The Best Beekeeping Books for Beginners

by Elaine Gaertner
Last Updated: 18/08/2020
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One proven way of getting fast ahead in any career or walk of life is by getting connected to the successful ones that have gone before you. The alternative to meeting them physically is tapping from their wealth of knowledge and experience through reading books they have written. This would save you from making quite some mistakes. 

Books are there whenever you need them. They do not entirely replace learning directly from mentors, but they do provide almost or just as much information about their success stories as regards the subject matter.

As a beekeeper looking to gain knowledge, there are a couple of books you could read to help you do your work correctly. These are, if you will, your mentors. 

What are the ten best beekeeping books?

We have selected ten of the best beekeeping books that you can read as a beginner. Here they are:

1. The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes and Other Uses 

beekeeper's bible


This is the first of our top ten beekeeping books. Richard A. Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch partnered to create this piece. Richard is a writer, an ecologist, and a contributor to BBC Wildlife Magazine. Sharon, on the other hand, is a freelance writer for the Independent, the Guardian as well as other notable magazines. 

One of the excellent qualities of this book is that it gives you a detailed guide on how to start your bee garden. The book does more than an excellent job of teaching the art of professional hive management and honey harvest.

Also, it teaches you how to use the power of honey to better your health.

2. The Bee Book: Discover the Wonder of Bees and How to Protect them for Generations to Come

The Bee Book


Two different people and one entity put their heads together to put out this book. The entity is DK (a publisher), and the other two are Emma Tennant and Fergus Chadwick.  

The Bee Book, with the aid of well-colored diagrams and ingenious illustrative images, guides you through stepwise processes in establishing a thriving beehive in your backyard.

This book is perfect for beginners because instead of just words, it employs illustrations to educate you. If you are one who learns better from what they see than what they read, you might find this very useful. 

3. The Beekeeper’s Handbook

The Beekeeper’s Handbook


The Beekeeper’s Handbook is a bestseller. No surprise there, as both authors, Diana Sammataro (a Research Entomologist) and Alphonse Avitabile (an Emeritus Professor of Biology), have extensive knowledge of the field. 

This handbook is one of the oldest and most trusted around. Since 1973, beekeepers have benefitted from its ever-helpful content. It is indeed impressive that it has stayed relevant all these years.  

The book provides various colony care options and techniques, noting multiple advantages and disadvantages. Another major thing you will learn from this beekeeping book as a beginner is how to set up your own Apiary.

4. Beekeeping for Beginners: How to Raise your First Bee Colonies 

Beekeeping for Beginners


Author and beekeeper, Amber Bradshaw, has an innate passion for teaching others.  

So, beginners like you were on her mind when she first put pen to paper to write this beekeeping book. To this end, the simplest terminologies are used to explain the most complex processes, ultimately demystifying them.

In this book, you will find everything you need to raise your first bee colonies and understand the kind of language that beekeepers use.

5. Beekeeping for Dummies

Beekeeping for Dummies


Howland Blackiston is the author of this beekeeping book. Having been in the beekeeping business since 1984, he has garnered quite a bit of experience in the field. 

This Beekeeping for Dummies (fourth edition) hands-on guide contains information about how to create and run a beehive effectively, among other things. It also provides all the tools, tricks, tips, and techniques needed to become a backyard beekeeper.  

If every other book fails in explaining well enough, this is not likely to. 

6. The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden (4th edition) 

The Backyard Beekeeper


Bee Culture editor, Kim Flottum, explains from his wealth of experience in honey bee research and plant science, the dos and don’ts of beekeeping. The book is very appealing, with huge pictures and illustrations that make it easier to read and comprehend.  

In the fourth edition of this book, Kim Flottum teaches his readers how to care for their colonies after starting them. Healthy, happy, and more productive bees, is what this book promises. Also, it helps beginners understand the concept of swarm control.

7. Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Revised Edition 

Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Revised Edition


Authors, Dewey M. Caron and Lawrence John Connor, have extensive backgrounds in beekeeping.

Most people that use this book use it to teach college students. This book concentrates on the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how,’ of the art of beekeeping. 

The best part is that it does not delve far too deeply into biology. This might be great if you are not one with a deeply rooted knowledge of the subject.

8. Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture (2nd edition)

Natural Beekeeping


Ross Conrad (a protégé of the late beekeeper, Charles Mraz) and Gary Paul Nabhan (respected nature writer) came together to write this beekeeping book.

This second edition of the book offers early exposure to beginners concerning probably the most frustrating part of beekeeping: pests, and pest control. Most methods employed methods to combat bee pests have failed. All methods, but the Organic approach. 

Alongside that, you will learn the practices of urban beekeeping as well as combating the various types of diseases that can affect your hive.

9. The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping (2nd edition)

The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping


Ivor Davis (National Diploma in Beekeeping holder) and beekeeping expert, Roger Collum-Kenyon co-wrote this beekeeping book endorsed by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA). 

It offers step-by-step sequences to illustrate necessary, everyday procedures you need to employ to start beekeeping.  

Besides that, you will also learn about the intricacies of a hive. As a beginner, this is one book you should not take for granted.

10. The Little Book of Bees: An Illustrated Guide to the Extraordinary Lives of Bees 

The Little Book of Bees


The author of the tenth and final book on our list of beekeeping books is Hilary Kearney. Her little book zooms in and enlarges the somewhat unnoticed lifestyle of bees, which includes everything from their evolution to their nesting behaviors. 

She also teaches essential beginner lessons like what honey is. Ultimately, all of these should improve your beekeeping skills. But, the book cannot be used in isolation.


Beekeeping is not only fun. It is highly lucrative too! Only an unwise person, however, travels an untrodden path without a compass. In the business of beekeeping, self-help books like these will guide you, and prevent you from common pitfalls.

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