Teal making the most of winter by swotting up in the office (this book was actually Emily's 30th birthday present from the team, she was very pleased with it!).

We love everything about books, the fish & chip takeaway reminiscent smell of new books, the musty odour of old books and treasure trove book shops, beautiful colour photographs and black and white etching plates. Not to mention the wonder of information found within. So in celebration of World Book Day, here are our 3 favourite classic beekeeping books and a sneaky peek of Steve's latest book, co-authored with Alys Fowler. 

Our Favourite Classic Beekeeping Books:

1. The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting by Eva Crane 

From depictions of honeybees in rock art, to L.L. Langstroth's 1851 revolutionary design of a beehive with movable frames of honeycomb. Eva Crane covers many millennia of beekeeping in an absorbing worldwide tour of a book. This will keep you going for years!

 

Beekeeping books in the London Honey Company railway arch shop

Our collection of classic beekeeping books in the London Honey Company railway arch.

2. The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture: An Encyclopedia of Beekeeping, by Root et. al. 2007

This must have reference book for beekeepers is in its 41st edition! The first edition was published in 1877. Organised alphabetically, in case you didn't guess from the title, it is one of the books you will reach for time and again when you are musing how to approach an aspect of your beekeeping, from what equipment to choose, to making mead and keeping smokers lit. And for those without hives of their own, there is enough on the science of life as a honeybee to engross you for hours. Whilst the latest edition is most up to date, we wouldn't blame you for wanting to own older copies as beautiful collector's items.

3. Ted Hooper's Guide to Bees and Honey

Classic Beekeeping Books Chosen by the London Honey Company for World Book Day

 A very accessible and practical guide to beekeeping, a reassuring reference book. It has been updated to include information on varroa mites. I also like the section on major forage plants for bees. 

Our Own Contribution to the Shelf - The Urban Beekeeper: A Year of Bees in the City

By the founder of the London Honey Company, this is our Steve's diary of a year in the life of beekeeping, between the rooftops of London and the heather moors of his native Shropshire. An "affectionate but practical" tour through the seasons, peppered with recipe contributions from some of our wonderful customers, including the head chef of the Berkeley Hotel, as well as from Steve's sister. 

And an exclusive peek at Steve & Alys Fowler's book, Letters to a Beekeeper

We are very excited that after several delays, Steve's new book is on course for publication in June this year. A collection of letters, emails, texts, recipes and glorious photos exchanged between Steve and our wonderful friend Alys, Guardian gardening writer. Reflections on the rewards, trials and tribulations of working with nature. Available for pre-order on Amazon now, or ask your local independent book shop to get it in.

An extract from Steve Benbow's new book with Alys Fowler, Letters to a Beekeeper