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Beekeeping for Dummies

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  504 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
"Beekeeping For Dummies," 2nd Edition reviews the tools of the trade, including complete instructions for building and maintaining beehives; offers detailed and easy-to-follow guidelines for all phases of honey production--including harvesting, bottling, packaging and marketing your honey; explores theories into the recent unexplained collapse of colonies and its environme ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 9th 2009 by For Dummies (first published February 15th 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 860)
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Dec 09, 2007 Lesli rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beekeeping
Good for the basics, but skims the surface of some areas--like extracting--that really require a bit more depth for the beginner. Also, dogmatic, and "one right way" attitude that spoils things for me. Too much advice on using chemicals.
Mar 25, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great introduction on how to get started
will remain on my shelf for some time i would think. Having just produced my first 20kg batch of honey im looking forward to the next!

Also, this gives you a good look at the role and function bees have in the environment as a whole. Its an enjoyable, and educational read
May 28, 2013 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely going to buy a copy of this book. This was very detailed in everything you'll need to start up beekeeping, including blueprints to build your own hive, how to brew your own mead and various recipes.
Garrett Zecker
Jul 30, 2011 Garrett Zecker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book that really hits the nitty-gritty of everything one needs to know to begin the rewarding hobby of beekeeping. After reading this book - a text that not only covers the basics, tools, and behaviors of bees but also the history, heirarchies, anatomies, and various problems and solutions - I feel as though I can go on this journey much more confidently than after I had finished Kidd's Secret Life of Bees. I am really looking forward to the investment and returns on my new hobby and ...more
Aug 13, 2010 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Jay by: Reviews
“Beekeeping For Dummies”
by Howland Blackiston

Book Review by Jay Gilbertson

Though I would hardly suggest that if you are indeed a beekeeper, that you’re a dummy, for me this wonderful book was just the right place to begin a new (and really sticky) hobby. Since author Howland Blackiston has been an actual beekeeper for over 20 years, I felt that alone was enough proof that the guy knows his bees. Boy does he!
The layout of this particular beekeeping guide was the real deal-clincher when trying t
Dan Moore
May 13, 2008 Dan Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bee keepers, apicurist, people interested in honey
I'm not a fan of the dummies books. I don't think I've ever gotten over the "dummies" moniker. Beekeeping for the ignorant might be a more appropriate title as ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge. Being dumb just doesn't seem to be a good thing to me.

As with all the dummies books, it is well laid out. Plenty of margin notes, pictures, etc. The chapters progress very logically for a beginning beekeeper, ending up with information on how to purchase equipment, including the authors own webs
Feb 04, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Predictably, this was the first book off the pile... As a veteran of other 'For Dummies' books, I appreciate the layout and purposeful progression of the series, and this book was no exception to the rule.

The book comes in an easy to read, understandable format and covers almost the full gambit of topics that a beginning beekeeper may need to know from initial questions and concerns, the gear you need, getting and introducing your bees all the way to what to check for and how to treat problems,
Jan 17, 2011 Driftless rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beekeeping
I finally took the plunge this spring (2010). Having talked about it for years, motivated by decades of avid gardening and insectophilia, I have finally joined the rather exclusive worldwide community of beekeepers. But before purchasing any bees - given my complete lack of bee-related experience - I was going to need a lot of help. Fortunately, Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston was able to give me just enough confidence to make me crazy enough to pursue this dream. The 350 page overs ...more
Heather Jernigan
Mar 12, 2015 Heather Jernigan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with all of the "for Dummies" books that I have read, this is a fairly thorough overview of basic beekeeping for the newbee. As I am a newbee without a hive/colony yet, I can't review from a more experienced perspective.
Kerry Clair
May 13, 2015 Kerry Clair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well done. Some parts confusing as to how much honey supers will weigh as co pared to how many pounds to leave - and a few other spots were different than other things I've come to know but all in all an informative book and a great guide. Wish he had NOT repeatedly told me not to wear my gloves though. Won't be taking THAT advice again.
Kellie Hill
Feb 20, 2014 Kellie Hill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, easy read. Far too focused on maximizing honey production and preventative medicating, but I enjoyed it anyways and will re-read.
Terry S
Oct 04, 2015 Terry S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The copy I had was a bit out of date, but this is a fantastic resource for beginners looking to learn the basics of beekeeping. Detailed instructions and illustrations give you a clear idea of what to expect when you get started. Plenty of little jokes and asides to keep you entertained, too!
Patrick Aland
Sep 30, 2015 Patrick Aland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. Its the book that convinced me that I could become an amateur beekeeper.
Aug 09, 2015 Cathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a good resource. Like most Dummies books, it's a bit condescending, but has wasy to digest information presented in a simple way.
Feb 07, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The information contained in this book is a good start for people interested in becoming a beekeeper. The life within the honey bee community is amazing! There is always more information that this book doesn't cover in greater detail, but it is a "dummies" book and lived up to my expectations. I have friends in another state who have been beekeepers for decades. When we were together recently, I was able to ask intelligent questions, and participate in "bee" conversation without sounding like an ...more
Mar 28, 2013 Timothy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alas, I bought this book thinking I'd have an opportunity to start my own hive. A year later and I'm still putting things together to make it possible to have a hive or two of my own. Nevertheless, the book is a good one, with lots of information for both beginning and intermediate beekeepers. Come to think of it, old timers will find a thing or two of interest in the book's pages. The author's stories are entertaining and engaging. This is one I'll keep on my shelf in hopes of one day soon bein ...more
John Guenther
Feb 13, 2016 John Guenther rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very comprehensive look at all aspects of beekeeping. A great first read on the subject, highly recommended.
Jul 09, 2008 Cordell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned a great deal about beekeeping and started keeping bees for myself. I have not harvested any honey but I did start. My favorite part of this book is the the author LOVES bees and you can tell. And he makes you love bees. I was fun to read.

I dont know how good it was because its the only thing of bees I have read besides what I have found on the Net and this is excellent compaire to most of what I have found for free. It is well laid out, easy to follow and understand and well written.
Joe Faust
Aug 10, 2015 Joe Faust rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent Dummies book that makes me want to take up the hobby. But first I should check to see if I'm allergic to bee stings.
Jul 28, 2015 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very informative! I will definitely refer back to this book when I finally decide to start my own hive.
Teri Beckelheimer
Great basic book for the novice/backyard beekeeper. Lots of step by step instructions as well as detailed discussions on bees and their behaviors, equipment, hive types, raising queens, and harvesting. I also like that the author explains the different types of medicines that can be used for diseases and pest issues while explaining their side effects and steers the reader toward holistic methods.

Worth having on hand as a go-to guide.
J.E. Jr.
Nov 29, 2010 J.E. Jr. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been curious about beekeeping, and was surprised and grateful for this random gift from some cousins (thanks, Rob and Tamsey!!). Very interesting, and well-done, this one gave me a very good overview of the the work/resources involved in beekeeping and many of the concerns, dangers (so to speak), and benefits. Plus, now I have a title from the "animal husbandry" category... always diversifying my library.
Suzanne Vincent
Jul 03, 2011 Suzanne Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent first book for wanna'bee' beekeepers. This book is recommended by more bee supply places than any other.

The major shortcoming of this book is that the author fails to explain all the reasons behind why you do what you do. He also pushes his own products (like the hivetop feeder).

But all in all, a must read for the beginning beekeeper--though it probably shouldn't be your ONLY read.
Jan 29, 2009 Visha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent primer and a useful book to keep around as a reference. Very well organized with lots of added references in the back, as well as charts and timelines to assist the beginning beekeeper. I had some reservations because the writer owns his own beekeeping supplies company and he encourages new beekeepers to buy from them (and their prices are a bit high - see
Dec 07, 2010 Elizabeth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Decent general overview on bee keeping, but not enough depth (at all) for my needs. Not a good resource in a pinch (like when trying to diagnose a problem), and too heavy on chemical use. For someone getting started - who doesn't have access to a class - this might be helpful. But it's not the book I turn to when in need of any sort of detail on what, when, or how.
Nov 09, 2009 kyersten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know, I know, five stars for a book about beekeeping!( for dummies no less) I couldn't put it down. I'm constantly thumbing back through it and re-reading whole chapters. Bees are freaking amazing! I love them and can't wait to order mine. Most beekeepers I have talked to have recommended this book and say it's the only one I'll need. I can't wait to see if that is true.
Jul 31, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book to start with if you are thinking about becoming a beekeeper. Gives you a good idea of what equipment and commitment is required to start the hobby. I'd recommend other books like "The Backyard Beekeeper" and "Homegrown Honey Bees" to supplement what this book is lacking. Also, check out the "Brushy Mountain Bee Farm" You Tube Channel for additional info.
Alain Aguilar
Jun 30, 2015 Alain Aguilar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books i could have ever read. Clear, unbiased, and most of all simple. I have had a grand time reading this book
Jun 08, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book for those beginning to think about entering the hobby of apiculture. The book gives you a more than adaquate background in bee habits, and then walks you through what you need to begin; and finally, it gives you all the extra information, like what to do if your colony gets sick and how to harvest the honey/wax/etc.
Oct 31, 2013 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beekeeping
Great depth of topics and advice. Despite the fact that other books are prettier and don't have the "....for Dummies" stigma, this is probably the BEST book about beginning beekeeping I've read. It was even the text for my local Beekeeping Association beekeeping class! No great pictures but the information here beats all the others out there.
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