Best Beekeeping Books Buyers Guide
A beekeeping book is a major component in beekeeper's arsenal. If you are a novice, the best beekeeping book will provide you with all the information you need to get started. Just like a top chef has several cookbooks on their shelf, a pro also needs a beekeeping book. A good book will act as a useful reference material you can turn to now and then.
There are several beekeeping books out there and choosing the best is not a walk in the park. Some have great illustrations, but the material within them is not sufficient. Therefore, there are a number of factors that you need to consider before stepping out to get yourself one of those.
Why you need a beekeeping book
While most of the information is available online, it is always nice to have a copy that you can turn to offline. A hardcopy demonstrates your willingness to make beekeeping a part of yourself. You will engage with it, mark the most important information and fold the pages that have something you need to get back to.
Your book will eventually be dog-eared, but they provide a form of tactile experience. A beekeeping book is the Holy Grail in beekeeping.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Beekeeping book
Good books come with a relatively steeper price tag. You cannot expect to get a particular copy on everything you need to know about beekeeping with pocket change. If you are serious about beekeeping, then go for a decent copy. Make an investment and start out on a high note. Beekeeping is not an ‘on and off' switch kind of exercise. You need to go all in and to buy a good book is the first in the list.
However, the book need not be too expensive to dent your savings. The cost should only be a fraction of the amount you have set aside for beekeeping. As a beginner, don’t go as far as letting the price of the book be higher than the hive. Yes! Knowledge is power but be reasonable.
Beekeeping is all about bees just like cooking is about food. You cannot expect the majority of information in a cookbook to be about pots and pans. Similarly, a good beekeeping book should have a decent amount of information regarding the honeybees – where they come from, their lifecycles, the different casts and their behaviors. The more you know about bees, the better.
Once you know about the bees’ behavior in the wild, the better you will be at managing them. You can spot a good book a mile away by looking at its table of contents. The largest portion should be about the bees.
Should contain information about hives
It goes without saying that you cannot have honeybees without a hive. There are different kinds of hives out there, and you need guidance on the best types. For example, a hive with movable frames allows you to conduct proper hive inspections. Good beekeeping books should contain such timeless tips that you can use when purchasing hives.
Beehives come with different components and knowing how to set them up is important. The book that you purchase should contain a step by step guide to setting up a hive.
A beekeeping book should also provide information on how you can maintain the hives. You should know how to spot a swarming hive and what to do if it happens. Basically, swarming occurs within two weeks. The book should guide you on how to go about conducting the inspections. Information on what you should look for like making sure that there is adequate space in the hive should be there.
Another important piece of information on hives that your book should contain is ventilation and insulation. Protecting the bees against the extremes of weather is necessary. So, your book should have information on how to insulate the hive during winter and how to ventilate it effectively. After all, you don’t want to wake up one day only find frozen bees. Go through the book and ensure all this information is within.
At times, there may be problems with the hive that may be stressing the bees. The book should contain a section on troubleshooting your hive.
Having the right gear
Every professional has what they can call their tools of the trade. As you grow into beekeeping, you will realize there are a number of tools you cannot be without. These tools are what will make you efficient.
Competent beekeepers have the right equipment for the right kind of job. The right beekeeping book should inform you on how to go about selecting the right gear; how to use it, and any other relevant information in that regard.
A bee-friendly environment
How you treat your bees determines the quality and amount of honey you get. A beekeeping book should tell you how to create that environment honeybees, love. A bee-friendly garden may be the difference between a successful beekeeper and a not so successful one.
Honey harvesting is one of the primary reasons for beekeeping. Therefore, this section should form a substantial part of the book. There is a proper way to do your honey harvesting, and there is a wrong way. Harvesting should be in such a way that it does not interfere with the continuity of the colony.
Planning for winter
Your book will not be complete if it does not have a section on preparing for winter. Winter significantly affects the bees, and some of them fail to survive simply. As a beekeeper, you should be privy of the best practices to ensure colony survival.
A beekeeper’s book is one of the most important possessions if you are planning on beekeeping. Astute beekeepers need a book that they can refer to every time they hit a snag. Choose your book carefully when shopping. The goal is to get the most out of it. Therefore, make sure that it contains all the basics of beekeeping as listed above. Below are some books that we recommend:
The first and most critical step in responsible beekeeping is education. All beekeepers should have a solid understanding of honeybee biology and basic beekeeping methods. Here are some books that we recommend: