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17 Best Beekeeping Books

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Whether you’re an absolute beginner or advanced beekeeper, books can certainly come as a great source of many fresh, useful, and valuable information you may need to take better care of your business.


In case you’re looking for the right one for yourself or a friend who’s into beekeeping, today’s list brings 17 excellent beekeeping book titles that might interest you!

Shall we then?

1. Beekeeping for Dummies

The 4th edition of Beekeeping for Dummies is a rather simple, easy-to-read, and thorough book that will teach you everything you need to know about starting your own colony, handling beehives, maintaining every phase of honey production, and so many other things related to beekeeping.

It includes numerous tips, tricks, and techniques you need to become an excellent backyard beekeeper.

Not sure how to identify the queen from working bees and drones? Beekeeping for Dummies is there to explain it as well as provide so many other important answers.

The famous series of books ‘for Dummies’ generally comes as a great starting point when you’re interested in something, but really not sure where to start.

They walk you through the initial phases of a particular area step by step. Therefore, this is definitely one of the best choices for beginners.

Beekeeping For Dummies
  • Also, you’ll learn how to keep your bees healthy using natural methods
  • Paperback
  • 442 pp.
  • By Howland Blackiston (former president of the Back Yard Beekeepers Association and international lecturer on bees and beekeeping)
  • Blackiston, Howland (Author)

2. First Lessons in Beekeeping

Here we have another pretty good solution that will introduce the basics and starting stages of beekeeping.

There are plenty of color photos, and the language used here is really easy to understand.

The book has valuable information about the biology of honey bees as well as their management, honey production, beekeeping equipment, etc.

Professionals who have been in the business for a longer time may not get that much value from this book.

However, First Lessons in Beekeeping definitely comes as a nice way to open the door of the exciting honey bee world and everything that’s waiting for you in there.

First Lessons in Beekeeping
  • Excellent book for beginner beekeepers
  • Full color pages throughout the book
  • Excellent images to show you exactly what you can expect in a hive

3. The Backyard Beekeeper

If you’re serious about the entire idea of starting a bee colony in your yard, you’ll definitely want a valuable guide like this one.

The entire point of this book is to show beekeeping can really be an accessible backyard activity you can certainly enjoy.

Once again, the target audience are absolute beginners, which means this is the fantastic source of ‘how to start’ tips, techniques, and plenty more information you’ll need to go through the initial stages.

In like manner, the book covers topics such as choosing the right location for your hives, setting up colonies and taking care of them, swarm control, common diseases you could potentially deal with, harvesting honey, etc.

Here we’re talking about the 4th edition of a rather popular title as well as some new additions that include tips for urban beekeepers, pest management, and so much more.

The Backyard Beekeeper, 4th Edition
  • Flottum, Kim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages – 01/02/2018 (Publication Date) – Quarry Books (Publisher)

4. The Beekeepers Problem Solver – 100 Common Problems Explored and Explained

There are plenty of upcoming challenges and problems you, as a beekeeper, will have to face.

The Beekeepers Problem Solver – 100 Common Problems Explored and Explained points common issues beekeepers encounters as well as further explores potential solutions.

It can really give you a deeper understanding of the things required to successfully deal with your bees.

The author, James E. Tew, goes through critical areas of an entire beekeeping process, which also includes hive management, things you need to do to keep your bees healthy, beehive management, and many more.

He is an experienced beekeeper as well as a true expert when it comes to apiary management. Within this book, he covered numerous obstacles you may come upon and substantiated them with plenty of diagrams, photographs, insight, and practical advice.

Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment
  • Pisano, Tony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages – 04/23/2013 (Publication Date) – Storey Publishing, LLC (Publisher)

5. The Beginners Guide to Beekeeping – Everything You Need To Know

There are more and more people that are interested in beekeeping. This guide comes in handy for both larger-scale and backyard beekeepers.

It offers lots of valuable answers to all those questions you may have at the begging of the adventure – and probably many more you still haven’t thought of.

Here you’ll find numerous beneficial information on setting up and caring for your beehives, harvesting honey from colonies, etc.

Daniel and Samantha Johnson, the authors of this great guide, are two rather skilled beekeepers with years of experience behind them.

The Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping
  • Johnson, Samantha (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages – 07/15/2013 (Publication Date) – Voyageur Press (Publisher)

6. Homegrown Honey Bees: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest

Once again, if you’re looking for a helpful guide in this area, search no further than this.

Alethea Morrison provided the excellent tool with valuable photos, useful tips, and relevant information every beginner should get familiar with.

She covered in-depth discussions based on colony hierarchy, honey bee behavior, allergies, and so much more.

It’s actually a book that can efficiently guide you through the very first year in beekeeping as well as help you stay excited about this new adventure you’ve decided to set to.

Homegrown Honey Bees: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide
  • Morrison, Alethea (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages – 01/29/2013 (Publication Date) – Storey Publishing, LLC (Publisher)

7. Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, 2nd Edition

In this rather interesting book, Ross Conrad has spread a bunch of useful information over 304 pages.

It’s a good choice for beginners, but experienced beekeepers could also find some helpful tips of their own.

Ross Conrad is a prolific writer in these circles; he owns his beekeeping business and has taught in beekeeping workshops and classes.

The first edition of this book was published in 2007, so the second one brings more up-to-date advice and information.

Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture
  • Conrad, Ross (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages – 03/08/2013 (Publication Date) – Chelsea Green Publishing (Publisher)

8. The Practical Beekeeper

This book brings a method as natural as possible and avoids certain treatments and medications traditional beekeepers often use.

If you’re more up to some alternative beekeeping methods or simply want to educate on the different options out there, definitely consider buying this book.

It will introduce a natural and quite practical bee system that requires your intervention on a minimum level. Moreover, it goes against plenty of those conventional beekeeping practices and supports the idea of a minimalistic approach.

The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally
  • Hardcover Book
  • Bush, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

9. Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping

Here’s something more-experienced beekeepers will certainly find interesting – a book that brings an in-depth discussion on advanced topics such as entomology, bee behavior, etc.

It’s more of a textbook than an actual guide, and here you’ll find hundreds of illustrations and photos as well as answering many “why”, “when”, and “how” questions you may have.

Plenty of reviewers even say they were actually introduced to this title through their beekeeping course, and the majority note it’s a must-have for everyone who’s taken a serious part in the beekeeping business.

Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Revised Edition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Dewey M. Caron (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

10. Storey’s Guide to Keeping Bees

This is a pretty good handbook both amateurs and experts will have benefits of. One of the authors is Malcolm T. Stanford. He is a retired cooperative extension apiculture specialist as well as a professor emeritus of the University of Florida.

Therefore, the handbook comes as a combination of specialist knowledge, and yet a rather accessible language.

It’s accessible not because the author keeps things simple, but provides quite detailed introductions to the basis of beekeeping.

P.S. Beekeeping Without Borders is another one of professor Stanford’s books.

Storey’s Guide to Keeping Honey Bees, 2nd Edition
  • Sanford, Malcolm T. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 224 Pages – 07/10/2018 (Publication Date) – Storey Publishing, LLC (Publisher)

11. Practical Beekeeping

The author breaks down beekeeping into different topics and separates them across the book. This is easy-to-digest content with manageable amounts of the given information as well as a real treasure chest of knowledge and experiences the author gained within 30 years of beekeeping.

Weather forage, managing beehives, equipment, marketing of gotten products – it’s all covered, discussed, and well-explained through the pages of this guide. Some of the sections are standalone, but most of them are interlinked to other parts of the book.

Practical Beekeeping
  • Hardcover Book
  • de Bruyn, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

12. Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment

This is the guide with 35 building projects and step-by-step instructions on how to set the basic infrastructure for your bees.

There’s a lot of equipment needed and this book gathers all the valuable information about it. It mentions essentials such as eight- and ten-frame hives, covers, feeders, swarm catchers, nucs, and so many more.

You will even find a section on how to install an electric fence or build jigs.

All this will require “modest” skills of woodworking. That way, if you’re not familiar with a saw or similar items you’ll need in the woodworking process, this may not be the best choice for you.

Still, if you’re handy and know your way around crafts, this book is definitely going to help you build your own equipment and, by that, save some money.

Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment: How to Construct 8
  • Pisano, Tony (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages – 04/23/2013 (Publication Date) – Storey Publishing, LLC (Publisher)

13. The Beekeeper’s Journal

The Beekeeper’s Journal
  • Flottum, Kim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 176 Pages – 02/01/2014 (Publication Date) – Quarry Books (Publisher)

It’s not only about beekeeping books you can read – why not get a journal too? Within it, you’re getting blank pages to keep track of the progress as well as add any valuable information you’ve come upon.

Journal doesn’t come with blank pages only; it contains many ideas, images, tips, and recipes from the author himself.

Plenty of beekeepers maintain a journal and store observations, to-do lists, notes, and records. Maybe you have some beekeeper amongst your closer circles and are looking for a perfect gift? Well, we believe you found it right here!

14. The Beekeeper’s Bible

The Beekeeper’s Bible is another great and pretty creative gift. It actually comes as a rather comprehensive guide that’s a handbook, history book, and cookbook all at once.

It’s rich in illustrations and covers so many bee-related aspects, starting from insects themselves to all those sweet delicacies you can prepare with their honey.

This book also covers topics such as beeswax, harvesting honey as well as things you can do with them.

If the person you want to buy this gift for is an absolute beginner, then it may not be the best choice. In that case, you may want to check the first couple of titles from this list.

The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Jones, Richard A. (Author)

15. The Beekeeper’s Handbook

This book guides you step by step and provides detailed directions, together with more than 100 useful illustrations. It certainly comes in handy for both beginners and those more experienced beekeepers.

It’s rather popular and definitely comes as one of the best beekeeping books out there. This useful, and well-set guide got to its first edition, with the initial publication from the 1970’s.

Here you’ll find all you’ve ever wanted to know about handling bees, setting up an apiary, maintaining the colony, collecting honey, and all other aspects related to these special insects.

The book also brings a discussion of different colony care techniques as well as the pros and cons of using each.

The latest edition also delves into more complex topics such as regional overwintering rules and protocols, Colony Collapse Disorder, and managing common pests and diseases.

Many of the reviewers who highly recommend this book are well-experienced beekeepers – they pointed it’s their go-to guide for plenty of obstacles and questions they come upon.

The Beekeeper’s Handbook
  • Sammataro, Diana (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages – 07/15/2011 (Publication Date) – Comstock Publishing Associates (Publisher)

16. Langstroth’s Hive and the Honeybee

There are always new excellent titles and helpful handbooks coming, but why not mention those timeless classics too?

Langstroth’s Hive and the Honeybee definitely stands out in that category; it’s a 170-year old book that covers plenty of useful topics about bee diseases, physiology, techniques for safer and more efficient harvesting honey and beeswax.

L. L. Langstroth really made a big step with this book. Although he is not considered the father of modern beekeeping, this book still probably comes as one of the most revolutionary written tools in beekeeping history.

Despite the age, the book still manages to be quite useful for all the beekeepers of the modern age too.

Langstroth’s Hive and the Honey-Bee
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Langstroth, L. L. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

17. Queen Spotting

Hillary Kearney is the author of the popular blog Girl Next Door Honey. She is known for supporting the idea of more natural and organic practices as well as making chronicles about her swarm catching.

It’s a really practical guide that will tell you more about queen management, one of the most important beekeeping duties.

Here you’ll also find plenty of general information about the queen bee and all aspects related to its life.

The special thing about this book is the tone author used in it; even people who don’t intend to become beekeepers can enjoy the interesting information it provides.

QueenSpotting: Meet the Remarkable Queen Bee
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kearney, Hilary (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Some Final Words

Beekeeping books give information on various levels. It’s hard to find the best one out there; everyone has different preferences, and, by that, different things to focus on.

Some of these titles are adjusted to beginners, while others cover advanced topics – make sure to carefully check the content in order to make the purchase that will fit your needs best. Also, let us know if you have any questions or some useful and interesting titles from your own beekeeping-book list!


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