Best Beekeeping Book Review – Top Rated Models with Buying Guide
Finding the best beekeeping book can be a strenuous task since there are countless options to consider and examine. Luckily, we have looked over numerous beekeeping book reviews and identified some of the best-received titles currently available. Out of all the products we have analyzed, we found that the one that stands out from the crowd is The Beekeeper’s Bible by Richard Jones. It is an easy-to-follow and fascinating read that will not overburden the reader while still providing enough information about this activity. It is part history book, part cookbook, and part handbook with illustrations throughout. This is the perfect book for people who want to get a closer look straight into the depths of the honeybee hive. In the event that our first pick is unavailable, another alternative that we believe is worth checking out is The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum.
This comprehensive tome is the perfect guide to the practical essentials of beekeeping. It is a history book, handbook, and cookbook all in one. Inside its covers, you will find out how to manage hives safely, harvest the honey, make candles, beauty products, and nearly 100 other honey-themed recipes.
There is a lot of information that can satisfy even the most curious reader, but some people found it a bit difficult to plow through the book.
If you are a serious beekeeper, this pick is the ultimate guide that will give you all the information you crave.
This handbook comes with expert advice on a multitude of topics such as swarm control, bee problems and treatments, pest management, and so much more. While other options cater to the professional beekeepers that have many hives, this book is ideal for those people who don’t plan to expand beyond their backyard anytime soon.
The pages are glossy and the typeset is very small which might make it difficult for older people to read without their trusty pair of reading glasses.
All in all, this is a great option for beginners that want to get a book that is perfectly tailored to their needs.
Also To Consider
The approximately 100 illustrations will help even amateur beekeepers learn how to look after their hive properly. It includes information about how to manage diseases and pests, it covers new trends, and it includes an up-to-date bibliography and a list of resources. The user-friendly design highlights instructions and other useful features.
Do keep in mind that the book is a bit dense and many readers have likened it more to a college course than the handbook that the title suggests.
This properly illustrated book can be appreciated by beekeepers of all ages and skill levels.
10 Best Beekeeping Books (Reviews) in 2020
We want to make it easier for you to find the best beekeeping books, which is why we have compiled a list of our suggestions. These are the books on bees and beekeeping that have garnered some of the most positive customer reviews and critical acclaim. Take a quick look below and see for yourself.
- 1. The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses
- 2. The Backyard Beekeeper An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden
- 3. The Beekeeper’s Handbook
- 4. Beekeeping For Dummies
- 5. Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping
- 6. Natural Beekeeping Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture
- 7. Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health
- 8. Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment How to Construct 8 & 10 Frame Hives
- 9. Beekeeping: An Easy Guide for Getting Started with Beekeeping
- 10. Homegrown Honey Bees: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping Your First Year
- Yearly Guide & Report
1. The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses
The title of this book is no exaggeration since for the price of one book you get an ultimate guide that contains the history of bees, a handbook on beekeeping, and a cookbook section with lots of honey-themed recipes. This tome includes numerous detailed illustrations and it covers every facet of this ancient hobby.
You get almost 100 honey-themed recipes including how to make candles, beauty products, and furniture polish. While the book may seem dense at first, it is beautifully written and the illustrations and how-to photography will make any backyard enthusiast or gardener devour it in just a few days.
Many reviews have compared this to a compendium of information, facts, tips, and techniques that will make people appreciate these tiny and wonderful creatures more than ever before. It is also one of the few alternatives on the market that also include a lot of information about the history of beekeeping.Buy from Amazon.com for ($25.49)
2. The Backyard Beekeeper An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden
While this book is meant for the beginner beekeepers that do not plan to extend further than their backyards, it remains a comprehensive read that will guide readers through every facet of this hobby. It includes information about the biology of bees, the functions of queens, drones, and workers and expert advice on countless other important topics.
The Backyard Beekeeper will teach you how to control the swarm, use top bar hives, treat bee problems, manage pests, and keep your hives healthy and thriving. This is just the tip of the iceberg since the 240 pages are filled with practical tips and tricks that amateur beekeepers will find useful.
Another important aspect to mention is the fact that this is the fourth edition of this book and it includes new and updated material missing from other editions such as chapters on urban beekeepers, pest management information, and a section on how to provide food for the hive.Buy from Amazon.com for ($15.39)
3. The Beekeeper’s Handbook
With a history of more than 40 years, this book has been the sole guide to many hobbyists and professionals throughout the years. There is a lot of content in this book, but the clear and step-by-step directions that are accompanied by over 100 illustrations, make this handbook one that can be enjoyed and understood by everyone.
This fourth edition comes with updated information but it retains the same wonderful writing that has made the other editions so popular among beekeepers. The book explores the various colony care techniques and options, noting both advantages and disadvantages which will allow the keeper to choose the right decision for the hive.
Among the customer reviews, we found a lot of praise for the diagrams which help enhance the explanations in the text. With their help, the message gets across better to the reader so that he or she can understand each step that needs to be taken.Buy from Amazon.com for ($19.99)
4. Beekeeping For Dummies
This hands-on guide is the ultimate beekeeping book for beginners since it provides the reader with all the tips, tricks, techniques, and tools required to become a true backyard beekeeper. It will help you learn how to identify the queen from her drones and workers, how to open and close the hive properly, preserve the colony if disaster should strike and much more.
The information is presented clearly so that while the book is very rich in content, all of it is easy to understand and that will allow you to put it in practice with minimal fuss. It follows the traditional methods, but it also encourages the reader to develop his or her own style as time goes on.
As is expected from good beekeeping books, especially for one that caters to beginners primarily, this pick is packed with descriptive illustrations that are easy to follow and understand.Buy from Amazon.com for ($13.99)
5. Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping
Dewey M. Caron has written a dense book that can be viewed as a beekeeping textbook used for teaching beekeepers and college students the science and practice of bees and how to handle them properly. It focuses on answering the “how”, “when”, and “why” of this beautiful hobby through science and practical experience.
The information is presented in a manner that is meaningful even to people that have no background in biology. The information found in the book is clear without being simplified too much that it loses its meaning, a testament to the writing abilities of the author. It covers a wide range of topics on colony management and bee biology.
The revised edition includes new pages and chapters filled with hundreds of full-color illustrations, photography, and artwork throughout the book. They help keep the reader focused and make the scientific explanations behind beekeeping easier to digest and grasp.Buy from Amazon.com for ($70.13)
6. Natural Beekeeping Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture
Because nowadays beekeepers have to face an unprecedented amount of new challenges, this organic beekeeping book from Ross Conrad will teach hobbyists and professional how to handle the spread of pests the natural way. You will no longer need to resort to toxic chemical treatments that can make matters worse for your colony.
This is a revised and updated edition that includes new resources and full-color photographs throughout the 304 pages, and a whole new chapter on marketing. There are also new sections on urban beekeeping, bee biology and anatomy, hive diseases, parasitic mite control, and on how to identify and work with queens.
Apart from that, readers still get the same holistic alternatives to conventional chemical practices together with a comprehensive program of natural hive management. Prior knowledge does not matter since this book seeks to help people of any background with ideas, tips, and techniques on how to approach modern apiculture the organic way.Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.88)
7. Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health
This is another book that focuses on organic practices that do not rely on antibiotics, miticides, or any other chemical inputs to maintain the health of your honeybees. Top-Bar Beekeeping seeks to show readers the benefits of top-bar hives that have an interior that resemble the shape of a hollow log.
These hives are completely biodegradable and long-lasting, and they allow bees to build their comb naturally rather than using the prefabricated foundation frames that are usually found in the typical box hives. The information found in the book can be understood by beginners, but they might need to supplement it with additional resources or a good mentor.
The book makes a very strong argument for natural beekeeping practices and the advantages of using simple and low-cost top-bar hives. Readers have offered high praise for the sections on queen rearing and top-bar hive management, which were well-written and fascinating to read.Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.95)
8. Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment How to Construct 8 & 10 Frame Hives
If you have ever wondered if you can build your very own beekeeping equipment with materials that you have available around the house, Tony Pisano has a great book on this topic that has garnered overwhelmingly positive feedback. This book will teach aspiring and long-time beekeepers the secret of crafting equipment that is right for their setup and climate.
The step-by-step instructions will help readers build everything that they need to house and protect their bees by using only a table saw and a few other common materials and tools. The book also includes a section on how to install electric fencing together with plans for building jigs to help make assembling frames and installing foundations seem effortless.
Readers will need to have a bit of knowledge of working with wood, but they do not need a lot of skill since some buyers have mentioned that even amateur to intermediate woodworkers won’t have a problem following the instructions.Buy from Amazon.com for ($14.92)
9. Beekeeping: An Easy Guide for Getting Started with Beekeeping
Celine Walker’s book on beekeeping contains lots of information coming from her years of experience as a chef and gardener. All the knowledge in the book is distilled down to the essentials so that beginners can have no difficulty in grasping the useful information found within the pages of this book.
The author offers practical advice to guide beekeepers through their first season, covering all the stages from sourcing the bees and the equipment right through the last moment when the time comes to harvest the honey and prepare the hive for the winter. There are also countless tricks, tidbits, and shortcuts to make things easier for newbies.
Some of the topics and questioned that the chapters in this book will cover include all the basic and advanced information one needs to know about bees, hives structure, honey flow, harvest and winterization, and so much more. At just 71 pages, this is also a very quick read.Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.99)
10. Homegrown Honey Bees: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping Your First Year
Cheap beekeeping books that come packed with useful information and illustrations are hard to come by, but Homegrown Honey Bees is a title that has piqued our interest for this exact reason. This beginner’s guide to beekeeping will help newcomers discover the fun of harvesting honey from their own backyard.
Readers have described the illustrations taken by Mars Vilaubi as one of the best depictions ever to grace the pages of a beekeeping book. So much so that words can’t do them justice. Furthermore, there are step-by-step instructions for most beginner tasks such as installing a package, conducting the first hive check, or lighting a smoker.
Unlike other beginner books, this title is not very chemical-centric and it provides readers with other alternatives such as top-bar hives for a more natural approach. Another unique aspect of this book is the inclusion of interviews with local beekeepers which can make newcomers feel comfortable and help them develop their own unique approach.Buy from Amazon.com for ($9.32)
Yearly Guide & Report
It can be difficult to find the right beekeeping book that speaks to you since the market is flooded with alternatives and each one promises something new. We understand the struggle, which is why we have compiled a buyer’s guide that will go through some of the factors you should consider. Take a quick look below if you have the time.
The age of the internet
In beekeeping, just as in many other areas of life, the best way to develop experience is by practicing, but theory does have its place and books can be a very good start. The question most people will have is why in the age of information when there are hundreds if not thousands of useful videos, articles, or lessons on beekeeping online, is a book still necessary?
The answer to this is quite simple: while there is a lot of information available on the internet, it is very difficult to find a place that uses an integrated approach and that contains all the information you need. While you can rely on the internet as a resource, you will spend many hours trying to piece it all together, not to mention that some of it will need to be verified.
Classic beekeeping books are indispensable in this regard, especially since beekeeping is very conservative and many of the technologies and techniques that have been used for decades are still used to this day and are just as relevant and useful.
Even if older books are less likely to become outdated, best-sellers do get updated periodically since most of the popular choices on the market are available in different editions. This allows the author to keep the relevant information and add new techniques, technologies, discoveries, and tips to it.
Easy to understand
The type of book that you get also depends on your background since if you are new to this hobby you will need to get a book that can mold to your needs. The best beekeeping book for beginners is the one that is the easiest to comprehend even by people that have no prior experience in this field.
The market is full of beekeeping books, and more and more are written every year, but not all of them are beginner-friendly just as not all are written by authors who have experience in this domain.
In order to make any subject easy to understand even by the most inexperienced of users, the author too must have a lot of experience or background in this field. Teaching and introducing this rich hobby to a new audience is not just about giving instructions to the readers and hoping that they are sharp enough not to get confused.
A book that is well-written should not suit the needs of just one particular individual, but rather be tailored to the unique needs and learning abilities of as many different people as possible.
Some people might only need a few short and clear instructions, while others like to follow a rigorous set of instructions that explores the problem in-depth. A good author should know how to offer different answers to the same questions so that no reader is left confused. It is a good idea to research a bit about an author before purchasing his or her book.
Chemical vs. natural approach
Another important aspect when purchasing a book on beekeeping is to consider what approach you want to pursue. The classic methods have served beekeepers well for decades but the recent buzz word in the industry is natural or organic beekeeping. This approach attempts to create a natural environment for the bees with as little human interaction as possible.
Most of the handbooks you can find on the marker still rely on strategies that require the use of chemicals and antibiotics in the hive. If you want to follow an organic approach, there are many titles that you can purchase, some of which can be found in our list of top-rated products.
Illustrations are key
Beekeeping is not that complicated once you get the hang of it, but for a beginner, it can seem very complex. This is the reason why a written framework is not enough since there are things that are better understood with the help of illustrations.
We do not recommend getting a book that lacks illustrations unless you are already familiar with this field and you want to get a book that can expand your understanding of it. Furthermore, if you can’t examine the book personally, you should take the time and read some customer reviews to see if the illustrations are drawn properly.
A-Z beekeeping books provide readers with clear illustrations that are supported by straightforward and well-written instructions, and this is the kind of book that you should get.