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Author Topic: Good Books?  (Read 1981 times)
yanks26
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« on: April 09, 2009, 10:23:14 PM »

I am looking to buy a book which will help teach me all about beekeeping that I need to know. My main purpose for beekeeping would be to get honey from the honey bees.

With this said and my main purpose expressed, what is a good book that you guys recommend I read?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 12:39:34 AM »

Don't buy 1 book, buy several.  I have never found a book on beekeeping that contained all there is to know on the subject.

Several books will give you a look at beekeeping from several different viewpoints as each beekeeper has his favorite methods that he expounds upon (that's why he wrote the book).  A variety of books will give you more information as each will contain information on things the others don't.

The best, and the most expensive, are: The Hive and The Honey Bee and The ABC and XYZ of Beekeeping.  They are more like encyclopedias on beekeeping a quite comprehensive but still lack a bushel and a peck of beekeeping knowledge.
Some of the smaller pamphlet type books can be real gold minds.

Go to you local library and check out every book on the subject you can find, when you take those back check out the ones you missed because they were already checked out.  Cheaper than buying.
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indypartridge
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« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 06:34:57 AM »

Quote from: Brian D. Bray
Go to you local library and check out every book on the subject you can find, when you take those back check out the ones you missed because they were already checked out.  Cheaper than buying.
While at the library, look for videos too.

Get involved with a local beekeeping club. Clubs often offer beginning beekeeping classes, and are great places to find mentors and get connected with nearby beekeepers.

One book recommendation: The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum.
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Gunslinger
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« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 07:01:45 AM »

The How-To-Do-It book of Bee Keeping by Richard Taylor. This was very detailed but a little dated. I'm not sure where its availible as it was given to me.

I agree with indypartridge, The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum is a good book and it is current. I received a copy from Brushy Mountain when I ordered a garden hive setup

Also this site has answered many of my questions with the Search function.
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 10:47:21 AM »

I don't think you will find any book that will tell you;
" teach me all about beekeeping that I need to know "

I know several beekeepers with 40-50 years of experience that are still
learning !

Join your local bee club, use your public library they have or can get thru inter-library loan many books that can help you.

Remember it's only a expensive hobby !

Bee-Bop
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BeeHopper
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 10:50:45 AM »

Wow, just too many to choose from, I actually sold most of mine ( and a few more to sell ) I am keeping one which was my first book and a very good one too, it is The Beekeeper's Handbook, Third Edition: Alphonse Avitabile, Diana Sammataro, Roger A. Morse.

Good Luck  Smiley


BH
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 11:58:04 PM »

I don't think you will find any book that will tell you;
" teach me all about beekeeping that I need to know "

I know several beekeepers with 40-50 years of experience that are still
learning !

Join your local bee club, use your public library they have or can get thru inter-library loan many books that can help you.

Remember it's only a expensive hobby !

Bee-Bop

Put my name on that list (50 yrs), and I had a mentor who started his beekeeping in 1899, so in a way you could say I've had over a centuries worth of experience poured into my head.  Still learning and still getting surprised.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2009, 06:10:03 PM »

Read every book you can find on beekeeping.  Smiley

I love Richard Taylor, Brother Adam, G.M. Doolittle, Jay Smith, A.I. Root...
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Michael Bush
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hankdog1
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2009, 10:44:15 PM »

books are a good way to get you into trouble.  they have good and bad information in all of them.  will they teach you about beekeeping yes and no.  i'd pick up a copy of The Hive and The Honey Bee and go in search of a mentor to share his/her wealth of knowledge.  i know guys who have probably forgot more about beekeeping then i'll probably ever learn.
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 11:12:31 PM »

Beekeeping for Dummies was the book that did it for me when I started. But of course, there are so many things in that book that I would not advise anyone to do anymore.

I really just learned from reading lots of stuff on this forum and the main person here that I follow is Michael Bush's way of beekeeping.

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Just read his website and you will know enough about beekeeping the right way, IMO.

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TwoBigCats
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2009, 07:00:14 PM »

Beekeeping for Dummies was the book that did it for me when I started. But of course, there are so many things in that book that I would not advise anyone to do anymore.

I really just learned from reading lots of stuff on this forum and the main person here that I follow is Michael Bush's way of beekeeping.

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Just read his website and you will know enough about beekeeping the right way, IMO.



i'm curious, what 3 things would you advise against from beekeeping for dummies?

in addition to beekeeping for dummies, my collection consists of franklin carrier's ( carrierbees ) books, Begin To Keep Bees and Keeping Bees (both available from his website, i believe.)  mr C is a san jose, ca-based beek who has been at it 40-50 years and serves as a main source of information in our area.
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heaflaw
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2009, 09:40:40 PM »

"How to Do It___"- Richard Taylor.  It focuses on the practical instead of theoretical and it is chock full of info.  Beekeeping is both science and art.  The hardest part for me in learning is separating fact from opinion and realizing that what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another.  The best advice I have had was from M Bush (I think): when asking advice from 10 different successful beekeepers, you will get 12 different opinions and all of them are right.  It's the same way with books.  Read them all and then do what works for you.
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annette
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2009, 11:36:17 PM »

Beekeeping for Dummies was the book that did it for me when I started. But of course, there are so many things in that book that I would not advise anyone to do anymore.

I really just learned from reading lots of stuff on this forum and the main person here that I follow is Michael Bush's way of beekeeping.

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Just read his website and you will know enough about beekeeping the right way, IMO.



i'm curious, what 3 things would you advise against from beekeeping for dummies?

in addition to beekeeping for dummies, my collection consists of franklin carrier's ( carrierbees ) books, Begin To Keep Bees and Keeping Bees (both available from his website, i believe.)  mr C is a san jose, ca-based beek who has been at it 40-50 years and serves as a main source of information in our area.


I do not use Plastic frames, I use starter strips so that would be one thing he never mentioned

I do not medicate my bees and he does so that is another thing.

He cuts out queen cells to keep the hive from swarming and I don't so that would be another thing

There is more if you want



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doak
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2009, 11:45:57 PM »

Well, I guess I am the odd man out.
I have, I think 10 books. Have read about that many that I don't have.
I have found there are things in all of them I don't do. and there are things I do that I have not seen in books.
I'll bet some one else does that to.
so I am not an odd ball after all.. rolleyes shocked :)doak
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Hethen57
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« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2009, 01:39:52 AM »

At my local public library I found "The Beekeeper's Handbook" by Sammataro and Avitabile and an older book called "Practical Beekeeping" by Tompkins and Griffith.  Both have good information and some things that are outdated or where there are now alternative practices.  You need a starting point, then study other sources and try to find a concensus.  Beemaster's lessons are excellent, and there are some other good references on Youtube.  There are a number of different ways to do things and different philosophies with bees...I'm not sure you will find everything in one source.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2009, 02:53:37 AM »

All the books are good and all the books are bad.  Meaning that most preach the writers ideas not what is best in any given situation.  If you read enough beekeeping books you'll be exposed to enough different ways of doing things that you can recognize what's going on in your hives that might have been omitted in books A, B, & C, but covered in Book D.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2009, 08:59:08 AM »

Nothing new to add relative to good books.  All that have been mentioned above are good resources.  I like the practicality of Richard Taylor's books.  But all are good.

What I would add is that you will not learn beekeeping from a book.  Books should be used as references and "guides".  Getting experience from working in your hives is the best teacher.

The one frustration that I had when I started last year after reading for several years (bought Richard Taylor's How To Do It book in 1993) was I couldn't see to get a black or white answer to my questions.  The reason...........there are no black and white answers to bees and beekeeping!
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TwoBigCats
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« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2009, 01:24:26 PM »

Beekeeping for Dummies was the book that did it for me when I started. But of course, there are so many things in that book that I would not advise anyone to do anymore.

I really just learned from reading lots of stuff on this forum and the main person here that I follow is Michael Bush's way of beekeeping.

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Just read his website and you will know enough about beekeeping the right way, IMO.



i'm curious, what 3 things would you advise against from beekeeping for dummies?

in addition to beekeeping for dummies, my collection consists of franklin carrier's ( carrierbees ) books, Begin To Keep Bees and Keeping Bees (both available from his website, i believe.)  mr C is a san jose, ca-based beek who has been at it 40-50 years and serves as a main source of information in our area.


I do not use Plastic frames, I use starter strips so that would be one thing he never mentioned

I do not medicate my bees and he does so that is another thing.

He cuts out queen cells to keep the hive from swarming and I don't so that would be another thing

There is more if you want

interesting to hear, thx very much... there is soooooooooooo much to learn on so many different levels.

ack! (and thx to everyone else for their feedback as well.)
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shaux
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2009, 01:32:59 PM »

I started on out First Lessons in Beekeeping from Dadant.  Very well written and they update constantly.  Bought Beekeeping for Dummies and thought it was very good too.  That one tends to recommend a lot of chemicals from what I've noticed.
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Natalie
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2009, 04:01:44 PM »

If you are involved with a bee club they usually have their own collection of books for you to borrow and I would read every one of them.
Even if you pick up one or two things out of each that will help you then you are doing better already.
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Sean Kelly
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« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2009, 05:31:31 PM »

Don't be discouraged by some of of our members negative comments about beekeeping books.  I think they all have wonderful information and unless you're getting down to "technical" information, the basics are pretty much the same.  ABC's & XYZ's is layed out like an encyclopedia which is pretty hard to follow.  I recommend having a copy on hand once you get your first hives established as a reference.  Most of the basic books like "First Lessons in Beekeeping" from Dadant are really good basic info to get you started.  There is no book out there that will cover everything, like everyone else has said you should probably check into a local club.  That will get you involved with other people who can pass on their experiences to you.

Something that really helped me is the video series, "Honeybees & Beekeeping, A Year in the Life of an Apiary" with Keith Deleplane.  It's from the early 90's and can be pretty cheesy at parts, but the 8 half hour episodes really brings beekeeping to light for newcomers.  You can buy it from most beekeeping supply places online.
Another video that's really cool is the Nova show, "Tales from the Hive".  It's more about bees than beekeeping, but still really interesting!

Sean Kelly
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NasalSponge
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2009, 08:29:23 PM »

Yep...there was a time before the internet when you went out to the yard and saw something strange and your choice.....go in the house open your books and see if you figure it out. So the two books that got me thru all that have both been mentioned several times...ABC-XYZ and How to by Taylor. I would agree that you can not take everything as gospel for instance most all the newer books including Natural Beekeeping - Conrad mention using treatments as a matter of fact....I don't agree with that. Anyway...get some books, subscribe to Bee Culture and American Bee Journal, read on here, MB website, and everywhere else you can find, then go out and enjoy because you will learn most by doing. Smiley
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