The 8 Best Books About Beekeeping of 2021

Get your beekeeping hobby going strong with these books written by experts

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The Rundown

Best for Beginners: Beekeeping for Beginners: How To Raise Your First Bee Colonies

“If you're new to keeping bees, this book will definitely help get you off on the right foot.”

For Horizontal Hives: Keeping Bees with a Smile: Principles and Practice of Natural Beekeeping

“You’ll learn how to create a bee colony that mimics what bees would experience in nature.”

Best for Backyard Hives: Backyard Beekeeping: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your First Hive

“This book has a little bit of everything for those planning their first backyard hive.” 

Best Journaling: The Beekeeper’s Journal: An Illustrated Register for Your Beekeeping Adventures 

“This journal is perfect for keeping track of your progress, and would also make a nice gift for the beekeeper in your life.”

Best History of Beekeeping Book: The Complete Bee Handbook: History, Recipes, Beekeeping Basics, and More

“Get ready to nerd out on this book, because it’s a fun read that will surely leave you knowing more about bees than you could ever imagine.” 

For Organic Beekeeping: Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture

“This book is really embraced by natural beekeepers, and it’s a solid resource for expanding your own organic practices.” 

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

“It’s one of the best books out there for knowing exactly how to set up a successful urban hive.”

For Problem-Solving: The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver: 100 Common Problems Explored and Explained 

“It gives direct, in-depth answers to help you diagnose what’s going on, and help you implement solutions that really work.”

It doesn’t matter whether you live in an urban, suburban, or rural area, it really is possible to start a hive from just about anywhere. We need to find ways to help the disappearing bees population. This can include growing a lawn for bees and building them a hotel in your backyard. Then a great way to take it to the next level is to start your own colony. Your beekeeping dreams can become a reality with the help of these best-selling titles guide you. 

The authors of these books really know the ins and outs of beekeeping because they’ve done it. Learn about the history of this important hobby and different types of bees. Discover the basics for getting started, no matter what kind of hive you want to have. Get all your questions answered, as they break it down one step at a time. Ready to do your part to help the bees and harvest some honey all at the same time?

Take a look at the best books on beekeeping:

Best for Beginners: Beekeeping for Beginners: How To Raise Your First Bee Colonies

Beekeeping for Beginners : How to Raise Your First Bee Colonies

Courtesy of Walmart

The author of this book, Amber Bradshaw, now lives off the grid and writes about it, but she actually started beekeeping while living in an urban environment. This makes her especially welcoming to newbies of all types as she walks you through everything you need to know for getting started.

Bradshaw tackles topics like picking the right hive, helping your bees survive the winter, and collecting honey. If it’s your first year of keeping bees, this book will definitely help get you off on the right foot.

For Horizontal Hives: Keeping Bees with a Smile: Principles and Practice of Natural Beekeeping

 Keeping Bees with a Smile: Principles and Practice of Natural Beekeeping

Courtesy of Bookshop

The author of this book, Fedor Lazutin, is one of the most well-known natural beekeepers in Europe. He has created what he calls a bee-friendly approach to beekeeping, which uses a horizontal hive and minimal colony manipulation.

Throughout the book, you’ll learn how to create a bee colony that mimics what bees would experience in nature. He goes over the importance of gardening for bees and how to produce the most natural honey possible. As a bonus, it’s low-maintenance, too. For those seeking more information on natural or horizontal hives, it’s a great resource. 

Best for Backyard Hives: Backyard Beekeeping: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your First Hive

Backyard Beekeeping

Courtesy of Barnes and Noble

This book has a little bit of everything for those planning their first backyard hive. It's full of tips and advice for planning the best space, and it even tackles topics like communicating with neighbors.

Plus, it walks you through the different styles of beekeeping to help you figure out the right approach for you. You even get some recipes at the end and some creative ideas for what to do with your extra beeswax.

Best Journaling: The Beekeeper’s Journal: All Illustrated Register for Your Beekeeping Adventures 

The Beekeepers Journal

The author of this book, Kim Flottum, has spent years researching bees and even has his own podcast called Beekeeping Today. The journal has prompts and places to write down records of your hive.

It also has recipes scattered throughout and plenty of blank pages for writing or sketching. It’s perfect for keeping track of your progress, and would also make a nice gift for the beekeeper in your life.

Best History of Beekeeping Book: The Complete Bee Handbook: History, Recipes, Beekeeping Basics, and More

The Complete Bee Handbook: History, Recipes, Beekeeping Basics, and More

Courtesy of Walmart

Are you just fascinated with everything bees? You’re going to love this book.

It’s written by a former professor of entomology, Dr. Dewey Caron, so it’s packed full of fun and little-known facts. You’ll learn about the life of the honeybee, get bee-friendly plant suggestions, and even recipes to try for yourself. Get ready to nerd out with this book, because it’s a fun read that will surely leave you knowing more about bees than you could ever imagine.

For Organic Beekeeping: Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture

Natural Beekeeping : Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, 2nd Edition

Courtesy of Walmart

Pests and hive diseases are two very real challenges for beekeepers, but this book tackles them both with a natural, organic approach.

Natural Beekeeping is useful for both beginners and experienced beekeepers. It also has a chapter on what you need to know if you intend to sell and market your bee products. This book is really embraced by natural beekeepers, and it’s a solid resource for expanding your own organic practices.

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

The Backyard Beekeeper

Courtesy of Walmart

This is the second book by Kim Flottum on the list who spent 30 years as the editor of Bee Culture magazine. He has been helping fellow beekeepers for years, so he really understands every scenario out there.

His book, The Backyard Beekeeper, is now in its fourth edition and has added even more specialized information for urban beekeepers. It’s one of the best books out there for knowing exactly how to set up a successful urban hive, but it's also good for beginners who are just getting started in this hobby.

For Problem-Solving: The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver: 100 Common Problems Explored and Explained 

The Beekeeper's Problem Solver

Courtesy of Barnes and Noble

Problem-solving books can be incredible resources when you start a hobby like beekeeping. If you’ve been having challenges (or want to be preventative because you’re sure to come across a few), then you definitely want this book.

The Beekeeper's Problem Solver gives direct, in-depth answers to help you diagnose what’s going on, it’ll tell you how to implement solutions that really work. The author tackles 100 common problems related to beekeeping, so it’s sure to help you at least a few (or many) times as you embark on this journey.

Final Verdict

For those who are truly at the start of their beekeeping adventure, you can’t go wrong with Beekeeping for Beginners: How To Raise Your First Bee Colonies (view at Bookshop.org) to help you every step of the way in the first year. Then for organic or natural beekeeping, pick up Keeping Bees with a Smile: Principles and Practice of Natural Beekeeping (view at Bookshop.org). It’s one of the best on this topic. 

Why Trust Treehugger

Treehugger wants to support all your hobbies related to sustainability and making the world a better place. The writer, Stacy Tornio, helped tend to the family beehives in Oklahoma when she was a kid, and now she gardens for bees in her own backyard in Wisconsin.