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Hi everyone. This is my first post. I'm thinking of keeping bees but I'd like to learn about them and how to keep them first. Can anyone recommend a book for me? I know there's a book thread, but what I'm looking for is the most technical book I can find that does a good job explaining not just what and how but why. I'd like to learn not just about how to keep bees but what bees do and how and why and what I should do to keep them healthy and why.

Also, while I'm at it, any recommendations on convincing my wife that bees are not scary gross pests?

Thanks!
 

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Don't laugh, but beekeeping for dummy's, also, not so much as a technical book but more of a journal type learning is honeybee lesions from an accidental beekeeper.
Find a local beekeepers group.
As far as the wife, mine when I was talking about beekeeping said go for it, but she was having nothing to do with it and was going to stay out of the backyard. She's out there every time with the daughter and I, taking pictures and asking questions, telling everyone about our bees.
Experience is the best teacher.
 

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Hi everyone. This is my first post. I'm thinking of keeping bees but I'd like to learn about them and how to keep them first. Can anyone recommend a book for me? I know there's a book thread, but what I'm looking for is the most technical book I can find that does a good job explaining not just what and how but why. I'd like to learn not just about how to keep bees but what bees do and how and why and what I should do to keep them healthy and why.

Also, while I'm at it, any recommendations on convincing my wife that bees are not scary gross pests?

Thanks!
Michael Bush has an excellent book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Practical-Beekeeper-Beekeeping-Naturally/dp/1614760640

Michael is also a board member. Highly recommend this book.

Shane
 

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although beekeeping for dummies will get you started with a lot of basic information. some of what is in it is by no means the gospel. In my opinion there is only one book needed It pretty much has all you need to know. That would be "The hive and honey bee". It is a copulation of several writers. it has ben revised 4 times and is in its 9th printing of the most recent revision. Published By Dandant Publications. it is available from most bee keeping supply dealers, as well as barns and noble book stores. as well as others.
 

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"copulation" Tenbears? That's funny. I know what you meant. Thanks for the chuckle.
 

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Back in the 1980's I enjoyed Dianna Samataro and Alphonse Avitable's book, "A Beekeeper's Handbook"(?).
 

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I agree with Tenbears, The Hive and The Honey bee is the best book out there for learning about bees and beehives. It gives all the technical information in a very simple easy to read format. When I first started keeping bees, this book was used as the text for UCD Bee Biology Lab. It was my first book and set me on my way to beeking in a very good way.

although beekeeping for dummies will get you started with a lot of basic information. some of what is in it is by no means the gospel. In my opinion there is only one book needed It pretty much has all you need to know. That would be "The hive and honey bee". It is a copulation of several writers. it has ben revised 4 times and is in its 9th printing of the most recent revision. Published By Dandant Publications. it is available from most bee keeping supply dealers, as well as barns and noble book stores. as well as others.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great! Thanks for the recs! Glad I have amazon prime I can't wait for my books ;)
 

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Yep, The Hive and The Honeybee would be my first recommendation if I were only able to have one book that's the one. As far as the wife goes, find someone that keeps bees and let them help calm some of her fears. If she's like most wives I've talked to the first thing they think is someone will get stung, I have 20 hives about 50 feet out my back door and most people never knew I had bees till they saw the hives or the honey sign out front. Let her know how much they will help the garden(provided you have one or the fruit trees, ect.)
 

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My wife was hesitant, now she is reading the books and coming to inspect the hive with me. My 9 year old grandson is my photographer, no veil, no gear, just gets right in there with the camera. Neither of us have been stung. Honestly, I could probably work my hive without the gear myself, but I fear that my flinching when they got too close to my face would cause me to drop a comb or something...

KB
 

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If what you want is how to keep bees, that's often different than a book that explains why bees do what they do. In that second category I have greatly enjoyed "Wisdom of the Hive" by Tom Seeley. It's not a beekeeping book, but rather a book about how bees make decisions. I have not had the time to buy and read "Honeybee Democracy" by the same author, but I'm sure it's up to his usual quality.

Some of the most in depth books are by Eva Crane although they tend more toward the history of beekeeping they are very enlightening.

I think I learned more about bee behavior and how they DO things in Huber's New Observations Upon Bees. Details on the sequence of events in a swarm and afterswarms, an emergency queen, drone laying queens, how they build comb etc. are amazing when revealed at that level of detail. Some of it is outdated, but his observations are quite detailed and useful.
 

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The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum has some good pictures of what to expect, and one of my favorites (excluding allot already mentioned) is by Ross Conrad, called Natural Beekeeping. A suggestion is to search outwhat available at your local libraries and read as many as you can because the practices are approaches are different between everyone and you'll need to form a good concenses between all of them.

just my tco ..
 
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