Best Beekeeping Books

Top 11 Best Beekeeping Books

While the internet is full of useful information, having it all compiled in a book will help to provide you with all of the detailed guidance you need to become a successful beekeeper.

The next hurdle you need to jump is choosing the right beekeeping book for you! There are many different books out there, some of them much better than others.

That is where we come in! Choosing a book can be overwhelming, and trawling through the internet reading review after review can get tiresome!

We have compiled a list of the top beekeeping books on the market today. This list contains the bestselling books, alongside the most recommended ones!

Top Beekeeping Books 

We’ve gathered a list of the top beekeeping books on the market for you to read today! Let’s dive in. 


The Beekeeper's Handbook

This is a very important beekeeping book if you are new to beekeeping! If you only ever purchase one book on beekeeping, this should be the one! 

This book was initially published in 1978, and there have been many new editions published since. It is currently in its Fifth Edition which was published in 2021.

The Beekeeper’s Handbook is a great book. It starts with a list of ‘fun facts’ which introduce you to the wonderful world of bees!

This handbook is full of useful information for both beginners and experienced beekeepers. 

With this book you will learn everything there is to know, from how to best understand bees to what beekeeping equipment you need to get started.

You will also learn about pest control, hive products, and seasonal management of bees. 

Lots of beekeeping techniques are presented in this book, including step-by-step instructions on how to carry them out!

There are also some techniques for advanced beekeeping in this book, such as queen rearing.

This book also has a list of very useful references for you to look at if you want some more detailed information. 

This book focuses on the Langstroth hive, so if you are looking to keep a Top Bar Hive, or something similar, then this book may not be for you.

However, it is recommended that beginners start with the Langstroth hive so this shouldn’t be an issue. 

The author of this novel, Diana Sammataro, has a Ph.D. in Entomology and Apiculture.

She is a researcher in beekeeping, and a beekeeper herself. Alphonse Avitabile the other author of this novel is an experienced beekeeper and a retired honey bee scientist.


  • Great for beginner beekeepers 
  • Great resources 


  • Only gives you information on the Langstroth hive


Beekeeping For Dummies

This book is part of the famous ‘for dummies’ learning series. It is the 5th edition of Beekeeping For Dummies.

This book is very easy to read, allowing you to follow it very easily. It is a book that provides easy access to the information you need.

This edition of the book has added some information on the Top Bar hives as well as

the Langstroth hive. While most of the information is about the Langstroth hive, the information on the other hives means that you are not limited. 

Beekeeping For Dummies is filled with information, including some urban beekeeping tips, all-natural suggestions, and other things to remember.

It even contains recipes for things to make with your harvested honey. 

This book is kitted out with a glossary and a list of other helpful resources.

The author, Howland Blackiston, is a previous president of the Connecticut Backyard Beekeepers Association. He has been a beekeeper for over 30 years. 


  • Contains recipes 
  • Gives you information on different hives 


  • Only basic information


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

This book is very useful book for everyone interested in beekeeping. It has lots of useful sections for both beginners and those who have been keeping bees for a long time. 

This book has a detailed history of beekeeping which shows how it has developed over time.

It is full of illustrations, artwork, and photos to help you to get the most from the book. 

This book combines all the information that you need and compiles it into one book. 

The author, Richard Jones, is Director Emeritus at the International Bee Research Association in Cardiff.

Sharon Sweeney is the co-author of this book, and she is a Features Editor for TI Media in London.


  • Useful to beginners and advanced beekeepers


  • Doesn’t include all the information you need


The Backyard Beekeeper - Revised and Updated: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden

This book is perfect for those who are just starting in the world of beekeeping. It was first published in 2005, and, since then, there have been 4 editions of the book. 

The Backyard Beekeeper gives you a brief history of beekeeping which will give you a great understanding and appreciation for the fantastic hobby.

The book contains useful color photos which help to inform you. 

You will learn a lot about the proper equipment to use in beginner's beekeeping, and the best location to set up your hive.

This book will also give you lots of information on harvesting honey and making products from beeswax of the honey. 

This book is geared toward the beekeeper who is looking for a small hobby.

It is for those who do not have much space and are just keeping bees in the backyard.

The author is an expert in urban beekeeping and protecting your neighbors from stings.

This book is very helpful and concise, and many different sections are useful.

This book is packed full of information, so the typeface can be too small for some. It would be better for the text to be larger.

Kim Flottum, the author of this book, has a horticulture degree from UW Madison. He has written several books about beekeeping.


  • Great for backyard beekeepers
  • Helpful and concise 


  • The typeface can be too small


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

This is a great book for the more advanced beekeeper. While it will be useful to some beginner beekeepers, it is designed to take you through the more advanced stages of being a beekeeper. 

It is a great book to use when you encounter a problem, as it will describe common problems and provide you with a likely cause for this issue. It will also come up with some solutions for you. 

If you have any problem, you should be able to find some information on this problem by scanning the contents page. You might find that some of the problems are worded clumsily at times. 

The solutions to the common problems are very clear and concise, as each problem is kept to one page.

Sometimes, this lack of detail can mean that you need to research further elsewhere.

It is a very useful book to read before you encounter these problems so that you know what to expect.

James E. Tew is a Consulting Professor. He has a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Maryland.


  • Helps to solve common beekeeping problems
  • Perfect for the more advanced beekeepers


  • Wording can be clumsy


Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, Revised Edition

This is a great book. It is not suitable for beginners, instead, it is a textbook that is used to teach college students and beekeepers the science of bees and beekeeping. 

It explains the basics of bees and beekeeping to those who have a detailed understanding of biology.

It provides a meaningful source of information for the beekeeper who has a biology background but does not know how to keep bees.

It contains information on bee biology and colony management. 

The revised edition of this book contains a large amount of artwork and photography making it accessible and comprehensive.

This book is more expensive than some of the others on this list due to it being written to serve as a university textbook.

If you are not interested in the biology behind beekeeping, then some of the other books on this list will work better for you. 

This book contains many illustrations, charts, and color photographs. The authors are experts in the area. Dewey M/ Caron is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Delaware.

He is also a bookkeeper with over 40 years of experience in research.

Lawrence Connor is the owner of Wicwas Press and he is a publisher of lots of other books about bees (see also: Best Books On Bees)and beekeeping. 


  • Very experienced authors


  • Quite expensive


Keeping Bees in Horizontal Hives: A Complete Guide to Apiculture

This book was written a long time ago, before 1900. However, this book has been recently translated from French, making it seem new. 

This book doesn’t focus on the Langstroth hive like most of the other books, instead focusing on the horizontal hive or the Layens hive.

This is a much more sustainable and natural way to keep bees, and this book will give you all the information you need to successfully keep these bees!


  • Gives you lots of information on other hives 


  • Very old book and hasn’t been updated for a long time


Honeybee Democracy

This book is a great one to read if you are looking to develop an understanding of how bees work.

A significant number of a colony’s bees swarm in search of a new home, and this book explores how they make this decision. This book explores the idea of a superorganism.

The Honeybee Democracy is not suitable for beginners as it has a lot of detail on the workings of bees, rather than how to beekeeping for beginners.

Thomas Seeley, the author of this book, is a professor at Cornell University. He studies the behavior and social life of honey bees. 

This is a great book that is very well illustrated. It details the research into how bees search for their houses(see also: Best Bee Houses).

If you are looking to find out lots about the world of bees and how they function, then this book is for you!

However, if you’re looking for information on beekeeping for beginners, this book is not for you.


  • Well-researched 


  • Not for beekeeping beginners


Beehive Alchemy: Projects and recipes using honey, beeswax, propolis, and pollen to make soap, candles, creams, salves, and more

This book will give you lots of information about what to do with the beeswax that your bees produce.

There are lots of exciting things that you can do with beeswax, and these books will give you lots of great ideas on what to do with them! 

It details things like encaustic painting, which is a great thing that you can do with heated beeswax.

It is a process where you can use heated beeswax and color pigmentation to make art. 

The author of this book is a beekeeper and she describes herself as an Alchemist. She creates soap, body care, and candles from beeswax.


  • Shows you lots of great things you can do with beeswax


  • It does not give you much information on beekeeping itself


Beekeeping for Beginners: How To Raise Your First Bee Colonies

This is a great book for beginners who are looking to start raising their bees.

It can be very appealing to look after your bees, have a fresh supply of honey, and bring lots of pollinators into your backyard! 

This book offers very easy-to-follow step-by-step guides to beekeeping.

It gives you support from picking the right hive to collecting honey.

It will give you all the essential information on how to succeed in modern beekeeping, with details of the newest practices and natural approaches

This book is written by Amber Bradshaw. She takes you on the journey with her in the first year of beekeeping.


  • Gives you great support and advice on beekeeping 


  • Very simple, so is better for beginners 


Beekeeping for Beginners: The New Complete Guide to Raise a Healthy and Thriving Beehive. How to Use Top Bar Hives, Take Care of Your Colony and Harvest Honey. Insider Tips on Working With Beeswax

This is a great book on beekeeping that will give you all the information you need to build your beehive from scratch.

It will also help you to create a flourishing hive. This beekeeping book is written especially for beginners who are looking to make some delicious, homemade honey.

Beekeeping is one of the oldest skills out there and it stretches back thousands of years. 

This guide will give you both some modern strategies for beekeeping alongside some of the past wisdom.

This will help you to build your beehive with the smallest amount of stress.

This book also has a great breakdown of all of the tools and equipment that you need to be a successful beehive in your yard. It will also help you to protect them from pests and predators. 

This book will give you all the insider tips you need on how to harvest your honey, too. 

If you want to make some delicious honey then this book will tell you how to do so.

With this book, you will have the ability to build a hive that is safe, secure, and great for productivity!


  • This book combines modern and past wisdom on beekeeping 


  • This book is better for beginners rather than seasoned beekeepers

Buyers Guide 

When you are looking for a beekeeping book that will help you with your beekeeping needs there are certain things you should consider before purchasing.

This will allow you to get the most out of the book. When choosing your book you should consider the following: 


One important factor to consider when you are choosing a beekeeping book is the cost (see also: Starting Costs For Beekeeping)in comparison with the performance. 

As more companies begin to produce beekeeping books, you have more options.

Just because a book is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best book for you! You may want to spend less on a book if it is not within your budget. 


When it comes to beekeeping books, the author has a big impact on how informative the book will be.

This article has given a brief overview of the author of each book. Books that are written by authors who are learning about beekeeping are likely to be more informative. 

If you want to read a book that is focussed on the biology of bees, you will want to purchase one that is written by a scientist.

If you are looking for a book that helps a beginner to get started with their hive, then a book that is written by someone with a beekeeping history will work best for you.

Some of the books have details of problems the author encountered when they were starting. This can be very helpful as you can learn from their missteps.


The topic of the book is very important. For instance, if you are looking to get a certain hive, you will want to make sure that the book includes information on this hive.

You don’t want to end up with a book that isn’t useful to you!

Beginner Vs Advanced 

If you are just starting in the beekeeping business, then you will want to make sure that the book that you have chosen is suitable for beginners.

Beginner books will give you step-by-step instructions on getting started. 

For more advanced beekeepers, you will likely not be looking for the same things in the beekeeping book as beginners. You will be looking for more specific and detailed information.

Brand Value 

You should consider the brand of the beekeeping book.

You need a high-quality product and a brand that offers good customer service. Products that are made with care are usually there to serve the purpose that they set out to serve.

You will need to be given a refund if there is any problem with the products. 


You should check the specifications of the book before you make your purchase to ensure that you are getting everything you need from the book.

The specification will tell you what the book does and does not offer you. You should choose the beekeeping book that is the most suitable for you in terms of price, features, and performance. 

If there is something specific that you want to see in your beekeeping book, then make sure that the book contains this before purchase.

For example, you may want there to be recipes involved in the book, so you should make sure that there are some in the book that you have chosen.


The design of the beekeeping book is important.

The color scheme, visual weighting, or text size is important when it comes to choosing the right one for you. You want a book that suits your needs and suits you.

Customer Ratings 

Customer ratings will have a big impact when it comes to purchasing a beekeeper book. If a book is rated highly then you can trust that it is liked by customers.

When you are trying to decide what product to buy, having a look at the customer experience is a great way to see what customers like and dislike about the book. 

It is important to remember that not all of the reviews should be taken too seriously, as some people are more likely to leave a review than others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Hive Is Best For Beginners?

There are three different types of beehives. These are the Langstroth, the Top Bar, and the Warre hive.

Each of these hives has its ups and downs. The best hive for beginners is the Langstroth hive.

This is the easiest hive to get started with and the most commonly used hive. Because of this, there are lots of resources available for a Langstroth Hive.

How Can You Become A Confident Beekeeper?

A large amount of the success of a beekeeper lies in their confidence.

If you want to become a confident beekeeper, it is good to be well-read on the topic.

The more you know about beekeeping, the more confident you will become. 

There are books on increasing your confidence when it comes to beekeeping so if you are looking to do this, one of these books might be worth having a look at.

Final Thoughts 

You should now have all the information you need to help you to choose the best beekeeping book for you!

The most important thing is that the book you choose suits you and your needs, so the buyer’s guide should help you with this! 

All of the books on this list are fantastic, and there is something for everyone.

Don’t be afraid to try a few different books if more than one of them stands out to you.

Good luck with your beekeeping endeavors going forward and hopefully these books will help you to succeed! 

Thomas Callaghan
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