Best Books About Beekeeping: 10 Must-Read Books For Honey Farmers

best book about beekeeping

Beekeeping is not a difficult hobby to get started.

Sure, it poses some challenges here and there. It may even be confusing beginner beekeepers. Heck, even experienced beekeepers find understanding bee culture difficult sometimes. 

But when push comes to shove…I think you’ll find that the benefits outweigh the challenges.

That’s why we’re hard at work developing helpful and informative content on Honeybee Hobbyist. Still, if you’re looking for even more great expertise to increase your knowledge and skill, we highly recommend looking at our list of the best books about beekeeping.

Pick up a copy today!

NOTE: We have linked each book title to the appropriate Amazon purchase listing. We may receive a commission in some cases if you purchase the book.

Best Beginner Books About Beekeeping

Here are our top picks for new beekeepers;

The Beekeeper’s Handbook

If you have to choose a single book, it should be The Beekeeper’s Handbook. It is packed with helpful information and fun facts, coupled with more than a hundred illustrations. It’s incredibly newbie-friendly, and while it is a great help for beginners, experienced beekeepers continue to reference it.

Authors: Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile

About the Authors

Diana Sammataro is a lecturer, researcher, and author on beekeeping. She holds a Ph.D. in Entomology and Apiculture from Ohio State University and worked at the USDA Honey Bee Lab before retiring. She’s also an accomplished beekeeper.

Alphonse Avitabile is a seasoned beekeeper and college instructor. He is also a retired honey bee scientist.

Beekeeping for Dummies

No beekeeping book collection is worth writing home about if it doesn’t have ‘Beekeeping for Dummies.’  It’s an absolute delight for beekeeping beginners because it’s lightly written but contains crucial information. 

Remember, your first year as a beekeeper is when you make many mistakes. This book will help you avoid silly mistakes since it covers: 

  • Typical anatomy of bees
  • Types of beehives
  • Fundamentals of bee behavior
  • Common problems beekeepers face

Author: Howland Blackiston

About the Author

Howland Blackiston has been a honeybee enthusiast since 1981. He’s a recognized authority on beekeeping matters with many books, articles, and television and radio appearances. In addition, he has headlined conferences on beekeeping in over 40 countries. Blackiston is also a founding member and former president of the Backyard Beekeepers Association.

The Backyard Beekeeper, 4th Edition: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden

This book is a must-have for the backyard beekeeper. It has tons of information about establishing your bee colonies, top-bar beekeeping, choosing ideal locations for the hive, honey production, safe ways of caring for your bees, among others. Most importantly, it sheds light on pest management, in addition to bee problems and remedies.

Author: Kim Flottum

About the Author

Kim Flottum has an impressive resume, from working at the USDA Honey Bee Research Lab in Madison to writing for Bee Culture monthly magazine. He has published on bee diseases, beekeeping history, and queen bee production, among other authoritative works.

Best Intermediate & Advanced Books About Beekeeping

Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture

As you scale up your beekeeping, you may need methodical pest-management strategies or natural hive management approaches. Fortunately, this book has everything you need as a newbie beekeeper or seasoned apiculturist. It boasts plenty of information on breeding and genetics, controlling parasitic mites, hive disease, and much more.

Author: Ross Conrad

About the Author

Ross Conrad learned the ropes under Charles Mraz, founder of Vermont’s Champlain Valley Apiaries. As a past chairman of the Vermont Beekeepers Association, he has numerous publications on organic bee farming and non-toxic techniques of keeping bees healthy.

The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver: 100 Common Problems Explored and Explained

Beekeeping calls for understanding and a keen eye for detail. Practical beekeeping requires total commitment to crucial areas like hive management, breed choices, and health needs. This book addresses 100 problems that beekeepers have to contend with daily. It is a gem full of information that will help you avoid the problems or eliminate them early enough.

Author: James Tew

About the Author

James Tew is a consummate beekeeper with over four decades of experience in educational programs touching on beekeeping. Before retiring from Ohio State University, he held the position of Associate Professor, spotlighting on pollination ecology.

The Practical Beekeeper: Beekeeping Naturally

Similar to Natural Beekeeping above, The Practical Beekeeper intends to teach honeybee hobbyists how to keep bees in a natural habitat with minimal interventions and reduce your work as a beekeeper.

Divided into three volumes for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced apiarists, the practices Bush recommends have been streamlined through decades of experimentation. The content comes directly from his responses to questions in one of the top beekeeping forums online, which means he cuts through the fluff and gives direct answers to real-world questions.

Author: Michael Bush

About the Author

Michael Bush is an author and speaker, sharing practical advice on natural beekeeping. His passion and knowledge for beekeeping are evidenced by his ability to keep bees through harsh Nebraska winters.

Specialty Books About Beekeeping

Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Revised Edition

This is our top pick for a deep dive into honey bee biology and anatomy. It touches on the science of beekeeping and explains the ‘when,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of keeping bees. This book expertly breaks down beekeeping fundamentals without oversimplifying novice and experienced beekeepers. No wonder it’s touted as a complete beekeeping textbook.’

Author: Dewey M. Caron

About the Author

Dewey M. Caron is a retired entomology professor critically acclaimed for his knowledge of bees. His repertoire of published work touches on bee maladies, Africanized honey bees, and other areas. He takes pride in giving more than 100 lectures annually to bee groups and writing for bee club publications and journals.

The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses

The Beekeeper’s Bible – $42-$74

Apart from being a beautifully-written book, The Beekeeper’s Bible is an undeniably detailed guide on the basics of beekeeping. It touches on the history of beekeeping, is part-handbook, and part-cookbook makes it a fantastic read. 

It also covers honey production, use of beeswax, instructions on manufacturing candles, beauty products, balms, and furniture polish, among other products. All in all, this fully-illustrated book shouldn’t miss on any beekeeper’s bookshelf.

Authors: Richard Jones and Sharon Sweeney

About the Authors

Richard Jones holds the position of Director Emeritus at the Cardiff-based International Bee Research Association. He is an entomologist with lots of publications under his belt.

Sharon Sweeney is a freelance writer and author and is presently Features Editor for TI Media in the UK.

Honeybee Democracy 

Honeybee Democracy – $10-20

Honeybees are fantastic creatures with incredibly intricate behavioral habits. From collective and democratic decision making, fact-finding, consensus-building practices, and collective wisdom that gets put to the test every year when the colony must make the life-or-death decision to stay in their current hive or travel to a new home.

Thomas Seeley’s exploration of animal behavior will give you a deep appreciation for the bee colonies you care for. 

We highly recommend this one!

Author: Thomas D. Seeley

About the Author

Thomas D. Seeley is the Horace White Professor in Biology within the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University.

In recognition of his scientific work, he has received the Senior Scientist Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina).

Get Started in Urban Beekeeping: Keeping happy, healthy bees in the city (Teach Yourself)

Get Started in Urban Beekeeping – $12-20

Urban beekeeping, or beekeeping in dense cities, is growing in popularity each year. 

Since the requirements and guidelines for urban beekeeping can differ from standard beekeeping, the authors provide practical insight. It’s also specifically designed to be interactive, giving easy-to-use checklists and personal record-keeping to help you maintain your urban beehives.

Authors: Claire Waring and Adrian Waring

About the Authors

Both Claire and Adrian are advanced beekeepers with over 75 years of combined beekeeping experience. Claire is the former General Secretary of the British Beekeepers’ Association and author or co-author of several other beekeeping books.

Beekeeper Paul

Hello there! I'm the beekeeping hobbyist behind I'm fascinated by all things bees and I'm fueled by the honey I get to enjoy from my very own hives.

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