I am finishing my second year as a beekeeper -- I have 2 horizontal TBHs. I have been reading the books by Mangum and Crowder/Harrell. Based on what I have read so far, the books fill slightly different niches.

Mangum discusses more of the nuts and bolts of beekeeping in TBHs with detailed discussion of how to build, move, and general care for the hives. Crowder/Harrell cover hive construction but more lightly -- what I like best about their book is that it covers more of the philosophy AND the practical details of managing a colony in a TBH.

One beginning TBH beekeeper posted to a TBH email list that he found the Crowder/Harrell book to be difficult to follow, but I do not think he actually had bees yet, so I'm not surprised. On the other hand, I am finding it to be a gold mine.

If you have observed and wondered about the dramatic changes in size and shape that the broodnest goes through in a TBH -- being large and full in late spring through mid summer ... then lowering and thinning as summer fades into fall ... then becoming more spherical again in the fall -- you need to read this book.

If you have been frustrated to find a beautiful comb of mostly capped honey ... with a band of brood at the bottom ... and wondered how you will ever be able to harvest it -- you need to read this book.

If you have ever wondered about how to encourage straight comb, fix "fat" comb, and the like -- you need to read this book.

Crowder and Harrell explain how to minimize swarming, divide a colony, combine colonies, harvest full bars of honey, raise queens, etc. The management chapter in their book does take time to digest and might be pretty dense for people just starting out who do not have a TBH mentor to guide them.

After a couple of years of beekeeping, however, the bees continue to remind me about how much I don't know about caring for them in a TBH. While I still have no illusions that I'm an expert after reading Crowder and Harrell's book, I think the knowledge I have gained will save me and my bees a lot of frustration next season.