Beekeeping For Dummies Review And More

beekeeping for dummies book

I had known for years that I wanted to start a beehive in my own backyard, but I had no idea where to start. The first thing I did was go down to my local library and ask for advice. My librarian is also an apiculturist, or a beekeeper, and recommended I try reading Beekeeping for Dummies as an introduction to the field and methods. I was able to find it at my local library and decided to check it out to make sure beekeeping was for me. She also recommended joining our local beekeeping club. At my first meeting, it was also suggested I read a few other books in addition to Beekeeping for Dummies, in order to gather a larger more well-rounded understanding of the beekeeping world. These are also reviewed in this article.

Written by Howland Blackiston, Beekeeping for Dummies is a phenomenal resource for brand new beekeepers. While the information is not comprehensive, the author has been beekeeping since 1981, so he is able to clearly and accurately give very helpful advice especially to those new to beekeeping. He has even appeared on many television broadcasts such as CNBC, CNN, and NPR. He is definitely an authority in the business of beekeeping. Interested in raising honey bees? This practical, user-friendly and easy-to-read guide and textbook presents step-by-step instructions and methods for starting your own beehive, as well as tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy bee colony. This book provides readers with the latest on honey bee medication and treatments for diseases, new formats and methods of harvesting and marketing your honey once it has been harvested, and information on the impact that the sudden disappearance of the honey bee has on our global environment and economy.

Product Specs


This is a brilliant book that includes complete instructions for building and maintaining beehives, details and easy-to-follow guidelines on the entire process of honey production, including harvesting, bottling, packaging and marketing your honey, suggestions on medicating your bees, controlling pests, and further information on the importance of bees to a global environmental and social balance. It is 392 pages and the second edition was published March 16, 2009, and provides all the information in a manner that is easy to implement into existence and practice.


  • Ideas were laid out very clearly.
  • Readability is phenomenal.
  • Quality.
  • Affordable.


  • Information may eventually become outdated.
  • Excessively generalized at times with lack of specificity or detail.
  • Doesn't mention other alternative methods


  • Easy to use.
  • Frames give more support to the combs.
  • There are standardized equipment and supplies available due to the overall popularity of the design.


  • Boxes can be heavy to lift and move.
  • A process of adding boxes and harvesting honey is backward from the way bees do it naturally.
  • Several more extra parts may be needed/wanted to make the process more profitable. (foundations, entrance reducer, etc.)

feed america

Published on May 24, 2011, The Beekeeper’s Lament: How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America is a really good book. It comes in at a light 288 pages and is a very easy read. It can be purchased on Amazon for . As an urban beekeeper, this book really resonated with me and is without a doubt a must-read if you are interested in case studies, the history of bees and beekeeping and their future.


  • Emotional read.
  • Delves into the uncertainty of the future of our food supply.
  • An excellent case study of John Miller.


  • Focuses too much on John Miller
  • Excessively simple at times.
  • Biased at times.
  • Minus Circle
    Does not actively teach beekeeping methods to new beekeepers.

home uses

Published April 1, 2011, The Beekeeper's Bible:  Bees, Honey, Recipes and Other Home Uses is as practical as it is beautiful and dense. Though this book stands as one of the more expensive beekeeping books on this list the 416-page book is saturated with illustrations, etchings, and how-to photography and can be a great guide for both creating products and keeping the bees and maintaining the hives. Part cookbook, part how-to handbook, and part history book The Beekeepers Bible is sure to provide important information and useful tips and recipes to beekeepers and enthusiasts.


  • Large amounts of etchings, illustrations, and images.
  • Informative History section.
  • Thick pages and durable hardcover.
  • Check Circle
    Includes over one hundred honey-based recipes.


  • Should be updated.
  • Too focused on specific interventionist methods of beekeeping.
  • Minus Circle
    Instances of over-generalization and could delve more into detail but does not.

yard and garden

Published on January 2, 2018, this is a current, up-to-date, easy read. This book packs a lot of brilliant, useful, clear information into only 240 pages. Like all other books on this list, you should be able to find it for Author Kim Flottum has been editing Bee Keeping magazine since 1988 and has more than a decade of practical experience including plant science, honey bee research, and farming. He is an excellent investigator of a variety of information which includes novice, intermediate, advanced and experienced facts and tips regarding beekeeping. In this book, he flawlessly explains fundamental information about beekeeping to aspiring beekeepers while also including images, illustrations, and photographs to help develop his concepts and points, as well as provide some clarity to an otherwise very dense text.


  • Great for the beginner backyard beekeeper.
  • Images and Illustrations exist on nearly every page.
  • Accurately describes and details pests and pesticides as well as other natural forms of pest and disease control.


  • Font sizes that are too small and spelling errors.
  • Information jumps around and is seemingly random to the reader.
  • Information is hard to follow.



Whether you are looking to pick up beekeeping to pollinate the flowers in your garden, produce honey to sell at your local farmer's market or anything in between, you should pick up several books on the subject. Maybe even watch a documentary or two to have the full spectrum of information needed to make decisions for your future hive or hives.

You do not want to begin this hobby or commercial endeavor unprepared as there are significant investments of both your money and time (and the lives of bees that will be lost if you begin beekeeping without the proper know-how or information). This book is the most comprehensive and helpful in aiding a novice or beginning beekeeper and provides all the information in a format that is as easy to read and digest as it is comprehensive and informative.

Our final verdict is if you have to choose just one beekeeping book, for now, pick up Beekeeping for Dummies today for the most comprehensive and informative text for beginners I have encountered to date.


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