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Top 4 beekeeping books

4889 Views 15 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  swamprat
Ok, so I wanted to ask everyone a question, especially you experienced, well-read beekeepers. There are soooooo many books and various resources out there. But let's just say that you have never kept bees, had no resources, no clubs, no forums, no other beekeepers to talk to, and could only have four books to learn from. Also, you want to keep bees as organically as you can. What four books would you recommend to help you become a successful backyard beekeeper?
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When you said organically, you already defined one book. Ross Conrad's book is the only one on natural beekeeping I know of. I think I'd have to include ABCs and XYZs because it is the encyclopedia of bee books, touching on lots of different things. The rest I'll leave to the experienced beeks.
I'd skip Ross Conrad's book (no offense to Ross)

The Beekeepers Handbook - Sammataro and Avitable
The Backyard Beekeeper - Kim Flottum
Hive Management - Richard Bonney
The Wisdom of the Hive - Thomas Seeley

those four will hold you through to the Master Beekeeper exam.
Thanks Erin, I'm always looking for good bee books. I'll have to find a used "wisdom of the hive", a new one is $124.
I'd put The Hive and the Honey Bee in the top four somewhere, after a good basic book like Hive Management by Richard Bonney and/or Backyard Beekeeper by Flottum. Rounding out the top four, add one of the old classics such as Fifty Years Among the Bees by CC Miller.
I would also say "First steps in Beekeeping" by Dadant
Having started back when, with the desire and some books, and the magazine "Gleanings in Bee Culture" (just Bee Culture now), here's my suggestion:

1. A good basic book, e.g. How to Keep Bees and Sell Honey by Kelley, or First Lessons in Bee Culture by Dadant, even Beekeeping for Dummies, etc.
2. Richard Taylor's The Joy of Beekeeping
3. ABC's and XYZ's of Beekeeping
4. The Hive and the Honey Bee

My rationale is that the first one will get you started, and 3 and 4 are encyclopedic in nature, will answer most questions. 2 is more philosophical, and pleasureable reading, reminding one why we keep bees, and the joys thereof.

There are many other excellent books, as already mentioned. If you enjoy bees and reading, your beekeeping library will not be limited to 4, trust me!
I would also recommend these two -- one about the experience of beekeeping, and the other about CCD:

- A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them by Sue Hubbell

- Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen <== This was fascinating and often funny. I didn't expect much, and went away impressed enough to recommend it, which I've done many times.
1. The How to do it Book of bee Keeping by Richard Taylor

2. Natural bee keeping by Ross Conrad

3. The Joys of Bee Keeping by Richard Taylor

4. 25 Hives by Grant Gillard

Everything you need to know is in the first book, if your interested in natural, I would read Ross, the Joys is a philosophical read for pleasure, and Grant's book is a realistic view from a beek who has done well as a sideliner.

Someone also mentioned Sue Hubbell, she is a humorist who writes from a entomoligist/walden pond point of view. Good read for pleasure. As you progress you can get into the scientific stuff, but start for fun and pleasure!
Bees: Biology and Management (Paperback)
by Peter G. Kevan (Author)
Publisher: Enviroquest Ltd. (January 1, 2007)
Someone told me about
Hive and the Honey bee D & S Publishing
At the hive entrance By H. Storch

I liked
the beekeepers handbook:applause:
Beekeeping for dummies:thumbsup:
i'm careful about old vs young bee of ABCs were written using a writing style which could lead to misunderstandings or at least to only partially understood passages ..... i look for "easy readings" ...............books recently published that have come under the scrutiny of sharp editors with stilletos
keen eyes for anything resembling ambiguous passages.....end of sermon

My recent Christmas present reading consisted of Dummies by Blackiston, ............ ............... ............Beekeeping by Bonney, and .................... ....................... ...............Beekeeping by Morse

anyone loan me some Richard Taylor books please?
I'm definitely new to all aspects of beekeeping, but I have been reading some books.

The first book I read was, BeeKeeping For Dummies. I think it covers pretty much every aspect there is to BeeKeeping using the most practiced methods.

The second book I read was The Barefoot BeeKeeper by P.J. Chandler. It covers Top Bar Hives, and BeeKeeping in a manner where it's about the Bees needs and not yours. A fantastic book I might add.

And the book I'm about to start is The Buzz about Bees - Biology of a Superorganism.

While looking for books, I've come across so many different ones I didn't really know which ones to pick! Those are the ones I currently have, but there will be more for me to read.
Increase Essentials - Lawrence John Connor
Best book I have read!
bush farms .com its free
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