Beekeeping on the island of AndrosBEEKEEPING ON THE ISLAND OF ANDROS

An Ethnographic Approach


George Speis

This is the first English translation, and revised edition, of Beekeeping on the Island of Andros by George Speis.

It has been described by Dr Fani Hatjina ( Hellenic Agriculture Org. ‘DEMETER’, Greece) as:
 ‘a marvellous presentation of the Greek beekeeping heritage shown through the numerous and different findings on Andros Island, probably one of the richest islands in terms of beekeeping tradition’.

Natural evolution and agricultural practices are interlinked. Evolution brings innovation and, over the years, some of the management techniques associated with that innovation turn into traditions. However, it is very easy for the traditions to become lost and forgotten in this ceaseless forward progression. That is why it is important to record the customs and habits associated with beekeeping before they are lost, as they constitute part of the very fabric of our folklore and culture. George Speis has successfully done just that in this very detailed ethnographic record of beekeeping on the Island of Andros.

This book investigates and records the “bee-honey-wax-raki cycle” as it survives in the memories of the local people allowing the reader to get a very personal glimpse and interpretation of beekeeping in the past and the influence old traditions have even today. 

The book deals with the traditions surrounding the catching of swarms, the management of bees, the wide variety of hives used, how pests and Skeps on Androspredators were dealt with, the forage available, the collection and processing of the bee products and finally their usage.

Richard Jones, Chairman of the Eva Crane Trust: ‘Dr Eva Crane (1912–2007) devoted over fifty years of her life to collecting, collating and disseminating scientific and historic information on bees and beekeeping. This book stimulates thought and raises questions. In short, it is a book of which she would have thoroughly approved.’


A copy can be obtained by contacting KAIREIOS LIBRARY, Andros: for €20 (inc. postage) and is now available from Northern Bee Books: