Book review: Interviews with Beekeepers by Steve Donohoe

Steve must have amazing persuasive powers, for somehow he got a book deal for travelling the world chatting to fellow beekeepers about their techniques. What beekeeper wouldn’t want to do that? The beekeepers Steve met are: Murray McGregor, Michael Palmer, Ray Olivarez, Peter Little, Peter Bray, Richard Noel, Randy Oliver and David Kemp. All commercial/ex commercial beekeepers or honey producers. David Kemp is an ex-bee inspector and former assistant to Brother Adam at Buckfast Abbey, so was able to tell Steve all about Brother Adam’s methods.

The interviews are really in-depth, it’s a meaty book with a lot to it. If you are interested in queen breeding, maximising your profits or just learning more ways to do swarm control, this book should have something for you. There are lots of little tips to be picked up. I’d like to try Murray’s trick for autumn comb replacement (p.44), getting three frames of foundation drawn out then – apparently as there is no drone rearing at that time of year the frames are perfectly drawn, 100% worker.

Interviews with beekeepers

Interviews with beekeepers

All the beekeepers in the book make or made their money through pollination, honey sales, nuc sales or being a bee inspector. I’d like to see a follow-up book by Steve featuring interviews with beekeepers making a living through alternative routes like offering training courses, doing cut-outs of colonies from tricky places or looking after bees on behalf of businesses like hotels and law firms.

For example, Steve could travel to San Diego to interview Hilary Kearney (Beekeeping like a Girl) who specialises in complicated honey bee removals, runs beekeeping classes and mentors new beekeepers. Or he could meet the lovely Sara Ward at Hen Corner, who runs craft and food courses, including beekeeping. Over to you, Steve!


You can buy Interviews with Beekeepers as a hard copy or ebook at

About Emily Scott

I am a UK beekeeper who has recently moved from London to windswept, wet Cornwall. I first started keeping bees in the Ealing Beekeepers Association’s local apiary in 2008, when I created this blog as a record for myself of my various beekeeping related disasters and - hopefully! - future successes.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Book review: Interviews with Beekeepers by Steve Donohoe

  1. Walrus says:

    Thanks for that Emily. You have highlighted my one regret about my book; that all of the interviewees were men. I did actually interview two impressive women beekeepers in New Zealand, Lorraine Muldoon and Rae Butler, but they were cut to keep the book down to a reasonable size.

    Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading it and thanks for posting your review 🙂


    • Emily Scott says:

      You’re welcome Steve. The beekeeping world is not as diverse as I would like, it would be great to see more BAME faces at meetings too. I guess in the past men were much more likely to be pro beekeepers but hopefully that is gradually starting to change.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hencorner says:

    Sounds a great book Emily, and thanks for thinking of me – though I’m not sure that I’d deserve a place in that honourable list!


  3. Ron Miksha says:

    Hi Emily,
    Thanks for this review! I bought the book a couple months ago but it remains unopened on my bookshelf. It will be the first thing I tackle when I finish some time-sensitive projects. I’m definitely looking forward to reading it.


  4. Can you post to Finland?
    Interviewing treatment free beekeepers has been my hobby for some time, but to make a book… I really love your idea! Juhani Lundén, Peltolantie 83, 34640 Mustajarvi


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.