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4 Instructive Books For New Beekeepers

Have you ever thought about raising honey bees?  Are you an urban beekeeper?  Would you be nervous if your neighbor kept a hive?  Would you even know?  I’ve been thinking about raising honey bees for a while and at first I was nervous, but after a lot of reading and some visits to some local hives I know that bees are in my future.

This past winter I spent researching whether or not to keep backyard bees, and if I decided to do so, which methods would work best for our farm.  I’ve decided that I do want to raise honey bees using the top bar method, but I want to get more diversity in my garden, put some privacy screens in the backyard and focus on prettifying for the next season before adding bees.

Thinking about becoming a beekeeper?  Here are four books to get you started raising bees.

4 Books For Prospective Beekeepers

I do want to share some of the books I’ve enjoyed.  I checked all these out from the library but if your library doesn’t carry them you can also find them on Amazon.

The Thinking Beekeeper is a great overview of how the top bar system works.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was clearly laid out and written for even the most beginning beekeeper.  If you aren’t sure whether or not the top bar system is the right system for you or if you aren’t committed to natural beekeeping definitely read this book.  This is the book that fully converted me to trying a top bar hive.

Build Your Own Beekeeping Equipment is a great nitty gritty reference for how to build hives and tools.  Most of the projects in this book relate to Langstroth or Warr style hives but it also includes a top bar project.  The book starts at the very beginning.  For those of us that are building impaired it breaks it down step by step.  These are the plans I will be using to construct my hive when the time comes to build.

Top Bar Beekeeping is another one with lots of good how to’s and whys for top bar beekeeping and natural beekeeping.  This is definitely one that I want to have on hand when stumbling through my first attempts at keeping bees.

Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities is responsible for ultimately convincing me that I have enough space to keep bees.  In the beginning it says that if you have room for a rain barrel you have room for a hive.  By the end of the book I understood why keeping bees in small spaces is both necessary and enjoyable.  My favorite part of this book were the profiles of several urban hives from around the world.

Do Your Research

If you are really interested in keeping bees, two magazines you may want to check out are American Bee Journal and Bee Culture.  You may also want to check with your county extension office to see if they offer any beekeeping classes.  I took a great one through mine, and even got a chance to handle some hives!

I’m a big fan of researching something extensively before doing it, especially when it comes to another creature’s life.  If you have thought about bees, check out these books to learn more.  They’ll also help you decide if beekeeping is right for you.  I know I will be returning to each of these books again to review.  If you’ve been thinking about adding bees, I hope some of these books help you get a better idea if bees will work for you.  Do you keep bees?  Please share in the comments!

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Monday 14th of October 2013

What a great idea. I wish all the best for this project.


Monday 21st of October 2013


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