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The 7 Best Bee-Keeping Books

If you’re interested in getting into beekeeping, the first thing you need to do is research–and lots of it!

Keeping bees is an amazing and rewarding hobby. Having the best bee-keeping books at your disposal will tremendously help you on your beekeeping journey.

While any bee-keeping books will include a lot of useful information, certain bee-keeping books will be better suited for different purposes. The more you read, the better prepared you are to form your own opinions and experiences.

Check out our list of the best bee-keeping books for all your needs, no matter what you’re looking for.

best bee-keeping books

Our Top Picks

The Best Overall Bee-Keeping Book:
Beekeeping for Dummies

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Beginners:
The Backyard Beekeeper, 4th Edition

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Hive Inspections:
Beekeeper’s Log Book

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Natural Beekeeping:
Common Sense Natural Beekeeping

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Building Beehives:
Building Beehives For Dummies

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Troubleshooting:
The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Using Everything in the Hive:
Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams, and Salves from the Hive

The Best Overall Bee-Keeping Book

Beekeeping for Dummies

Beekeeping For Dummies

Many new and experienced beekeepers highly recommend beekeeping for Dummies.

This book is chock full of helpful information for beekeepers of all levels, and it’s a great book to have on hand throughout your entire beekeeping journey. It does a great job of making all beekeeping concepts easy to understand, even the more complex aspects.

This bee-keeping book will get you off to a great start if you’re a total beginner. Everything from choosing a location or your bee yard to harvesting honey is thoroughly covered. It also has so much helpful information for even the most seasoned beekeepers.

In this bee-keeping book, you’ll find tons of detail about all aspects of beekeeping, from setting up an apiary to all the ways you can use products from the hive. It includes great troubleshooting tips to make you feel better prepared for all the unexpected things your bees are likely to throw at you.

You’ll even find information on things like how to handle a sting, talking to your neighbors before getting bees, all the different hive types and beekeeping methods, and every bit of equipment you might need–or not need.

The best part is that this book was specifically made for easy referencing. No need to comb through huge paragraphs to find the one tidbit you’re looking for. This is a book you’ll find yourself reaching for again and again to answer all your questions throughout your beekeeping journey.

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Beginners

The Backyard Beekeeper, 4th Edition

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

Every new beekeeper should have a great beginner book on hand to reference.

What’s great about books geared toward beginners is they can help simplify things for you. It’s important not to overwhelm yourself with more information than you need when everything is so you to you.

This book does a great job of giving you overviews along with all the details you need to get started. That way you can work your way into the nuances of beekeeping as you feel comfortable.

There’s plenty of information on the internet, but it’s always important for beginners to have a book to reference rather than thousands of opinions. It gives you a baseline foundation in your education, and you can always adjust your techniques as you gain more experience and figure out what works for you.

This also helps you have something you can go back to. A lot of detail comes with becoming a beekeeper, and sometimes you just can’t remember every little thing as a beginner.

You’ll appreciate the many photos and illustrations that give you a solid visual of so many crucial aspects of beekeeping.

This book also provides all the background information you should have before you bring your bees home. This includes things like honeybee anatomy, the life cycle of a bee, what bees do inside the hive, and so much more.

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Hive Inspections

Beekeeper’s Log Book

Beekeeper's Log Book: Beekeeping Journal & Record Notebook with Daily Inspection Checklist to Track Colony Health & Hive Condition for Apiarists, Bee Farmers, & Beginners

This bee-keeping book is one that you fill up yourself.

A log book is one of the best things you can have on hand as a beekeeper. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on in every hive, and you shouldn’t just try to remember it all. Use a log book to track your progress, which you can reference whenever you need to.

This book has space for everything you need, so you don’t miss a thing from your inspections. Beginners and experienced beekeepers alike need a good way to take notes, and this bee-keeping book has everything set up for you so you don’t forget anything you need to be aware of.

What makes this a great bee-keeping book is that it outlines what you should be looking for during inspections. That includes the presence of the brood, the overall population of the hive, how the bees are behaving, any signs of pests or disease, nectar flow, and every other little detail.

It lays everything out for you, making it a great resource to reference both before and after each inspection. It’s easy to keep track of multiple hives, so you stay organized in meeting the needs of every colony.

Another crucial aspect of a log book is that it allows you to look back on your progress to help you plan for the future. This will help you determine what worked, what didn’t, and what new methods you might want to try.

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Natural Beekeeping

Common Sense Natural Beekeeping

Common Sense Natural Beekeeping: Sustainable, Bee-Friendly Techniques to Help Your Hives Survive and Thrive

There are many different ways to care for bees, and natural beekeeping is very popular in the larger community.

Just like anything else in this hobby, before you jump into something new, it’s essential that you do lots of research. Natural beekeeping is a specific method of caring for bees that has distinct differences from conventional methods.

A guide for this process is helpful and ensures you’re prepared, especially when trying something less conventional.

Natural beekeeping manages hive health without the use of chemicals so many beekeepers use for things like varroa mites. Some bee-keeping books may mention this approach, but if you really want to get into it it’s much better to use literature that’s focused on it exclusively.

Whether you’re new to beekeeping in general or experienced and looking to try something new, this is a great resource.

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Building Beehives

Building Beehives For Dummies

Building Beehives For Dummies

Before you can start worrying about the bees, you’ll need a place for them to call home!

Many beekeepers prefer building their own hives rather than buying them assembled. Since the hive is what keeps your bees safe and secure, a quality hive is essential either way.

Unfortunately, hives are often pretty expensive, and it’s not something you want to skimp on. Building your own hive is a great way to save money and deepen your understanding of beekeeping. This bee-keeping book will guide you through building your hives from start to finish so you end up with hives to last you a long time.

Hobbyists might enjoy the satisfaction of building their own hives, but people who keep bees for a living often do it for practical reasons.

Hive building is often part of preparing for spring to have hives ready for new colonies and splits or to replace hive pieces that are worn out. The extra benefit is that building hives from scratch allows you to sell them as well.

Building your own hive also allows you to customize things based on your preferences if you need to. It can be a challenging project to take on at first, but having a guide will ensure you have a beautiful and functional finished product.

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Troubleshooting

The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver

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

There’s a popular saying in beekeeping: “The bees don’t read the books.” That means you’re sure to experience something that should have been standard or straightforward but just isn’t what you imagined.

Despite all the research you may have done, you’re guaranteed to encounter something new that angers you–and it won’t just happen once. This is a great book to help you problem-solve when you feel stuck.

There are many issues that regularly plague beekeepers that may not have been covered in your initial research. This guide has tons of information on both common and rare problems that might come up. It will help you troubleshoot and work your way through just about anything.

It’s a great idea to read this bee-keeping book ahead of time as well as when something confusing happens. You might just learn something that prepares you for the future!

You’ll find that this bee-keeping book is well-organized for easy referencing. Find the answers you’re looking for immediately so you can return to working with your bees.

The Best Bee-Keeping Book for Using Everything in the Hive

Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams, and Salves from the Hive

Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams, and Salves from the Hive

Nothing feels better than being able to use the many things your bees have made, and honey isn’t the only thing you can harvest from the hive.

Learn about the many resources available to you and how you can use them all in creative ways. One of the best things about beekeeping is feeling more self-sufficient and enjoying things made in your own backyard. This bee-keeping book has many great ideas, including tons you may never have thought of.

You’ll be able to follow different processes from beginning to end, picking up new techniques along the way so you can make them your own.

Use this guide to make all kinds of amazing things from the honey, wax, propolis, and other substances your bees make naturally. Whether you’re making a living from it or enjoying it for yourself, friends, and family, the possibilities are endless!

Buyer’s Guide to the Best Bee-keeping Books

Best Beginning Beekeeping Supplies

There are a lot of great bee-keeping books out there, and most of them have a lot to offer. That being said, there’s so much information that it can get overwhelming sometimes.

When looking for the best bee-keeping books, choose resources based on what you’re looking to learn. You can find books geared toward all kinds of specific parts of beekeeping.

If you’re looking for more general information, a beginner or overview-focused book won’t bombard you with more detail than you need.

For more niche methods, look for a book that focuses on those techniques. This way, you can avoid sifting through information that won’t be useful to you or that you’ve already decided to leave behind.

For anyone interested in making a lot of products from your hives, bee-keeping books with that focus is perfect for people who love DIY or want to sell more items.

The reality is, you’ll probably want your own collection of bee-keeping books. You might find that you enjoy some more than others, and having several approaches in your back pocket is always good. Every beekeeper does things differently, and that certainly includes the experts.

Having a variety of references will help you form your own specific process that works best for you. No two beekeepers do everything the same way, so learn as much as possible. This will help you determine what makes the most sense for your specific situation.

Putting the Best Bee-Keeping Books to Good Use

Beekeeping 101

Beekeeping is constantly evolving, and you learn new things all the time, often without even trying.

Research is the necessary foundation for all beekeepers, and having the right resources can make all the difference. You can’t anticipate everything, but knowing the basic principles is a must for any beekeeper and will help you feel confident.

Armed with enough information, you’ll be ready to handle anything. Speaking of research, learn more about all aspects of this amazing hobby on our honey bee page!