bonnie Morse, Director, Bee Audacious

"Keeping Bees with a Smile has already shaken up the thinking of the independent-minded beekeepers in North America and Europe. Fedor Lazutin, one of Russia's foremost natural beekeepers, describes a beekeeping system based on a trust of a bee colony as a living being capable of solving life's challenges without human assistance. Beginner friendly and complete with fascinating photographs, it is a valuable guide for independent-minded beekeepers who are seeking ways to keep bees without treating them with chemicals, disrupting their homes, and otherwise intruding on their lives."
Dr. Thomas D. Seeley, Professor, Cornell University, author, Honeybee Democracy and The Lives of Bees

"This book is a reminder that bees can thrive on their own if we just allow them to do so. It is also a fascinating story of how beekeepers from another culture solve their own problems by using their histori- cal wisdom and just letting the bees be themselves. Instead of making beekeeping part of industrial agriculture, simple and straightforward solutions to the bees' health problems still exist— and the clear guidance of Keeping Bees with a Smile is great help in this direction. It also emphasizes that we must do our part to restore a clean and diverse environment, and shows ways to do so. If honey bees can thrive in the future, we will, too."
Kirk Webster, treatment-free beekeeper, Vermont

"Keeping Bees with a Smile carefully sets out a natural beekeeping ap- proach based on horizontal hives and minimal colony manipulation. Keep only bees of the local race; nurture their natural means to stay healthy; use extra-deep combs; propagate colonies by swarming— the book is full of important lessons for all beekeepers. It also includes numerous insights and excerpts from Russian beekeeping texts otherwise unavailable to English readers. Fedor Lazutin's nature-based, simple method ensures vigorous and productive bees, while also saving time and money. Thorough and well written, with excellent color pictures— we love Keeping Bees with a Smile!"
Dr. Nicola Bradbear, Director, Bees for Development

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