The Best Beekeeping Books Every Beekeeper Should Read


Discover the best beekeeping books. From "The Backyard Beekeeper" to other titles, explore the must-read resources to start beekeeping.

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Are you fascinated by the idea of keeping your own bees? Do you want to learn about the fascinating world of beekeeping? If so, there is no better way to get started than by reading the best beekeeping books.

 In this blog post, I will provide you with some of the best beekeeping books that every beekeeper should read.

Reading books is an excellent way to learn about beekeeping and gain invaluable skills and knowledge for managing your own hives.

Whether you are a beginner to the hobby or an experienced beekeeper looking for a refresher on current techniques, there is something for everyone in this informative and inspiring list of the best beekeeping books.

The Best Beekeeping Books Every Beekeeper Should Read

Beekeeping is an incredibly rewarding hobby that can bring many benefits both to you and the environment. By reading about beekeeping, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of the basics of beekeeping, from hive and equipment setup to bee health and management. You will learn how to properly care for bees, maintain healthy colonies, keep them safe from predators, and harvest delicious honey.

Additionally, you will be more knowledgeable on how to address common issues in beekeeping such as pests and diseases, so that your hive is happy and healthy! With these resources at your fingertips, you can become an expert beekeeper in no time!

1) The Backyard Beekeeper (4th edition) by Kim Flottum

The Backyard Beekeeper” by Kim Flottum is an indispensable guide and a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in keeping bees in their backyard or small-scale apiaries. This eagerly anticipated fourth edition provides updated and expanded information, making it an essential reference for both beginners and experienced beekeepers alike.

Within the pages of this book, readers will embark on a captivating journey into the fascinating world of bees, gaining insight into their complex lives, their importance as pollinators, and the joys and rewards of beekeeping. Packed with practical advice, valuable tips, and expert guidance, this book equips beekeepers with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully establish and maintain thriving honeybee colonies.

Key features of “The Backyard Beekeeper” include:

  1. Comprehensive Beekeeping Basics: Starting from scratch, this book covers all the essentials, including choosing the right hive, acquiring bees, understanding bee behavior, and selecting the ideal location for a hive. It provides step-by-step instructions on assembling hives, installing packages, and caring for bees throughout the year.
  2. Hive Management Techniques: Readers will learn how to properly inspect hives, identify and address common issues, manage honey production, and harvest honey and other bee products such as beeswax and propolis. The book also delves into natural pest and disease management methods to maintain healthy colonies.
  3. Modern Beekeeping Practices: With the latest advances in beekeeping, this edition explores various modern techniques and trends, such as using top-bar hives, queen rearing, and sustainable beekeeping practices. It discusses the benefits of urban beekeeping, pollinator-friendly gardening, and the role of bees in a sustainable environment.
  4. Seasonal Beekeeping Calendar: To assist beekeepers throughout the year, this great book provides a helpful seasonal calendar that outlines the tasks and activities specific to each season, ensuring optimal hive management and beekeeping success.
  5. Supporting Native Pollinators: Recognizing the importance of all pollinators, the book emphasizes ways to create habitats and provide food sources for native bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, promoting biodiversity and a balanced ecosystem.

“The Backyard Beekeeper” combines expert knowledge with engaging storytelling, offering a blend of practical instruction, fascinating anecdotes, and Flottum’s deep passion for beekeeping. This bee book empowers readers to become confident and responsible beekeepers while fostering a deeper connection with nature and contributing to the conservation of bees and the environment.

backyard beekeeper book

2) Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, 2nd Edition by Ross Conrad

Beginners will need no other book to guide them!

The various chemicals used in beekeeping have, for the past decades, held Varroa Destructor, a mite, and other major pests at bay, but chemical resistance is building and evolution threatens to overtake the best that laboratory chemists have to offer.

In fact, there is evidence that chemical treatments are making the problem worse. Natural Beekeeping flips the script on traditional approaches by proposing a program of selective breeding and natural hive management.

Conrad brings together the best organic and natural approaches to keeping honeybees healthy and productive here in one book. Readers will learn about nontoxic methods of controlling mites, eliminating American foulbrood disease (without the use of antibiotics), breeding strategies, and many other tips and techniques for maintaining healthy hives.

Conrad’s reservoir of knowledge comes from years of experience and a far-flung community of fellow beekeepers who are all interested in ecologically sustainable apiculture. Specific concepts and detailed management techniques are covered in a matter-of-fact, easy-to-implement way.

Natural Beekeeping describes opportunities for seasoned professionals to modify existing operations to improve the quality of hive products, increase profits, and eliminate the use of chemical treatments.

the natural beekeeper book cover

3) The Practical Beekeeper by Michael Bush

The Practical Beekeeper is another excellent book for experienced or new beekeepers at any level. It is divided into three volumes and this edition contains all three: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced.

The author, Michael Bush, has been keeping bees for over 35 years, and shares his experiences and knowledge in this comprehensive book.

This book is about how to keep bees in a natural and practical system where they do not require treatments for pests and diseases and only minimal interventions. It is also about simple practical beekeeping. It is about reducing your work. It is not a mainstream beekeeping book.

Many of the concepts are contrary to “conventional” beekeeping. The techniques presented here are streamlined through decades of experimentation, adjustments, and simplification.

The content was written and then refined from responding to questions on bee forums over the years so it is tailored to the questions that beekeepers, new and experienced, have.

The Practical Beekeeper provides readers with detailed information on hive management techniques, including swarm control, honey bee biology, queen rearing, and honey extraction.

practical beekeeper book cover

4) From Hive to Honey: Beekeeping for Beginners to Raising a Healthy Honeybee Colony and Producing Delicious Honey by Anthony Smalls

“From Hive to Honey” is the ultimate guide for aspiring beekeepers, providing a comprehensive introduction to the captivating world of beekeeping. Whether you’re a beginner or have a burgeoning interest in beekeeping, this book equips you with the knowledge and skills needed to start and maintain your very own thriving honeybee colony.

In this book, you’ll embark on a fascinating journey, delving into the various aspects of beekeeping basics and discovering the secrets behind raising healthy honeybees and producing delectable honey.

from hive to honey beekeeping book

5) Beekeeping for Beginners: The New Complete Guide to Raise a Healthy and Thriving Beehive by Shawn Baxter

“Beekeeping for Beginners” is an essential guide for anyone interested in starting their own beekeeping venture. Written by experienced beekeeper Shawn Baxter, it provides detailed information on the basics of beekeeping, from hive and equipment setup to bee health and management.

The book also includes a comprehensive troubleshooting section that covers common problems that every beginning beekeeper will encounter at some point. Reading this book is a great way to dip your toes into bee keeping.

beekeeping for beginners book cover

6) Beekeeping For Dummies by Howland Blackiston 

The single best absolute beginner’s guide for hobbyist beekeepers with backyard bees.

Beekeeping For Dummies, 5th Edition, is one of the most popular titles in the For Dummies series available today. Including the latest information regarding every aspect of backyard beekeeping and honey production, this book describes how to get started, how to care for and safely handle bees, and how to maintain healthy and productive colonies. It is a great choice for beginners and covers all the general information you need for natural beekeeping.

This book is loaded with up-to-date, practical examples and helpful illustrations of proven techniques and strategies for both new and seasoned hobbyist beekeepers.

beekeeping for dummies book cover

7) Beekeeping for Beginners: How To Raise Your First Bee Colonies Paperback by Amber Bradshaw 

One of the highest-rated beginner beekeeping books on Amazon, Beekeeping for Beginners will help your hive thrive!

Wouldn’t it be great to raise your own bees, have a fresh supply of honey, and bring thousands of healthy pollinators into your yard? Beekeeping for Beginners is a simple, step-by-step guide that helps you learn the fundamentals of modern beekeeping. You (and your bees) will be buzzing with delight.

From picking the right hive and bringing your bees home to surviving winter and collecting honey, experienced beekeeper Amber Bradshaw takes you on an easy-to-follow journey through your first year of beekeeping and beyond.

Beekeeping for Beginners includes a lot of information needed for practical beekeeping:

  • Just the essentials—Learn everything you need to know to begin your first colony—written with brand new beekeepers in mind.
  • Modern beekeeping—Start your colony off right with guides that feature the newest practices and current, natural approaches.
  • Learn to speak bee—Clearly defined terms and a complete glossary will have you talking like a pro beekeeper in no time.

beekeeping for beginners book cover

8) Honeybee Democracy by Thomas Seeley

If you’re interested in learning about the social behavior of bees, then Honeybee Democracy is the perfect book for you. The author, Thomas Seeley, is a renowned bee biologist who has spent years studying the behavior of honeybees.

This book provides readers with an in-depth look at how bees make collective decisions, and how they choose a new home.

Although the details are complicated, Seeley’s explanations are remarkably clear. The text is abundantly illustrated with figures that are cleverly simplified in comparison to how they might appear in scientific journals. For readers who may be less passionate about the particulars of honeybee life, Seeley also reveals parallels between the way swarms make decisions and how the human brain sorts through conflicting neuron signals to reach decisions. He also provides a few pointers on how rules of honeybee democracy may be applied to decision-making in human groups, with minimal dependence on a leader, vigorous competition among a diversity of viewpoints, and a method for determining a majority-based resolution. – May Berenbaum, Times Literary Supplement

honeybee democracy book cover

9) The Beekeeping Bible: [5 in 1] The Ultimate Collection to Learn How to Start Your First Bee Colony to Produce Honey in Abundance | Includes +100 Beeswax and Propolis Projects by Garth Burke 

The Beekeeping Bible is the ultimate guide to beekeeping for everyone, from beginners to experienced pros. This five-in-one bundle contains comprehensive information on beekeeping and related topics, including:

  • How to start your first beehive, breed bees, and produce honey in abundance
  • Advanced techniques for controlling pests, diseases, and parasites of bees
  • The 5 methods used by experienced beekeepers to handle the hive without the risk of harming the family
  • Recognizing the queen, handmaidens, drones, and worker bees without making mistakes to decide how best to care for the hive
  • Identify the 3 most common hazards to your hive and eliminate them through a few simple steps
  • A step-by-step guide to building a fully functioning hive yourself and saving hundreds of dollars for your honey business
  • The 9 tools you can’t miss if you want to best care for your bees and products to make sure they survive the winter
  • More than 100 beautiful beeswax projects to bring DIY creations to life

This bundle also provides delightful recipes plus helpful tips on how to market a successful beekeeping business. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, The Beekeeping Bible is sure to become an essential resource for anyone interested in raising healthy honeybees and producing delectable honey.

The Beekeeping Bible book cover


Beekeeping is a fascinating hobby that requires knowledge and patience. Choosing the right books to read can make all the difference in your success as a beekeeper.

Did I miss any of your favorite books? Please, leave them in the comments, and I will add them to the list!

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced beekeeper, the books listed above are essential resources that will help you expand your knowledge and skills.

So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your beekeeping journey today!

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