Here's a list of a few books that you might like to consider. (I'll update this list occasionally). There are plenty of others available and some new ones have been printed recently.

The Haynes Bee Manual has been recommended - but I have not read it myself.

Books are a great source of reference and often tell you what to do. However they don't tell you what to do AFTER you've messed up, or after bees have done something unusual... (Which they do by the way!). In addition, many books were written before open mesh floors were used and are out of date with regard to ventilating the top of the hive in winter. (See Winter Preparation). Happy Reading!

Beginners Books

Practical Beekeeping - de Bruyn. Gets a tick from us.

Bees at the Bottom of the Garden - Campion. Some like the style of it.

Teach Yourself Beekeeping -Waring. (Ignore the photo of the dead bee on the front cover).

BBKA Guide to Beekeeping. Sound but a bit 'flat'


A Guide to Bees and Honey - Ted Hooper. A classic. Highly recommended by most. Needs to be read and re-read as there's a lot in there. This isn't a first book (maybe your second) but is considered a must-have by many.

Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey. Brother Adam. A description of how he kept bees and insights into the Buckfast Bee. Well worth reading.

Advanced Books

Breeding Techniques and Selection - Ruttner.

Study Notes - Yeates. Not a fun read and does have mistakes but necessary for the Modules.

Biology of the Honeybee - Winston. A cracking read.

Honeybees Inside Out. Celia Davies.

Honeybees Around and About. Celia Davies.

Anatomy and Dissection of the Honeybee - Dade. Another classic; for all into microscopy.

Thomas Seeley. Honeybee Democracy.

Old Books

Morse and Hooper's Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Beekeeping is excellent. It's out of print but worth as much as 4 or 5 books. Well worth getting if you can find it.

The old Ladybird book of honeybees is a really good and simple introduction for anyone, including children.

For some old books, they are an interesting read but some practices are no-longer suggested and they used to use some funny chemicals then!

Note that with ventilated floors we now use, many old books (and some that are really quite recent) mention ventilating the hive with matchsticks and not using insulation for winter. Things that have changed over time!

Amazon and Northern Bee Books lists the above and many more.

YouTube Videos

Some of these are good however there are some that give poor advice; even if they appear to be from 'reputable' or commercial beekeepers, or have had many views, so be very careful of them. Even if they are OK, many are done where the weather may be considerably different to where you live so are not necessarily appropriate.

Remember that bees don't read books. (This means that you will find that they will do something totally unexpected sometimes).