The 10 Best Beekeeping Books For Aspiring Apiarists

a stack of the books

​Whether you're setting up your first hive or you've spent years tending to bees and harvesting their honey, you need resources that you can turn to when you have a beekeeping question or encounter an obstacle. Connecting with other beekeepers is a great way to further develop your skills as an apiarist, and websites can help answer basic questions. The best beekeeping books, though, also play an important role in helping apiarists of all levels stay current. Our guide to the best beekeeping books for apiarists will help you settle on a few great additions to your library.

Comparison Table

Product FAQ

1. With So Much Information Available On The Internet, What Are The Advantages Of Using A Beekeeping Book?

The internet is filled with information about bees and beekeeping, and websites will likely serve as a resource for many apiarists. However, having a good book or two on bees is also important. Books, particularly lightweight ones, are great because you can take them with you when you're working with your hives, ensuring that you have a handy reference while out in the field and away from the internet. The best beekeeping books often are also more in-depth than many websites.

​2. Do Beekeeping Books Ever Become Outdated?

The best beekeeping books stand the test of time and rarely become outdated. Beekeeping relies on techniques and equipment that have been around for generations, so there's little chance that a beekeeping book will quickly become out of date.

3. What Should I Look For In A Bee Book?

​The best beekeeping books will answer the questions you have today and will also be advanced enough that you'll be able to turn to them for years to come. Because pictures and diagrams can help you understand the more complicated aspects of beekeeping and its equipment, it's also a good idea to look for an illustrated book. Finally, glance over any beekeeping book you're considering purchasing to make sure it's written in a style that is easy to understand and follow.

4. What Kinds Of Beekeeping Books Are Available?

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​Image Source: www.amazon.com

​There are a wide variety of beekeeping books available. Some cover a broad range of bee topics, everything from the history of bees to how to set up and maintain a hive, and function primarily as handbooks.

Other bee books focus on the bees themselves, examining how the hive works and why bees swarm. Even others include publications that primarily serve as coffee table books. These books are heavy on color photographs and are geared less toward active beekeepers and more toward those who have a general appreciation for bees and other insects.

5. Why Do Some Bee Books Contain Recipe And Craft Information?

​Many beekeepers, particularly those new to beekeeping, often look for ways to put the honey and beeswax they produce to use. Many of the best beekeeping books, therefore, include a chapter of two featuring recipes and instructions for incorporating honey and beeswax into craft projects and household items such as candles and beauty supplies.

6. Are Most Beekeeping Books Aimed At Apiarists?

​Many of the best beekeeping books are aimed at apiarists with varying levels of experience, but apiarists aren't the only ones who enjoy and benefit from the best beekeeping books. Backyard gardeners, naturalists, and other nature lovers are among the other groups of individuals who gravitate toward bee books.

7. What's The Best Beekeeping Book For  A Beginning Apiarist?

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​Image Source: www.amazon.com

If you're a beginning apiarist in search of a reference book, look for one that includes information about the basics of setting up a hive, maintaining it, and harvesting honey and beeswax. The best beekeeping books will also explain what equipment you'll need and how to use it. It's also a great idea to find a book that covers some basic information about the bees themselves, what their life cycle is, why they swarm, and how they function.

Armed with a better understanding of bees, you'll be more successful as a beekeeper. If you're a beginning apiarist, you may want to aim for finding two or three books that will collectively answer your questions and walk you through the process of establishing your hives.

How We Reviewed The Best Beekeeping Books

When evaluating the best beekeeping books, we took a range of factors into consideration, including the readability of the book and its comprehensiveness. Beekeeping books have varying degrees of scope. Some function as broad handbooks, while others drill down on specific aspects of bees and beekeeping. As we compiled our list of the best beekeeping books, we looked for publications that would be useful to apiarists of all levels of experience.

Overall Price Range Of The Best Beekeeping Books

The best beekeeping books range in price from $10 to $80, and can be found in physical bookstores or on online marketplaces like Amazon. The more expensive books tend to have more-comprehensive material, including detailed information about various types of bees and full-color photographs and diagrams.

What We Reviewed

  • ​The Beekeeper's Bible
  • ​The Backyard Beekeeper
  • The Beekeeper's Bible: Bee's, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses
  • Beginning Beekeeping: Everything You Need To Make Your Hive Thrive
  • ​Beekeeping For Dummies
  • ​The Bee Book
  • ​The Beekeeper's Problem Solver
  • ​The Bees in Your Backyard
  • Beginning Beekeeping: Everything You Need to Make Your Hive Thrive!
  • The Beekeeper's Handbook

The Beekeeper's Bible


Features

A beautifully illustrated book that covers a wide range of topics, The Beekeeper's Bible is considered a classic among apiarists. This 416-page book by Richard ones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch covers the history of bees and beekeeping, the practicalities of beekeeping, and how to harvest honey and beeswax.

The Beekeeper's Bible also contains detailed instructions on how to use honey to make everything from candles and furniture polish to beauty products to baked goods and other cookery. This book, which is part-history book, part-beekeeper guide, and part-cookbook, is a great reference for apiarists of all skill levels. It also makes a great gift for those interested in beekeeping or conservation.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​The Backyard Beekeeper


Features

The Backyard Beekeeper is a great choice for beginning beekeepers. This 240-page book starts at the very beginning of the beekeeping process and spells out the details of caring for a hive in a practical, easy-to-follow format. The illustrated book ends with “25 Rules for Modern Beekeeping,” which on its own is a helpful resource. The Backyard Beekeeper is written by Kim Flottum, the longtime editor of Bee Culture magazine, where he answers questions of all stripes from beginning, intermediate, and advanced beekeepers.

This book is ideal for gardeners, apiarists, crafters, and cooks looking for ways to incorporate honey into recipes.

Price: $

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

The Beekeeper's Bible: Bee's, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses


Features

The Beekeeper's Bible: Bee's, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses, by Richard Jones, is about how to keep bees in a natural environment without the use of pesticides. This 670-page book is the first installment in a 3-volume series and is aimed at those who are new to natural beekeeping. The second and third books in this series also deal with natural beekeeping, but are aimed at apiarists with intermediate and advanced levels of experience.

This series advocates for a hands-off approach to keeping bees, and it presents techniques that have been refined over the years through experimentation and adjustments. It is ideal for beekeepers interested in a natural approach and in less conventional beekeeping techniques.

Price: $$

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Beginning Beekeeping: Everything You Need To Make Your Hive Thrive


Features

Beginning Beekeeping: Everything You Need To Make Your Hive Thrive is a thoroughly researched book that dives into the topic of bees and what happens when they swarm. Written by animal behaviorist Thomas D. Seeley, this scientific book looks at the process that unfolds each year as colonies of bees select new homes and move into them.

Honeybee Democracy focuses less on beekeeping and more on the bees themselves. It makes a great gift for beekeepers and naturalists.

Price: $$

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​Beekeeping For Dummies


Beekeeping For Dummies (For Dummies (Lifestyle))
  • Howland Blackiston
  • For Dummies
  • Kindle Edition

Features

Beekeeping For Dummies takes a humorous and straightforward approach to the subject of keeping bees. Written in the traditional “Dummies” style, this 480-page book is easy and fun to read, but it still thoroughly covers all aspects and details of beekeeping.

This book is ideal for beginning apiarists and for those who want a thorough introduction to beekeeping in an easy-to-read format.

Price: $

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​The Bee Book


Features

The Bee Book, by DK Publishing, examines beekeeping, as well as topics like how to attract bees and which flowers to plant to extend honey production.

This 224-page book has exceptionally strong illustrations, including schematic drawings and diagrams, that walk readers through the process of establishing a hive and eventually harvesting it. In addition to practical beekeeping techniques, The Bee Book offers guidance on how to use honey and beeswax when making candles, beauty products, and other items. The visual aspects of this book make it equally suitable as a coffee table book.

Price: $$

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

​The Beekeeper's Problem Solver

The Beekeeper's Problem Solver: 100 Common Problems Explored and...
  • James E. Tew
  • Publisher: Quarry Books
  • Paperback: 224 pages

Features

As its name implies, The Beekeeper's Problem Solver is a practical book that addresses many of the common challenges and questions beekeepers have. This book, written by James E. Tew, takes on 100 different questions beekeepers may have and explores the underlying cause of each before offering a detailed answer.

This 224-page book is a useful resource for apiarists of all levels. Photos, diagrams, and useful tips make this a practical book to take with you when troubleshooting hive issues.

Price: $$

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

The Bees In Your Backyard


The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America's Bees
  • The Bees in Your Backyard A Guide to North America S Bees
  • Joseph S. Wilson, Olivia J. Messinger Carril
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press

Features

The Bees in Your Backyard is a 288-page coffee table book that documents the roughly 4,000 different species of bees in North America. The Bees in Your Backyard, written by Joseph S. Wilson and Olivia Messinger Carril, dispels many myths surrounding bees and beekeeping and offers tips for identifying the various types of bees. The book contains 900 full-color photographs of bees and gives detailed accounts of every bee family and genus.

This is a great choice for those who want a detailed reference guide or for those who appreciate a comprehensive collection of bee photographs. Whether someone's interested in beekeeping or just likes nature-watching, it makes a great gift.

Price: $$

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Beginning Beekeeping: Everything You Need To Make Your Hive Thrive!


Features

The Beginning Beekeeping takes an almost-encyclopedic approach to everything you need to know about bees. With more than 900 pages and more than 1,000 photos, this book is a staple on the shelves of serious apiarists. Written by ALPHA and Tanya Phillips, this book covers honey bees, beekeeping, and beekeeping practices and equipment.

It is a handy reference book that apiarists of all levels will find useful. With a comprehensive overview of bee culture that not only describes practices, but also details the reasons for them, this book is ideal for anyone seriously considering beekeeping as a hobby or even business.

Price: $$$

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

The Beekeeper's Handbook


The Beekeeper's Handbook
  • Diana Sammataro, Alphonse Avitabile
  • Publisher: Comstock Publishing Associates
  • Edition no. 4 (05/13/2011)

Features

The Beekeeper's Handbook by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile, examines the history and science behind the lost pastime of hunting bees. Although it offers a thorough treatment on the subject of bee hunting, this 184-page book also serves as a meditation on the beauty of the natural world. Much like The Bees in Your Backyard, Following the Wild Bees will be just as much of interest to those serious about hunting bees as to naturalists.

Price: $

This can be found in Amazon.

Where To Buy

The Verdict

​The Beekeeper's Bible is one of the best beekeeping books available. We loved this book for its beautiful illustrations and its comprehensive approach to a wide range of bee topics, including the history of bees, life in colonies, and the ins and outs of beekeeping. As a bonus, the final chapter of The Beekeeper's Bible includes information on how to incorporate honey and beeswax into home cooking and crafts. Easy to read and moderately-priced, this book is considered a classic among apiarists and is a great resource for beekeepers with all levels of experience.

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