Product Reviews

Look What’s New –

Beecabulary Essentials.

By Andrew Connor, with a foreword by Dewey Caron. ISBN 978-1-878075-50-5. Published by WicWas Press.  9.5” x 8.5”, soft cover, 234 pgs., color throughout. $34.00 from Wicwas.

Dewey sums this book quite will in his Preface. The BeeCabulary Essentials concept is really simple but very useful – a book of beekeeping terms-all of them-as a teaching tool to educate new beekeepers and further the education of more experienced beekeepers.

And I’m sure you recall your first beginner’s class experience of learning that there was a whole new vocabulary out there and you didn’t have a clue to what most of what the instruction was trying to get across. Once you’ve been at this awhile – classes, read a few books, attended a few lectures –  you begin to have a feel for what folks are telling you, but right off? They may as well have been talking Greek. Right?

The chapters make it easy to know where to start looking when you can’t find something anywhere else – Types of Bees, Anatomy, Behavior, Bees, Beekeepers, Hives, Swarming, Queens, Botany, Products and Pathogens. There are hundreds of photos that illustrate almost everything covered in the book. Each definition is easy to use, not too long, and usually illustrated. There’s an easy to use index and good references at the end.

And, just to be clear, you may already recognize the author’s last name. He is the son of Larry Connor, Publisher at WicWas Press, and the author of several of the Essential books. It’s good to see another generation stepping up, and this is a great introduction. — Kim Flottum


Biological Beekeeping.

The Way Back. By Ed and Dee Lusby. Published by X Star Publishing Company, Nehawka, Ne 68413.  ISBN 978-161476-104-4. 6” x 9” Hard cover. 640 pages. Black and white. Available from the publisher, Amazon and other book sellers. SRP $55. Available for a time from author at additional cost. Contact the publisher.

If you don’t know about Ed and Dee Lusby, small cell beekeeping, biological beekeeping and their sustainable beekeeping techniques, then you haven’t been paying attention, or you’ve been living under a rock somewhere.

Although Ed passed several years ago, Dee and her followers have kept up their practices of making small cell foundation, recycling beeswax, natural breeding for resistant bees, and actually, healthier bees that survive without chemical insults and make honey.

The first third of this book is what they have done and how they have done it. The remainder is the supporting current and historical data that convinced them to begin these practices. Dadant, Root and the USDA are cited often in this section. There are a score of articles they have published, and that have been published on their work here also, some of them from Bee Culture over the years. I toured beeyards in Arizona with them some time ago, and have published articles on their story of success using small cell beekeeping.

If you’re not familiar with the small cell story it goes something like this. In their natural state, that is living in the wild, honey bees construct comb with cells about 4.9 mm wide or so. Decades ago, beekeeping companies undertook it to produce bigger bees, using foundation with comb about 5.5 mm or so. These larger bees, it was thought, could fly further, carry more and work harder. It’s not clear that this happened, however. But because they were bigger they had longer tongues and were able to forage on flowers smaller bees could not forage on. At least that’s what the foundation companies said. Little effort was made to return to smaller bees.

This belief continued, basically, until Varroa entered the picture, and the Lusby’s and others looked and decided that a smaller, natural sized cell would accommodate fewer, if any female mites to reproduce more mites. Moreover, these smaller bees emerged sooner than their larger cousins thus reducing  further  mite reproduction,  and thus mite control was simplified.

There is so much more to this than I’ve captured here, and if you are interested you need to relive the history of this movement, the data that supports it and become aware of the people and the biology that led to, and continues to propel small cell beekeeping. — Kim Flottum


The Healing Powers of Honey,

by Cal Orey, and,

The Healing Powers of Tea,

by Cal Orey.

Both published by Kensington Publishing, Inc. ISBN for Honey, 978-0-7582-7455-7, for $7.99, 4” x 6.5”, 394 pgs, black and white; and Tea 978-0-8065-3826-3, for $15.95, 6” x 9”, 294 pgs, black and white. Both soft cover.

These are the kind of books you want on your farm market table, or if you have a store, somewhere on a shelf. You can buy them in bulk for much less than retail and resell at a decent profit. I was consulted early on for the honey book, and it is basically a collection of everything good you’ve ever heard about honey all in one place, with every statement referenced. The Honey Board, and a host of other experts are quoted and referenced. If you’ve heard, or a customer has heard of something good about honey, you can find it here. There’s some history, a bit about flavors, using it with cinnamon, tea (see the Tea book, next), cooking with honey and resources and recipes.

The Tea book is similar. It talks about, black, green, white, red and herbal teas, their nutrients, history and more about these and other teas. There are recipes for cooking with teas, and again, pages of resources. And, of course, there is no other combination that beats tea and honey, and that relationship is explored again. And of course, teas contain a boatload of healthy polyphenols, and more to add to the rest of your healthy diet.

I like Cal’s books, she has more on vinegar, olive oil, chocolate and coffee. They are fast and easy to read, and good references for the topics covered. ­— Kim Flottum

Visit for Honey 

and Visit for Tea

Bloom Clothing Company

is committed to donating a portion of all profits to the Honeybee Conservancy to build and maintain hives, educate the youth, and spread awareness of this growing issue. See the letter in our Mailbox section for more about Tyler Hobel, the founder of Bloom Clothing.

To see pricing and products visit

The Honeybee Conservancy is a 502c3 non-profit that was founded in 2009. All donations are tax deductible, so what are you waiting for?

To make a donation direct to the Conservancy visit

The Backyard Pollinator

is an individual block of leafcutter bee nesting habitat containing bee larvae ready to hatch in warm weather. It can be placed anywhere that you wish to observe the activity of leafcutter bees and the pollination of nearby flowers.

Along with the Backyard Pollinator blocks, we offer Hatch & Release Leafcutter Bees, Wildflower Pollinator Mix and Commercial Leafcutter Bee Blocks.

The Backyard Pollinator is an essential item for curious children, avid gardeners, nature lovers, budding entomolgists, excited Grandparents, super Moms, cool Dads, the ecologically aware and entry level beekeepers.

This product is a piece of our farm scaled down to fit any situation whether in your backyard, on an apartment window, in a classroom and everywhere in between.

From Vancouver to Nova Scotia, from Alaska to Florida, the Backyard Pollinator is our way of getting leafcutter bees to you in a convenient package, at an affordable price.

The true value of a Backyard Pollinator is not what comes inside the package. It is the a magical experiences you will encounter during the growing season.

Are you ready to enhance your whole life adventure and rediscover the connection to important values that have been lost in the daily grind of life?


Canning Crafts

has been selling colorful, adhesive canning jar labels since 2010. Our shop started on Etsy with just a few canning labels. Now we have over 300 products that include custom labels, cloth covers for mason jars, hang tags, and DIY cookie mason jar gift sets. We’re always adding peel and stick labels to our shop based on customers’ recommendations. Whether it’s something basic like an Applesauce label or more unusual like Watermelon Jelly, we’ve got you covered. Customizing honey labels for backyard beekeepers is one of our specialties. Our canning jar labels are great for farmer’s market sales, baked goods, and gift giving. Use them to dress up the mason jars in your own pantry or to give to friends and family!