New For You

Beehive Alchemy: Projects and Recipes Using Honey, Beeswax, Propolis, and Pollen to make your own soap, candles and more.

Petra Ahnert. Published by Quarry Books. ISBN 9781631594915. 160 pgs, 8” x 10.5”, color throughout, paperback, $24.99.

Petra Ahnert’s name might be familiar because she is the author of Beeswax Alchemy, available everywhere and an excellent book on using beeswax for anything beeswax can be used for. Her new book expands even further on the uses of beeswax, but now she brings in a whole new set of tools – propolis and pollen. Introductory chapters include how honey, beeswax and propolis are made by the bees and harvested by beekeepers, just for background. Then there are chapters on the Alchemy for the body – making soap, lip balm, body butter, beard balm, salves, lotions and creams. Plus propolis toothpaste and lozenges are explored. Then there’s Alchemy of Light, where she looks again at candles, but through a different lens, making hand dipped candles, tapers, tealights and votives and pillar candles. Alchemy for the home includes furniture polish, wood conditioner, food wraps, scented melts and sealing wax. Plus encaustic painting and batik fabrics are made up, too. Cookies and candies, desserts, ice cream, appetizers, fermented foods and beverages round out the rest of the book. There’s something for everybody here, and if you teach classes, this works well as a text. Get one and see. – Kim Flottum


Storey’s Guide To Keeping Honey Bees. Second Edition. 

Malcolm T. Sanford & Richard E. Bonney. Published by Storey Publishing. ISBN 9781612129785. 212 pgs, 7” x 9”, color throughout, soft cover, $24.95.

This is an updated edition of the original by Richard Bonney, who was a contributor to our magazine years ago. He wrote two books that Storey published more than 20 years ago. Then Storey Publishing convinced Malcolm Sanford to combine and update those two books about eight years ago, using much of what Richard contributed, but adding much more updated material. Now, he’s added even more, and Storey has done a much better job of design. This book starts as a beginner’s book with chapters on history, biology, locations, what equipment to get and getting bees. It moves on to seasonal management, harvesting honey and doing pollination for profit. It covers all the diseases and pests, and offers good ID of all of them. It touches on top bar and long hives, but offers essentially no management information, only that they exist. The strength of this book, however, lies in sharing the resources in the beekeeping world that are available. Pollination contracts, beekeeping ordinances, and references and equipment dealers, and books galore. This is due, I’m quite sure, to the fact that Malcolm spent a career in University Extension, where gathering and sharing information was a way of life. That skill, and experience, shows here. – Kim Flottum


Hive Tracks

beekeeping software has released a new layout option that includes new menus and navigation, more features, enhanced data visualization tools, and a responsive layout for all platforms. 

The new version includes a number of value added features including:

  • The community feature that brings beekeeping clubs, classes and friends together on the Hive Tracks platform to share information and insight with one another. 
  • A simplified hive health measure called the Healthy Colony Checklist that is putting the beekeeping community on the path to bee data standards which are the foundation for bee data analytics.
  • The ability to record varroa loads for each hive and monitor those loads over time both individually and collectively. Hive Tracks also joined with the Mite-a-thon and MiteCheck projects to give users the ability to share varroa load data they collected automatically with the MiteCheck web site. 

For more information visit

The Buzz Ballpoint Pen by Retro 51

Bee the Change for Endangered Honeybees, While Writing Stylishly 

Retro 51’s new Buzz pen is a honey of a writing instrument – especially if you have a sweet spot for protecting America’s wildlife, not to mention our food chain.     

The elegantly-tapered, ergonomic Buzz pen is fun to hold and use, with a twist top, acid-etched honeycomb texture, printed bees and antique copper accents. 

Best of all, a portion of every purchase is donated to NW Honeybee Habitat Restoration, a not-for-profit dedicated to honeybee survival. The organization creates safe, pesticide-free spaces where tiny pollinators can live and thrive.

Buzz is part of Retro 51’s Tornado Rescue Ballpoint Pen collection, which supports 501c3 organizations focused on animal welfare.

Each pen arrives in a matching, educational tube, which makes it one sweet gift. Pens are refillable with Retro 51 ballpoint and/or rollerball cartridges, so they’re also earth-friendly. 

Buzz’s MSRP is $50. For a list of dealers, visit, where “life is too short to carry an ugly pen.”

For more information, contact Joanne Levine, Lekas & Levine,

at 847.327.9530 or

The Millerbees Bucket Tilter

is for tilting three to five gallon buckets with bottom gates, to get the last few bottles of Honey or other liquid out without getting the debris floating on the top or the debris that sank to the bottom. The bucket should not be tilted until the honey or other liquid has been emptied to just above the bottom gate. Then the center of gravity will be low enough to tilt the bucket and get the last of the honey or other liquid out, but not the debris.

Three versions are offered. Bucket not included. One version fully assembled ready to use $45.   Another version, all parts included except nails. assembly is required by the purchaser $25. Also, a hardware kit that includes the “nine-ply”, plywood part that has the precision radiused slot already cut, all the hardware (except nails), detailed drawings and instructions on how to make the other wood parts; which can all be cut on a table saw.  $10.

More information

or call 731 695 6960

Dealer inquiries welcome.