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Beekeeping books and training suggestions?

Lissa Lane

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 10
Anyone have recommendations for good books or courses on beekeeping? Bonus points if the courses are in the PNW. Thanks!
Austin Max

Joined: Mar 15, 2012
Posts: 98
Location: South Central Kentucky
This might be a little less than you are looking for, but interesting nonetheless.
Lloyd George

Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 159
search around your area for a beekeeping association, and see if you can meet a mentor....
Lloyd George

Joined: Jan 25, 2012
Posts: 159
duh..never mind, I see your other
Saybian Morgan

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
Bee Keeping for all the Abbé Émile Warré Method

Depending on your location you may be lucky enough to find training, all the standard Dadant hive education you can find is totally in contrast to warre.
Sort of like going to an agricultural college vs taking a permaculture design course.
jacque greenleaf

Joined: Jan 21, 2009
Posts: 471
Location: Burton, WA (USDA zone 8, Sunset zone 5) - old hippie heaven
in battleground, washington -
Val Wilson

Joined: Apr 05, 2012
Posts: 1
I have a free beekeeping ecourse - you can get it at (I may be biased, but think it's rather good!)

You can also get a free guide to Natural Beekeeping with Warre hives at
Patrick Mann

Joined: Dec 06, 2011
Posts: 294
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
I recommend looking at different approaches with an open mind, and selecting what suits your goals, time constraints, etc.
There's tons of information on beekeeping with standard Langstroth hives. For more 'natural' approaches, check out these:
Mat Baker

Joined: Feb 12, 2012
Posts: 6
I second finding a mentor, the older and crustier the better. I'd recommend avoiding anyone that does migratory beekeeping, look for a small beekeeper that sells honey at the local farmers markets and such.

For a technical text the bible for years has been the The ABC and Xyz of Bee Culture by Roger Morse. Out of print but worth tracking down.

The American Bee Journal is another good place to start (
jessie watson brown

Joined: Sep 28, 2012
Posts: 1
We Run natural beekeeping courses in the UK

Come and stay at Embercombe in Devon for an inspiring weekend learning about 'natural beekeeping' in top-bar hives - a bee friendly way to have bees in your garden with the possibility of your own honey harvest, but without the expense and complications associated with commercial beekeeping equipment. Facilitated by Embercombe's own beekeepers Tim Hall and Jessie Watson Brown. The course is hands-on and as experiential as the weather allows.

Rick Larson

Joined: Aug 04, 2012
Posts: 210
Location: Manitowoc WI USA Zone 5
One way is to find an older long experienced beekeeper that wants to retire from the craft. Buying his equipment is important, but if you could spend a year or so with the beekeeper, that would be priceless.

I have read a lot of books, I don't know if there is a bad book either. The best book I read was "50 years amongst the Bees", right now I am picking my way through "Beekeeping for Profit and Pleasure". This is my second summer with girls and putting the book knowledge to actual experience is very rewarding.

Here is a very Good Queen:

Soaking up information.
David Heaf

Joined: Jan 14, 2013
Posts: 24
Lissa Lane wrote:Anyone have recommendations for good books or courses on beekeeping? Bonus points if the courses are in the PNW. Thanks!

A good beginner's book is 'Bees and Honey from Flower to Jar' by Michael Weiler (Floris Books, 2006)

David Heaf
Joshua Chambers

Joined: Feb 03, 2010
Posts: 71
Location: the state of jefferson - zone 7
I really enjoyed the short book by P. J. Chandler called "The Barefoot Beekeeper."
Rick Roman

Joined: Dec 05, 2011
Posts: 442
Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
"Nine Lectures on Bees" (1923) by Rudolf Steiner - Here is a link to the complete 9 translated lectures-
Dusko Bojic

Joined: Mar 02, 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Sweden
Im aware this is an old thread but for those who come to read it I will add my favorites;

Books which helped me are
Top-bar Beekeeping by Les Crowder (/practical stuff great hive maintenance illustartions)
The Barefoot Beekeepr by Phil Candler (phylosophy on top bar beekeeping)
The Buzz About Bees by Jurgen Tautz (up to date bee biology)

You can also find lots of info on and (both forums)

On you tube I would highly recommend to watch the videos published by OutOfaBlueSky on you tube;
Lissa Lane

Joined: Mar 30, 2012
Posts: 10
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Its a great help!
Ammar Asjad

Joined: Aug 09, 2013
Posts: 2
Well i suggest you to google some beekeeping associations around yourself. I am sure you will find good books about beekeeping courses.
Bee Blume

Joined: Aug 17, 2013
Posts: 1
Hey everyone
I am an api-centric beekeeper who has been teaching natural beekeeping with top bar and warre hives for over 10 years.
I do NOT reccommend as so many others do, that you look for your local beekeeepers association as your first move if you are looking to do natural beekeeping without chemical inputs r sugar water.
Or if you do, just beware that much of the advice you will get is filtered down from conventional beekeeping that does not trust nature to work it out!
Of the animals that humans utilize, bees are the least domesticated and need us not at all. Most human input is interference in a system that is gorgeous and self-sustaining.
And the problems with honey bees so often in the news is a direct result not only of bad agricultural practices, but bad apicultural practices (you can read my take on this here:
It is changing slowly, so some associations do have some voices of sanity within them, and the top bar hive has finally been offered as an option in major beekeeping supply catalogs so it has gained some ground and credibility in that world (still cheaper to build em yourself tho) so old time beekeepers are less likely to tell you you are an insane freak of nature.
Anyway--there are finally some great beekeeping books on the market--especially two great top bat books
Les Crowder (better for warmer climates) Top Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honey Bee Health
Christy Hemenway (better for cooler climate) The Thinking Beekeeper.
For truly natural, hand-off beekeeping check out the people hive (warre). Plans and book online in their entirelty
The book by Chandler is OK, but please beware--he wrote ot after being a beekeeper for only 3 years, so his experience is limited--to become a true master in beekeeper takes many years, I would not personally want to learn from someone doing it for such a short time--of the people I mentioned, Les has been around the bees the longest.
Read up about local beekeeping teachers and ask them if they use chemicals, miticides, antibiotics or feed sugar water before you opt to learn from them
Trust the bees.

David Livingston

Joined: Apr 24, 2013
Posts: 1572
Location: Anjou ,France
Phil and many others have contributed has lots of Free information over at his site Biobees with free books and an active forum
With many years of experiance behind them.


Living in Anjou , France
Ammar Asjad

Joined: Aug 09, 2013
Posts: 2
I have searched many useful sites for your help and i think you should click beekeeping courses for real beekeepers.
subject: Beekeeping books and training suggestions?