Books for a New Beekeeper

| 1/23/2014 10:10:00 AM

Beekeeper Checking A Brood FrameThere is an old saying: if you ask five beekeepers what they think about something, you'll get six answers! Beekeeping is an art and a science, and there are countless ways to approach it. There seem to be equally many books on the subject. So where's a novice to start?

When I first became interested in bees, I took a small group class. No book can give you the feeling that you get when you get your hands in a hive for the first time. For anyone starting out, see if you can find an introductory class in your area (for those of you that happen to be in Central Texas, BeeWeaver offers private and group lessons).

But its hard to know what you’re getting into after just one trip to the apiary, so reading is a great way to round out your knowledge.

When choosing a beekeeping book, it’s helpful to consider what you hope to achieve with your bees. Are you mainly hoping for pollination help for your backyard garden? Are you keen on harvesting honey, wax and other hive products? Are you against using pesticides and chemical treatments in your hive?

With those thoughts buzzing in your brain, take a look at our top five book recommendations for novice beekeepers!

Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston is a great no-nonsense primer and a handy reference for any backyard beekeeper. Blackiston covers everything from hive maintenance to honey extraction to pacifying skeptical neighbors. Also included are some ideas for using hive products (such as honey and propolis), and a fantastic FAQ addressing many novice beekeepers’ biggest question.

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