6 minute read


Atlas of Earthcare: a major new illustrated guide to looking after our planet

by Miles Litvinoff

Gaia Books Limited, London, United Kingdom, produced in association with Oxfam (1996) 191 pages. A4 Paperback. Available from Bees for Development price £18.50

Gaia theory states that the biosphere the thin layer that contains all living things between the Earth's crust and outer atmosphere is itself like living organism. Life forms have created and continue to maintain the special conditions they need for survival

According to Gaia theory, the biosphere will survive, whatever human beings do to it. But humankind may not survive unless we safeguard the natural resources (air, water, soil, plants) on which we depend.

The Atlas of Earthcare illustrates our choices: it looks at the ecology, conservation and preservation, not only of plants and animals, but of land, sea, air, cultures and civilisations. Each topic is presented as spread of information supported with wealth of maps, charts, statistics and facts. The resources available to us are described, with discussion of how we exploit them. Case studies from around the world illustrate planet management in action. The Atlas is intended to help people to form an opinion about their own lifestyle, and to recognise how they can contribute to the well-being of the planet. This is beautifully produced book, packed with colour illustrations and photographs. Excellent value.

The scientist James Lovelock coined the term Gaia, after the name of the Ancient Greek Goddess of the Earth, to describe the world and all the life processes it contains.

Bee Health: the revitalizing power of propolis, royal jelly and pollen

by Hasnain Walji

Thorsons, London, United Kingdom (1996) 78 pages. Paperback. Available from Bees for Development price £5.00

This small book, entitled Bee Health, is not about Varroa or any other problems for bees’ health! The author is concerned with the use of products from bees for the health of humans.

The book provides an introduction to hive products, written for people who have previous knowledge of bees or beekeeping. The author himself does not make any claims about the health-giving effects of these products, but quotes from those who do. He has clearly made thorough research of available literature, and provides concise and reasoned summary.


by José Alcobia

Cooperativa de Apicultores Maputo, Maputo, Mozambique in collaboration with CIDAC, Lisbon, Portugal (1995) 118 A4 Paperback. In Portuguese. Available from Bees for Development price £20.00

There are not many books written about African beekeeping, but even fewer written in Portuguese. So we are very pleased to welcome this new publication to Bookshelf.

Apicultura is written by José Alcobia, President of the Beekeepers’ Co-operative in Maputo, Mozambique. It is well produced publication detailing all that an introductory beekeeping text requires. Brief information is given about many styles of equipment, including hives ranging from the simplest to the most complex. The annex provides plans for building Langstroth and top-bar hives and two styles of hive stand, including the Mozambique model (see above).

Fruits of the forest

by Bureau M & O (Gaston Dorren and Hans van de Veen)

Novib, PO Box 30919, 2500 GX. The Hague, Netherlands (1994) 54 pages. Loose leaf in ring binder. Available from the publisher.

Fruits of the Forest is manual which succinctly provides guide for anyone starting project concerning the harvesting of non-timber forest products. The manual suggests eight steps towards starting well-researched project which has good chance of successful continuation after you go home. It is based experiences of projects in Laos which have benefited from the approach described here, but examples from many countries are given. This brief and readable work provides an excellent introduction to participatory development.

Bees and forest in the tropics

edited by Joop Beetsma

NECTAR, Bennekom and BOS, Wageningen, The Netherlands (1992) 141 pages. Paperback. Available from Bees for Development price £15.00

In August 1992, the Netherlands Expertise Centre for Tropical Apicultural Resources, better known as NECTAR, organised seminar on bees and trees in the tropics. It was attended by 60 people from different disciplines.

This book presents six excellent papers from the seminar that together emphasise the dual importance of interdependent bees and trees. There are interesting descriptions of different situations in Africa, Asia and America. clear discussion is given of the ecological consequences of the introduction of honeybees into the neotropics.

The final 60 pages of the book are review of literature relating to apiculture and forestry covering the period 1984-1992, The references are helpfully arranged according to geographical area and comprehensive summary of each reference is given. Useful and interesting information.

A Guide to Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships in International Forestry and Natural Resources

edited by Damon A Job USDA Forest Service, Washington, USA (1995 4th edition) 113 pages. Paperback.

This excellent publication has brought together details concerning funding sources world-wide relating to forestry and natural resources.

To obtain copy of this guide. Contact: USDA Forest Service, Washington, USA


NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS (NTFPs) are all those biological materials except timber that can be extracted from forests for use by humans.

Apart from the obvious fruits, nuts, honey and beeswax, there are also fuel-wood, leaves, rubber, medicines, resins and many other materials. Forest here is not just tropical rain forest, but any area where trees, together with plants, animals, and micro-organisms form a “web of life’


Super formulas: arts and crafts

Elaine White, Valley Hills Press, £10.50

360 useful products that contain honey and beeswax

Video: African honeybees how to handle them in top-bar hives

Bernhard Clauss GTZ, Lusaka, £20.00

An introduction to fearless beekeeping

Natural medicine from honeybees

Jacob Kaal, Bijen Producten, £7.50

Using pollen, propolis, royal jelly and bee venom

Soap recipes

Elaine White, Valley Hills Press, £17.25

70 ways to make soap with herbs, beeswax and vegetable oils

Beekeeping in the tropics

P Segeren, Mulder, Beetsma, MSommeijer Agromisa, £6.75

An introduction to tropical beekeeping

Health and the Honeybee

Charles Mraz, Queen City Publications, £13.50

All about apitherapy

The complete guide to beekeeping

Jeremy Evans &Sheila Berrett, Unwin Hyman, £19.25

Fully illustrated introduction to frame hive beekeeping.

Video: Rafter beekeeping in Vietnam

BRDC, Hanoi BRDC, £25.00

Harvesting honey from Apis dorsata in the Mekong Delta

Traditional bee management

Jacob Kaal, Hayo Velthuis, Frans Jongeleen, Joop Beetsma, Bijen Producten, £13.50

Traditional methods of tropical beekeeping

Traditional candlemaking: simple methods of manufacture

Daphne Millington, IT Publications, £8.25

Small-scale candle making


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