Books for fun and reference     


City of the Bees City of the Bees by Frank S. Stuart. A Scotsman, Stuart worked for many years as a beekeeper.  When he wrote an article about bee dances for "The Spectator", Sir Stanley Unwin, the famous British publisher, immediately commissioned Stuart to write "City of the Bees". The result was this superb study of a society older than humanity - the story of a colony of bees with their prodigious labor, birth and death, tragedy and joy, victory and defeat. Here is a book that will delight nature lovers of all ages. With a rare combination of scientific observation and poetic insight, the book presents a year's cycle in the life of a hive of bees. With keen observation and a thorough and reverent regard for his subject, Mr. Stuart combines almost unbelievable facts with poetic imagination to make a beautiful and exciting reading experience. An ECBS favorite...
Bee Hunting

Bee Hunting by John R. Lockard. A 72 page pamphlet/paperback originally published in 1908. The fronticepiece says: "A book of valuable information for bee hunters - tell how to line bees to trees, etc." [My copy is a 1956 edition presented to me by Rose, the widow of John Machuzak of East Brunswick, NJ. I never knew that John, my wife Patti's uncle, was fascinated by bees. Rose also gave me a copy of a honey cookbook published by the NJBA maybe in the 1970's. It's shown elsewhere on this page - Pier Guidi/Ed.]

Best Beekeeper of Lalibela

Crouching beside him, their heads nearly touching, Almaz says, "It works because ants can't swim." The four table legs each stood in an old tomato paste can filled with water. The bees hummed overhead.

The Best Beekeeper of Lalibela: A Tale from Africa
by Cristina Kessler.
Ages 4-8, 32 pages.


Learning About Bees from Mr. Krebs by Alice Flanagan, Christine Osinski. Mr. Krebs, a real beekeeper, teaches his grandson about bees and taking care of them. Excellent photographs on every page accompanying what it takes to take care of bees and how they live. A good book for pre-schoolers through to elementary school age.

Learning About Bees from Mr. Krebs
Beekeeping for Dummies

Beekeeping For Dummies by Howland Blackiston and Kim Flottum. A step-by-step approach to starting your own beehive, along with expert tips for maintaining a healthy colony, medication and treatments, harvesting and marketing your honey, etc. Learn the benefits of beekeeping and whether it's right for you; build your first hive (gather the right equipment, obtain your bees, and transfer them safely to their new home); get up-close and personal (see how to open and close the hive, inspect your bees at the right times, and know what to look for); handle common problems (from swarming to robbing to pesticide poisoning).

Hive Management by Richard E. Bonney. For the practicing beekeeper who needs more information, or for the serious novice who wants to start out right, Hive Management offers sensible advice to help keep your honey bees thriving. Long-term success in beekeeping can only be achieved by understanding the intimate lives, behaviors, and motivations of honey bees -- the factors which govern the life of each colony. Richard Bonney explains the reasons behind common practices that many beekeepers perform without really knowing why. He also stresses when to take timely actions that will prevent problems in future seasons. Hive Management offers concise, up-to-date information on the whole range of beekeeping tasks, including: How to prevent, control, and capture swarms; What you can tell from an outside inspection of your hives; When and how to "take the crop" and harvest honey; How to successfully requeen (from handling and marking queens to methods of introducing one into a hive); The problem signs to look for when you open up a hive.

Hive Management
The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden

The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden by Kim Flottum. This book isn't just a guide to beekeeping or a honey cookbook; it's both. Beautifully illustrated, the Backyard Beekeeper is perfect for the health-conscious person who wants to sweeten up their life by saying no to processed sugars and yes to eating organic, healthy food. This book is the complete "honey bee" resource with general information on bees; a how-to guide to the art of bee keeping and how to set up, care for, and harvest your own hives; as well as tons of fun facts and projects that are bee related. The second half of the book is the complete guide to honey. It reviews the different types of honey and their health effects as well as provides hundreds of ideas and recipes for using honey in recipes, cosmetically in facemasks and shampoos, and for medicinal uses. By Kim Flottum.

Natural Beekeeping by Ross Conrad. Various chemicals used in beekeeping have, for the past decades, held Varroa Destructor, a mite, and other major pests at bay, but chemical-resistance is building and evolution threatens to overtake the best that laboratory chemists have. In fact, there is evidence that chemical treatments are making the problem worse. Natural Beekeeping flips the script on traditional approaches by proposing a program of selective breeding and natural hive management. Conrad brings together the best organic and natural approaches to keeping honeybees healthy and productive here in one book. Readers will learn about nontoxic methods of controlling mites, eliminating American foulbrood disease (without the use of antibiotics), breeding strategies, and many other tips and techniques for maintaining healthy hives. Specific concepts and detailed management techniques are covered in a matter-of-fact, easy to implement way. Natural Beekeeping describes opportunities for the seasoned professional to modify existing operations to improve the quality of hive products, increase profits, and eliminate the use of chemical treatments. Beginners will need no other book to guide them.

Natural Beekeeping
The Beekeeper's Handbook

The Beekeeper's Handbook by Alphonse Avitabile and Diana Sammataro. One of the  most logical and complete books on beekeeping - a standard reference for decades, it is very well illustrated, logically written and yet interesting just to sit down and read. This book serves as a comprehensive well-illustrated introduction for beginners as well as a valuable reference for the experienced beekeeper: answers both basic and more complex questions of beekeeping and can be a ready references throughout the season, outlines options for each operation within beekeeping, listing advantages and disadvantages of each alternative, provides easy-to-follow directions and diagrams, and includes glossary and updated bibliography suggesting more detailed information on the topics discussed.

The Beeman by Laurie Krebs. First published in 2002, this picture book reappears with nearly the same text but a new look. A beekeeper introduces his grandson to bees and honey production; the book now opens with Aileen Fisher’s fine, short poem “Bees” and concludes with six nicely illustrated pages of information about these distinctive insects, their development from egg to adult, bee colonies, aspects of beekeeping techniques and equipment, honey, pollination, and bee “dancing.” Pre-school to 2nd grade.