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Beekeeping for Dummies
David Wiscombe
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Beekeeping for Dummies (For Dummies)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  743 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
The fast and easy way to start and maintain a hive"Beekeeping For Dummies" is a practical, step-by-step beginner's guide to beekeeping. It gives you plain-English guidance on everything you need to know to start your own beehive, from buying the right equipment, sourcing bees, and locating your hive to maintaining a healthy colony and harvesting honey. Plus, you'll get the ...more
ebook, 358 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by For Dummies (first published February 15th 2002)
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Community Reviews

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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 22, 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 20, 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.
Jun 04, 2017 Nile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the "For Dummies" books that I've read and I was very impressed. I had a preconception that they would be super beginner only. It does a great job of keeping things simple and making sure you have the basics but then goes on to discuss intermediate/advanced techniques in a very easy to understand way. I highly recommend it!
Jun 01, 2017 Klyon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Learned a alot. Would have benefitted from pictures.
Mar 27, 2017 Hali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now I know.
This is like the textbook for beekeeping. Not the prettiest book but it's very informative.
Mar 14, 2017 PWRL marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-new
Oct 25, 2009 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 12, 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
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
Heather O'Neill
Mar 20, 2015 Heather O'Neill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided this year that I wanted to keep bees. I got hooked up with a mentor and he recommended this book. After reading this book and talking more to the mentor I have decided to hold off on keeping bees until next year and learn all about beekeeping this year. I thought that this book was a very good introduction to beekeeping. Howland Blackiston covers about every topic that a novice would need to know. I even thought that the book could be useful for those that are seasoned beekeepers, but ...more
Feb 01, 2015 C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
Clear, well-written, and easy to understand. Howland Blackiston is clearly an experience beekeeper and a gifted teacher, and his explanations of many hive phenomenon were extremely helpful and complete.

My only quibble, and reason for giving four stars vice five, is with Mr. Blackiston's reliance on "conventional" (newly invented and agribusiness-pushed) practices like prophylactic antibiotics, toxic persistent miticides, and queen exluders. This is what is being force-fed to most of the apiary w
Dec 17, 2013 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
Mark Hartzer
Jan 04, 2015 Mark Hartzer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very comprehensive guide for a new beekeeper, and by and large, it does that job very well. I really liked the color photos as well as the short sections dealing with common issues that one is likely to encounter. BUT, and this is a big but, Mr. Blackiston relies extensively on toxic methods such as Apistan even though he acknowledges that mites might becoming resistant to this form of miticide. Still, it's probably a mostly small point for most people. I think that it is important to ...more
Osie Johnston
Jun 03, 2016 Osie Johnston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for any beginner beekeeper. Beekeeping for Dummies starts with the very basics and goes into the more complicated activities. This was the book that my dad and I used when we just started beekeeping and helped us out a lot. The book starts out with the introduction of if beekeeping is even for you. Next there is a section of the book set aside to knowing the legalities and also ethics of the art. The book then continues to how to start up your hive until its time to harvest ...more
Blackwell Bees
Jan 08, 2017 Blackwell Bees rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beekeeping
When I started looking into beekeeping a local beekeeper, Ray, recommended that I read this book to get a basic understanding for keeping bees. It has a lot of useful information on how to get started and really helped me with a basic understanding of how bees function and how traditional beekeeping is done.

Throughout the book there are "All Natural" sections that reference ideas on how to keep bees with less treatments. I don't find these are a good resource for beekeeping with less treatments
Mar 30, 2016 Jul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the first for Dummies book I've read because, well, the title just kind of makes you feel stupid so I've steered clear of them. I'm currently taking a beekeeeping class through a local university and this book is our required reading. (Hah.)

I admit, I've been pleasantly surprised by it and humbled by the somewhat odious title. It makes you realize you don't know anything but you need to and this is how to do it. This book truly covers all of the basics (and very well at that) and paves
Oct 08, 2013 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
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.
Oct 02, 2012 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
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.
May 12, 2014 Teri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 06, 2015 Perri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually use the Internet to educate myself, but in this case my search for Bee Keeping was information overload with sometimes contradictory advice. Bee Keeping for Dummies was just what I was looking for-basic information for the beginning bee keeper. He does present alternative methods, but I appreciate his "this will be the most successful way to start" information . This was my first "dummy"book and I don't appreciate the name, but glad I gave it a try.
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.
Kerry Clair
Apr 25, 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.
Apr 20, 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.
Apr 09, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this I felt fairly confident in going ahead and getting started with my new hobby. Although after my first bee club meeting and talking with people at the local beekeeping supply I have already deviated somewhat from what is presented in this book. Beekeeping for Dummies is still a great starting point I think.
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