Philip Chandler

Philip Chandler

I started keeping bees in conventional hives, and learned about boxes and frames and foundation, and how to treat bees for mites and diseases, and how to use this and that shiny, stainless steel gadget, all the while thinking that this didn't seem like the best way to be looking after a creature as wild and free as the honeybee.

My search for simplicity led me towards the top bar hive, and I set about building one. It worked - more or less - and I could see that it needed some improvements. After years of trial-and-error experiments, I settled on a design that seemed to work consistently, and have since continued to develop a working method that is bee-friendly as well as being practical and sustainable.

The Barefoot Beekeeper is an appeal to all beekeepers to re-think the way they practise their craft, and to look again at the way bees have been treated for the last 150 years, which - I believe - has led to the current crisis in bee health. This book will show you a more natural way to keep bees - allowing them to build their combs the way they choose, supporting their natural ability to guard against pests and diseases, and offering them a home free from synthetic chemicals and medications, in which they can learn to deal with their own problems.

You will have free support from members of the Natural Beekeeping Network at to help you start in this fascinating and absorbing pastime.

The author's web site is and you can find the free Barefoot Beekeeper podcast on iTunes and

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All Books By This Author:

The Barefoot Beekeeper's Guide to Swarming and Swarm Management
The Barefoot Beekeeper's Guide to Swarming and Swarm Management
by Philip Chandler Rating: 4.0

Swarming and the management of swarming occupies a good deal of the beekeeper's time and energy during spring and early summer.

This ebook explains, in simple language, why bees swarm and how we can use the swarming impulse to increase our stocks, or strengthen our existing stocks if we so choose.

This title is one of a series of 'Barefoot Beekeeper Guides' that will be published here at

26pp A5 PDF file with full-colour illustrations.

Genres: Gardening, General, Hobby & Craft, Science, Other Interests
An Introduction to Natural Beekeeping for Gardeners
An Introduction to Natural Beekeeping for Gardeners
by Philip Chandler Rating: 0.0

This audio book is read by the author and is intended as a primer about bees and natural beekeeping, especially for those with an interest in gardening.

Chapter 1
Before considering 'keeping' bees, we take a look at their world, their lifecycle and how we can work with them to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship.

Chapter 2
We consider the relationship between bees and flowering plants and their importance for pollination. We will also look at the type of beehives recommended for 'natural beekeeping', and consider ways in which you can take sensible precautions when locating hives and handling bees.

Chapter 3
We will examine how a top bar beehive works, and how best to use it to supervise bees, while minimizing our interference in their lives. We will also consider how to obtain bees and persuade them to live in the hives we provide them.

Chapter 4
Having introduced bees to their new home, we look at hive management and how to provide optimum conditions in which they can thrive, while learning as much as possible about their natural behaviour with a view to improving our understanding of them.

The autor's web site is at

Philip Chandler is author of The Barefoot Beekeeper, also available from

Genres: Gardening, General, Hobby & Craft, Nutrition, Educational, Other Interests
Learning From Bees: a philosophy of natural beekeeping
Learning From Bees: a philosophy of natural beekeeping
by Philip Chandler Rating: 5.0

A collection of short essays on bees and beekeeping by the author of The Barefoot Beekeeper.

The author's first book set out a challenge to the world of conventional beekeeping and offered an alternative paradigm. It soon became apparent that other people had been thinking along similar lines, and when bees were headlined month after month in the national press, following the outbreak of so-called 'colony collapse disorder' in the USA, many more people became interested in bees and what became known as the 'natural beekeeping' movement began to emerge.

Our challenge now is to re-negotiate our relationship with bees: we must learn to protect and nurture them, rather than simply exploit them, and we need to learn to listen to what they need from us.

Genres: Essays, Gardening, General, Hobby & Craft, New Ideas, Philosophy, Educational, Other Interests
Balanced Beekeeping I: Building a Top Bar Hive
Balanced Beekeeping I: Building a Top Bar Hive
by Philip Chandler Rating: 5.0

The first of (at least) two books on 'Balanced Beekeeping' - the art of keeping bees while respecting their natural life and their vital role in nature and agriculture.

This book covers the theory and practice of designing and building the top bar hive - easily the most versatile and beekeeper-friendly hive, and certainly one of the most bee-friendly. The writing is detailed but easy to follow, and anyone considering this style of beekeeping should have a copy to hand as a reference and practical guide.

The author's first book - The Barefoot Beekeeper - started something of a revolution in what became known as 'natural beekeeping'. This book sets out the case for using top bar hives and discusses design features you will not find elsewhere, as well as giving many practical construction tips.

Required reading for any natural beekeeper!

Genres: Gardening, Hobby & Craft, Educational, Other Interests
How To Build A Simple Top Bar Hive
How To Build A Simple Top Bar Hive
by Philip Chandler Rating: 0.0

Illustrated instructions for building a top bar hive to Phil Chandler's design, using a pair of 'follower boards' to manage the space occupied by bees.

This is a tried-and-tested horizontal hive design that can easily be adapted for particular needs (e.g. queen rearing or making nucs) and you can add your own details, such as a landing board.

For a full account of the theory of top bar hive design, with details the eco-floor and periscope entrance and much more, you should order Balanced Beekeeping I: Building a Top Bar Hive - see

Genres: Gardening, General, Hobby & Craft, Educational, Other Interests