Border Bees by Colin Weightman

Border Bees
£13, post paid, from Northern
Bee Books.
ISBN 978-1-908904-19-5

The current edition of this title is a second revision of the original Tales of a Border Beekeeper, written by the former Bee Craft Northern Correspondent, Colin Weightman, MBE. This version is in paperback, runs to 140 pages and is published by Northern Bee Books.


This edition can be said to be a pot pourri of beekeeping information that gives a history of the author’s farming roots and forebears, the seasons, the problems and the many people he has known including Brother Adam. It also includes extracts from Colin’s articles in the now defunct British Bee Journal.


This trip down memory lane is littered with little gems of practical beekeeping with an interesting quote that bears repeating. ‘You can teach the bees nothing; they can teach you everything, so let them.’ Sound advice that should be well heeded.


The profiles of many beekeepers of the past make interesting reading; it is a fact that as we grow older, our memories are what keeps most of us going and to recap on past people who made ‘beekeeping happen’.


Chapter 11 is a well-written treatise on heather honey production that surpasses most information on the subject, except perhaps for William Hamilton’s work on The Art of Beekeeping. The final chapter gives a rendition of the life of St Ambrose of Milan, the Patron Saint of beekeeping. You will find information here that is not freely available even when ‘googled’.


This nice little book will be of interest to many, more especially to those who know the author and can recall those beekeepers mentioned who are no longer with us. Having said that, it is a book that will be found on the library shelves of many, whether new or old to the craft, for it is a fount of historical interest.


It is with much pleasure that I have reviewed Colin’s treatise on beekeeping from the borders. I commend it to all beekeepers that have had the pleasure of knowing Colin: in my case for over 50 years.  


Reviewed by Michael Badger, MBE  President of Bee Craft Ltd.

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