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. https://www.bbka.org.uk/shop/bbka-guide-to-beekeeping-2nd-edition
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. https://www.bbka.org.uk/pages/shop/department/bbka-resourceshttps://www.bbka.org.uk/pages/shop/department/bbka-resources
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 are some really good videos on Youtube but there’s a lot of rubbish 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 many of their practices. If you find a good video on Youtube, please send details or a link to email@example.com and I’ll add a link to this page.
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.
The Beekeeping Events website https://beekeeping.events/ 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 announced its Spring programme. They are offering a series of interesting-looking zoom lectures, mostly free, for beekeepers at all levels. Speakers include Jo Widdicombe and Roger Patterson and subjects covered range from bee improvement and queen rearing to the role of the bee inspector and beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey. https://bibba.com/
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: https://www.honeyshow.co.uk/lecture-videos.php