BBKA Guide to Beekeeping

This is the only book for beginners endorsed by the BBKA. It’s enjoyable and easy to read, has clear photography and illustrations and is the definitive text for the basic assessment.

The BBKA Guide to Beekeeping introduces the reader to the craft and includes sections on the workings of the colony, the structure of a hive, how to acquire bees and keep them healthy and each month of the beekeeping year.

Each chapter is accompanied by anecdotes, answers to frequently asked questions and fascinating facts about bees and honey. The second edition includes new step-by-step sequences illustrating procedures such as containing a swarm, identifying the queen, using a smoker and cleaning a hive as well disease management and many other key subjects. Authors: Ivor Davis NDB and Roger Cullum-Kenyon.

Guide to Bees and Honey

Former President of the British Beekeepers’ Association Ted Hooper MBE was the influential author of Guide to Bees and Honey which has sold more than 200,000 copies and has been translated into more than 12 languages since publication in 1976.

The fourth edition, updated by one of his pupils, includes techniques to control Varroa, a problem unknown to Hooper before his retirement in 1984. This is still the best-selling beekeeping book of all time and one of the most highly recommended books for new beekeepers. Author: Ted Hooper MBE

BBKA Special Editions

The BBKA has a range of special editions covering a whole range of subjects including colony management, feeding honey bees, natural varroa-resistant honey bees, general husbandry, queen rearing and practical mead making.

The special issue on Advanced Husbandry for example offers guidance to all beekeepers (not just those wishing to take the Advanced Husbandry Assessment) and includes articles written by experienced beekeepers. Each article presents personal experiences of beekeeping topics.

There is also a range of lamented sheets which summarise various manipulations for example, Bailey Comb Change, Pagden artificial swarm and shook swarm. The special editions and lamented sheets are all available from the BBKA website.

The Collins Beekeeping Bible

A bit of a coffee table book this one. It covers all the essentials from caring for bees, hive management and has clear instructions and step-by-step guides. It also contains a wealth of information on the culinary, medicinal, cosmetic and domestic uses of honey, beeswax and pollen. There’s also information on candle-making, making home-made furniture polish and beeswax hand cream plus honey recipes for cakes and breads, sauces and marinades, drinks and even flavoured spirits.

It also covers lots of background subjects like folklore, history of beekeeping, bees in literature and bee trivia. Illustrated with photography, illustrations and etchings, this is an invaluable handbook for a beekeeper and a good read for everyone else!

Haynes Bee Manual

The Haynes Bee Manual is a clear and concise introduction into the fascinating world of the honey bee. For anyone wishing to start beekeeping, this step-by-step guide full of colour photographs and and practical advice is a very good starting point. There is something reassuring about the scale and simplicity of this book which helps to make the idea of staring in beekeeping a bit less daunting.

Author: Claire Waring

For your delectation, an absolutely beautiful video showing a mating flight:


Type any beekeeping subject into the search engine of Youtube and you’re more than likely to find a selection of videos. There’s some really good stuff on Youtube but there’s a lot of rubbish on there too! It’s recommended that new beekeepers are cautious about treating YouTube as a definitive source of information.

Many of the videos are from overseas (particularly the US) and whilst we’re very fond of our American cousins, their climate is often different to ours and consequently, so are some of their practices. If you find a good video, please send details or a link to and I’ll add a link to this page.

Honey bee under the microscope

Get up close and personal with our favourite Hymenoptera in this beautiful five minute video.

Three minutes on varroa

Watch this fascinating three minute video by Samuel Ramsey, doctoral candidate in entomology. He summarises his dissertation on Varroa which may offer some hope in the eradication of the biggest threat to our honey bees. If you’re interested, he also has some longer videos on Youtube.

BBKA Asian hornet conference 2021

This is an epic (nearly six hours) but covers absolutely everything there is to know about the Asian hornet. It’s definitely worth a watch but for most people, it would have to be in bite-sized chunks!

Beekeeping Events

The Beekeeping Events website compiles details of current and forthcoming local and national beekeeping events. There are details of both ‘in person’ events and webinars.

The Bee Improvement and Bee Breeder Association (BIBBA) has an excellent programme of talks and events, mostly free, for beekeepers at all levels. Speakers include their President Roger Patterson and subjects range from bee improvement and queen rearing to the role of the bee inspector and beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey.

The National Honey Show

The Honey Show has some excellent lectures in their archive on many diverse subjects including managing varroa, queen rearing, practical beekeeping and honey bee biology:

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