Through the ages, books have been a primary resource for helping people learn how to do something. Even today, in a world of digital learning, a good book can open a new world to any knowledge seeker. This article includes some of the best beekeeping books for beginners that will provide a good foundation of bee education. And, some great titles for the experienced beekeeper too.
Beekeeping Books for Beginners & Beyond
Education is the best way to enhance your chances for beekeeping success. Yes, you need experience too – and the only way to get that is with time spent in the hive.
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However, reading good books about keeping bees, bee biology, hive management etc should be your first step in learning. Long before bees arrive, build your foundation of knowledge.
This prevents needless colony failures and it prevents you from wasting money unnecessarily.
A beginner’s guide to beekeeping in book form is the first source of serious beekeeping knowledge for most of us. With the popularity of beekeeping, the hard part is separating the wheat from the chaff.
Top Beekeeping Books for Beginners
This list contains some of the top beekeeping books for new beekeepers. They are listed in no particular order so look among them to decide which ones fit your style of learning best.
These books are currently on my beekeeping shelf library so I can vouch for their value.
Beekeeping for Dummies
This title has been out for a while. It is part of the “Dummies” series and does a good job of explaining a lot of basic bee information and terms. Not a bad reference book for anyone and very helpful for newbies.
The Beekeeper’s Handbook
One of my favorite instructional books with a great glossary and good diagrams. This book will take the beginner well beyond the first year.
The text is easy to read and the many clear diagrams helps the reader to visual instructions. This book covers a lot of material.
Buzz into Beekeeping
Okay, I am a little prejudiced here I guess.. But this is my book. It is a written compliation from my years of teaching new beekeepers online and in person.
Covering every subject from buying bees and setting up the hive through the first honey harvest, I am sure it will add some valuable tips for any new beekeeper.
The Beekeepers Bible
This volume is a veritable one book encyclopedia of beekeeper terms, recipes and ideas. It contains much information beyond maintaining a hive and is a very useful reference beekeeping reference book.
The amount of material can be a bit overwhelming for a first year beekeeper. It would make a great gift for year 2 or 3 of beekeeping.
Natural Beekeeping – Ross Conrad
Ross Conrad is a top authority on organic beekeeping. His book gives compelling reasons to consider organic methods of beekeeping.
Even those of us who do not practice totally organic beekeeping can glean some good tips from this book.
I had the pleasure of meeting him once at a conference. He is a really nice gentleman with a true love for bees.
The Backyard Beekeeper 4th Edition
Kim Flottum, long time editor of Bee Culture magazine gives an in depth look at keeping a beehive in your backyard. Tips and techniques to help you set up your hive and keep a successful stand of bees.
Best Books for Experienced Beekeepers
If you are a beekeeper who has moved beyond the first year or two of the hobby, perhaps you want to delve a bit deeper into beekeeping knowledge.
We all want to understand our bees better in hopes of helping them be healthier and more productive.
These titles do contain some information for new beekeepers but they offer a deeper looking into their respective subject fields.
Advanced Top Bar Beekeeping
If you are a beekeeper yearning to try a different hive style, perhaps the Top Bar Hive will appeal to you.
It is a perfectly fine type of hive to use for bees – though I admit to steering first year beeks toward a Langstroth hive instead.
This top bar beekeeping book will give you some good insights into the world of top bar beekeeping.
The Biology of the Honey Bee
This is not a beekeeping how to book. However, it is one of my favorite books about honey bee biology. While studying for my Master Beekeeper tests I found it very interesting. Any avid beekeeper would enjoy reading it.
Honey Bee Democracy
Thomas Seeley does a remarkable job of taking us inside the world of the honey bee. This fascinating book examines the honey bee colony as a total social organism. Great reading for any bee enthusiast.
The Buzz About Bees – Biology of a Superorganism
Again, not really a “how to keep bees book” though it offers some valuable insight.
This is one of my favorite books on honey bee behavior and it has actually been a help to my beekeeping experience. An interesting read for bee nerds like me.
Online Beekeeping Information
What about finding beekeeping information online? Yes, the internet has become a great resource for beekeeping education. Information articles and videos bring the beekeeping experience to life.
You will find interesting ideas and styles of beekeeping online. The many interesting methods are fun to explore and you may want to try them .
However, use care when learning online. Not every method shown works in all climates, or all situations. Ultimately, you are responsible for your bees.
Evaluating Beginner Beekeeping Books
In spite of abundant resources online, many new beekeepers desire to obtain a book or books. Beekeeping books contain not only basic beekeeping information but also become chronicles of the American Beekeeping experience.
Beginning beekeeper books have flooded the market in recent years. Some are great, some are good and some as just a lot of fluff.
Many of the books sold as a beginners guide to beekeeping are written by people who are not beekeepers. In fact, many have probably never opened a hive of bees.
So, what’s a new beekeeper to do? You need to do some research. Look for real information – not hype.
Final Thoughts on Choosing Good Books About Beekeeping?
Have fun learning more about bees and beekeeping. Consider the source of the information you are getting.
And don’t hesitate to add some new beekeeping books for beginners to your library. Everyone has a different “take” on keeping bees and having several good beekeeping books is a great way to learn.