Gifts for Beekeepers

Great Depression notwithstanding, the holidays are coming and those who know and love bees and beekeepers will want to be on the lookout for beeky merch.

Possibilities to consider:Exceedingly handsome, retro-style, eco-friendly note cards.

A donation to the excellent Heifer International. Your gift can help Heifer provide a family with a package of bees, the box and hive, plus training in beekeeping.

Clan Apis—a fabulous graphic novel by scientist-artist Jay Hosler about the honeybee lifecycle, suitable for older kids and adults.

A lovely bee skep watering can...in solid copper!

Subscriptions to the leading beekeeping magazines in the U.S.: Bee Culture and American Bee Journal.

A mind-boggling array of bee-related shirts, messenger bags, thongs, and kids' stuff from Cafe Press.

Wood engravings and notecards from Kenspeckle Letterpress.

Beehive mixing bowls from Stonewall Kitchen.

And for the truly obsessed beekeeper, some excellent books:

Honey Plants of North America (A revelation! Highly recommended.)

Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems (I confess that I have not read this yet. It's pricey, but based on the recent review in Bee Culture magazine, I think it's worth a gander, though the writing may be a bit on the academic side.)

Eva Crane's beautifully illustrated classic, The World History of Beekeeping and Honey-Hunting, should bring a massive smile to the face of any book-wormish beeks in your life, especially those with an interest in the many ancient, cross-cultural expressions of beekeeping and honey-takin'. The book is expensive, but worth every penny.

And, last but most definitely not least, there are many wonderful possibilities offered by the non-material gift of donated labor. The reality is that most beekeepers have way too much to do and can use a helping hand with their beekeeping duties from time to time. Whether it's painting beehives, installing an electric fence, processing honey, constructing a solar wax melter, catching a swarm, or simply organizing the tool shed, your average beekeeper can always use some good-natured assistance. So why not gift your beekeeper friend or loved one with a "voucher" for a few hours of hard (or soft) labor around the bee yard when they need it most?

I hope this list helps you get a good start on finding just the right thing for the people in your life. Happy holidays, whatever you celebrate!

No comments: