The best buzzworthy beekeeping books

Frank Mortimer Author Of Bee People and the Bugs They Love
By Frank Mortimer

The Books I Picked & Why

Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation

By Tammy Horn

Book cover of Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation

Why this book?

Bees In America is a great read, as it chronologically takes you from the earliest European colonists who brought their bees with them—as honeybees are not native to North America—through to the present. It’s a mix of American history, biology, and American ingenuity, all rolled into a nonfiction account that’s chocked full of interesting facts and details.  For anyone interested in honeybees and/or beekeeping, it’s fascinating to learn the role they played in our developing nation. Plus, it’s exciting to read about all the innovations and advancements in beekeeping that have been discovered in America over the past 200 years. 


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A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them

By Sue Hubbell, Sam Potthoff

Book cover of A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them

Why this book?

Hubbell has done a great job of capturing what it’s like to be a beekeeper. The book is organized around a calendar that serves as a year in the life of a beekeeper, highlighting what beekeepers do at different times of the year. The book is as much about Hubbell’s life, dealing with loneliness, and how her bees bring her strength through her solitude. She writes beautifully about being out in nature, amongst the sights and sounds of Southwest Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. There are many details about honeybees along with descriptions of the various chores and responsibilities that a beekeeper has to do.  


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The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild

By Thomas D. Seeley

Book cover of The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild

Why this book?

Dr. Seeley is one of the world’s top honey bee researchers, and he provides the reader with a lifetime of his experimental research and personal insights into honey bees. Dr. Seeley has made a significant number of honey bee discoveries, and in The Lives of Bees he swarms into honey bee nests, reproduction, food collection, temperature control, how bees communicate, and much more. There’s also plenty of useful information that beekeepers can apply to their own bees. From observing feral colonies living in the Arnot Forest, Dr. Seeley discusses how we might want to step back and look to wild bees for guidance.


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The Beekeeper's Handbook

By Diana Sammataro, Alphonse Avitabile

Book cover of The Beekeeper's Handbook

Why this book?

If you want to keep bees and only plan on buying one “how-to” beekeeping book, then The Beekeeper’s Handbook is for you. Filled with lots of basic information to get you started, this how-to book goes further and also provides in-depth/technical information that you’ll need after you have been keeping bees for a few years and have a strong foundation of beekeeping knowledge, but are still looking for more.  This easy-to-follow handbook has plenty of step-by-step information that will come in handy for beekeepers of all experience levels. If you’re serious about bee-ing a beekeeper, this book is a must-have!   


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Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

By Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann

Book cover of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

Why this book?

Bar none, this is the best bee book for kids. It is the most accurate kid’s bee book on the market, serving up bee facts in a kid-friendly format with Fleming’s award-winning style. The illustrations are spot on with many realistic details that beekeepers will bee happy to see. Equally as important as bee-ing factually accurate, Fleming is a gifted storyteller, and Honeybee does a great job of turning a bee’s life into a compelling story that will entertain and engage kids of all ages. This book will make you smile because it captures the true wonder of honeybees, explaining it in a way that will inspire generations to admire the honeybee.  


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