Welcome to a Bee Keeping Pathfinder

This resource is for a beginning bee keeper who would like to find resources (books, websites, suppliers) for their hives.
If you visit your local library, you may find many of the same books available or perhaps new ones. Some subject searches that may lead you to good results in a public library are: bee keeping, honey, honey production, honeybee and bee culture.

While the bee is one of the most studied insects in the world, this pathfinder is focused on bee keeping, rather than more technical or scientific information.
There are many important issues that are facing bees currently, so it may be important to visit many of the websites to see what the latest information is or what local issues are happening in your area.

To navigate this site, each item is tagged by the type of resource it is (i.e.: websites). The list is on the right hand column. For example, if you are looking for just books, click on that tag and only the books will be listed.

I welcome your comments! Are there resources that were helpful to you? Others not as much? Do you have a suggestion for something to add? Leave a comment and I'll look into it.

Website: UC Davis Department of Entomology Apiculture News

This website is a topical newsletter is available by PDF from the most current issue and includes the archives through 1994. The archives are organized by date. It also is indexed by topic.

Website: APIS Information Resource Center

This website is a Squidoo Lens that is connected to the APIS Information Resource Center (http://apis.shorturl.com/). Both sites have information for the all types of bee keepers, as well as scientific information.

Website: Ohio State Bees and Pollination

This website maintained by Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center is very complete. The site has links for a wide range of bee keepers, from beginners to more experienced bee keepers. There is also a link for contacting an expert to ask a question. Some of the link categories include: blogs, discussion groups, articles, government resources and much more.

Website: Colony Collapse Disorder, Ohio State University

This website is maintained by Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. It has extensive, current links to a variety of other websites that have information about colony collapse disorder.

Website: Colony Collapse Disorder

This website maintained by the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium at Pennsylvania State University 2007 has detailed information about Colony Collapse Disorder. The various sections of the site are updated often with current links. There is a collection of powerpoints, podcasts, articles, and press releases. While the primary reason to include this link was for information about CCD, there are several other helpful links included in the site about beginning beekeeping, equipment, honey bee biology, hive and honey management, disease and pests, and pollination.

Suppliers: Brushy Mountain Bee Farm

Brushy Mountain Bee Farm
This supplier of equipment and bees has a FAQ section may prove helpful for some questions.

Suppliers: Betterbee

This retailer is based in upstate New York. The website sells supplies, bees and has a section of resources.

Suppliers: Dadant and Sons

Dadant and Sons
This retailer is one of the oldest bee suppliers. They publish books and journals. They have branch locations that also sell supplies.

Website: Who’s who in North American Beekeeping

Who’s who in North American Beekeeping
Maintained by Bee Culture Magazine, this state/providence listing of regional, county or state-wide beekeeping associations. If available, address, phone, email, website and contact person information is shared.

Website: Bee Master

Bee Master
This website has two main features, a collection of YouTube tutorials (http://www.beemaster.com/honeybee/beehome.htm) and the BeeMaster International Forum/Message Board (http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php). 2500+ members of the board support others in a variety of subject areas.

Websites: American Beekeeping Federation

American Beekeeping Federation
This group support more of the needs of larger scale or commercial beekeepers, including issues related to legislation, importing of bees, queen bees and much more. Information for non-beekeepers and 4-H groups is also available via their website.

Journal: American Bee Journal

American Bee Journal
This journal printed by the Dadant company is the oldest English language publication on the subject of bees. Available via the website is the table of contents and magazine index for the previous year.

Journals: Bee Craft

Bee Craft
This publication is from the British Beekeeping Association. It has dedicated sections for beginning and expert bee keepers, as well as research primarly focused on Europe.

Library Classfication

In case you need more information, it may help to try these subject headings.

Library of Congress Classification
Bee Keeping -- SF523
Honey -- SF539

Dewy Classification
Bee Keeping –638
Bees –595
Honey – 641

Book: Natural beekeeping: Organic approaches to modern apiculture

Conrad, R. (2007). Natural beekeeping: Organic approaches to modern apiculture. White River Junction, VT: Chelse Green Publishing.

This book is both for the experienced and beginning bee keeper looking for ways to practice integrated pest management or organic bee keeping. Detailed plans for various mite controls are shared with pictures and diagrams. Information of how to repair and improve premade bee keeping equipment is given.

Chapter topics include: Why organic beekeeping; working with the hive; hive management; genetics and breeding; parasitic mites; other insect pests; four legged and feathered pests; environmental and human threats; hive diseases; the honey harvest; organics and the evolution of bee keeping; afterward (which discusses colony collapse disorder).

Features include:
· Photographs
· Diagrams
· Glossary
· Resources
· Index

Website: Who’s who in North American Beekeeping

Who’s who in North American Beekeeping
Maintained by Bee Culture Magazine, this website provides a state/providence listing of regional, county or state-wide beekeeping associations. If available, address, phone, email, website and contact person information is shared.

Book: Beekeeping: An illustrated handbook

Stelley, D. G. (1983). Beekeeping: An illustrated handbook. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: TAB Books.

This book covers getting started with beekeeping through commercial opportunities. It also details how to build much of the equipment yourself, with detailed instructions and drawings.

Chapter topics include: Historical highlights; getting to know bees; finding a place for your hive; getting your gear; obtaining bees and establishing a colony; seasonal management; diseases, pests and pesticides; honey harvesting; honey; marketing your honey; cooking with honey; other honeybee products; do-it-yourself equipment.

Features include:
Illustrations, graphs and diagrams
State Universities, Extension Services and Inspectors
Organizations and Service Groups
Government Agencies
Bee Literature Collections
First Aid for Bee Stings

Book: A book of bees

Hubbell, S. (1988). A book of bees. New York: Random House.

This book takes the reader through a year of keeping bees by season. This book will be most helpful for a beginning bee keeper. It is written in narrative format.

Features include:

Book: The backyard beekeeper: An absolute beginner’s guide to keeping bees in your yard and garden

Flottum, K. (2005). The backyard beekeeper: An absolute beginner’s guide to keeping bees in your yard and garden. Gloucester, MA: Quarry Books.

This full-color book is geared towards the beginner or small-scale beekeeper. The photographs help beekeepers know what to look for or what certain issues look like. Recipes for cooking and body products are included. The book has side bar tips throughout.

Chapter topics include: In the beginning; about bees; about beekeeping; about bees wax; about honey

Features include:
Full-color photographs

Book: The hive: The story of the honeybee and us

Watson, B. (2004). The hive: The story of the honeybee and us. New York: Thomas Dunne Books.

This book examines the roles of bees and honey has had in the lives of humans throughout history, in nearly all aspects of human life. A brief explanation of bees and bee characteristics will help get a non-beekeeper enough biological background information.

Chapter topics include: Work; sex; politics; food and drink; life and death; the beekeeper.

Features include:

Book: The new complete guide to beekeeping

Morse, R. A. (1994). The new complete guide to beekeeping. Woodstock, VT: The Countryman Press.

This book is well suited for a beginning beekeeper. The first several chapters run through a typical year of beekeeping by season, including harvest time. Photographs throughout the text help to show issues a beekeeper may encounter.

Chapter topics include: Bees and beekeeping; how to get started in beekeeping; spring management; summer management; removing the honey crop; fall management; wintering honey bees; pests predators, diseases and pesticides; major and minor honey plants; pollination; special practices; honey bee biology; Africanized honey bees: history and prospects; sources of information.

Features include:

Book: The hive and the honey bee

Graham, J.M. (Ed.). (1992). The hive and the honey bee. Hamilton, Illinois: Dadant and Sons.

This comprehensive book gives detailed information about all aspects of bees, beekeeping and honey production. This book is well suited for beekeepers at all levels. While written by experts in the field, this text is readable even for a beginning bee keeper. Each chapter has extensive references, photographs, graphs and diagrams.

Chapters include: The worlds beekeeping: past and present; honey bees of the world; the honey bee colony: life history; the anatomy of the honey bee; the physiology and social physiology of the honey bee; honey bee nutrition; honey bee genetics and breeding; activities and behavior of honey bees; honey bee pheromones; the production of nectar and pollen; bee forage of North America and the potential for planting for bees; bee keeping equipment; for the beginner; management for honey production; honey and wax: a consideration of production, processing and packaging techniques; the production of comb and bulk comb honey; business practices and profitability; surplus honey and the small beekeeper; marketing the crop of a commercial bee keeper; wintering productive hives; honey; other products of the hive; production of queens and package bees; crop pollination; diseases and pests of honey bees; injury to honey bees by poisoning; allergy to venomous insects.

Features include
Diagrams and graphs
Author index

Book: Letters from the hive: An intimate history of bees, honey, and humankind

Buchman, S. & Repplier, B. (2005). Letters from the hive: An intimate history of bees, honey, and humankind. New York: Bantam Book.

This book is an informative text written in a more narrative format. It details the history of humankind’s relationship with bees. This book is more historically informational rather than a how-to book.

Chapter topics include: prehistoric honey hunters; ancient rituals and modern day honey hunters; the beekeeper’s craft; a year in the life of a beekeeper; secrets of the bee; bees in myth, legend and ancient warfare; trading honey in the ancient and modern worlds; a taste of honey: sampling varieties from around the world; cooking with honey throughout the ages, mead, good for what ails you.

Features include:
· Glossary
· Bees of the world
· Other products of the hive
· Chemical composition of honey
· Resources

Book: Hive Management: A Seasonal Guide for Beekeepers

Bonney, R.E. (1990). Hive management: A seasonal guide for beekeepers. Pownal, VT:Storey Communications.

This book explains what to expect in a year of bee keeping, grouped by the seasons. The largest emphasize is on the spring season of getting ready for the nectar flow. There are photographs of hives in distress, which would be useful for any beekeeper trying to answer the question “What am I looking for if I think the bees are sick?”.
There is also a chapter issue related to swarming. What to look for, why it happens, what to do about it and how to capture them. Photographs are included, which may also be helpful to any beekeeper facing a swarm.

· Index
· Appendix
o Disease, mites, Africanized bees
o Additional reading list

Book:Rearing Queen Honey Bees

Morse, R. A. (1979). Rearing queen honey bees. Ithaca, NY:Wicwas Press.

This book is a more specific text that examines how to raise queen bees. It gives information about queen life cycle, needed equipment, methods to generate a queen, commercial queen production, ways to re-queen colonies, control of natural mating and other considerations. This text will be more useful for a more advanced bee keeper or anyone having difficulties with their queens.
Includes an index and further reading.

Book: Keeping Bees

Vivian, J. (1986). Keeping bees. Charlotte, VT: Williamson.
This general text offers basic how-to information with lots of photographs and illustrations to help get a beehive/beeyard started. There are many do-it-yourself plans and suggestions for equipment. Detailed cautionary information related to actual experience is shared. Chapter topics include: bee season; honey extraction; wild or feral bees; disease.

Photographs and illustrations througout
Several appendix
Bee keeping supplies and equipment
International sources for equipment
Periodicals (US and International)
Book lists and information sources

Book: A Year in the Beeyard

Morse, R. A. (1983). A year in the beeyard. New York: Charles Scribner’s & Sons.

This book is a month by month of what to do, what to be concerned about, what to be on the lookout for related to bee keeping. The dates are based on a New York State beeyard, so the dates may need to be adjusted for particular local conditions.
Includes a selected bibliography and index.

Book: Killer Bees: The Africanized Honey Bee in the Americas

Winston, M. L. (1992). Killer bees: The Africanized honey bee in the Americas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

This book explains the history and biology of the Africanized bees, tropical and temperate honey bees and how the bees arrived in South America. It fully explains the process of Africanization. It also explains what the experience in South America has been like, what coping strategies have worked and what America might expect. Some of the details may be dated, but the overall historical information remains helpful.
Each chapter has a list of recommended readings.

Book: The Queen and I

Weiss, E. A. (1978). The queen and I. New York: Harper and Row.

This how-to guide, written in first person narrative format, brings the reader through a typical year of bee keeping. The first five chapters are dedicated to getting started and the first six weeks of hive development. Chapters cover history, tools and common mistakes. Side bars include helpful tips throughout the book. The tone of this book is one of a master bee keeper sharing with an apprentice.

Book: The joys of bee keeping

Taylor, R. (1974). The joys of bee keeping. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

This narrative guide is written by an experienced bee keeper. It is part “how to” and part bee philosophy. It would be most helpful to someone who has some of the basics but would enjoy a more philosophical perspective.

Book: Honey bee pests, predators and diseases

Morse, R. A. (1978). Honey bee pests, predators and diseases. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

This book will be helpful for some of the more classic honey bee pests, like skunks and toads. The book has a world-wide focus, so it may be useful for bee keepers in a variety of locations, not just in the US. It has many practical suggestions and gives detailed directions on how to do much of the work yourself (i.e.: fence building). If someone is facing an issue related to mites or colony collapse disorder, you should refer to a more current publication.


16 authors from universities and USDA
Photographs and illustrations of the various pests or evidence one should look for in the hive
Chapters include: bacteria; protozoa; fungi; nematodes; moths; flies; ants; wasps & bees; spiders; mites & ticks; frogs/toads; birds; mammals; abnormalities and non-infectious disease; plant poisoning; antibiotic systems in honey, nectar & pollen; control methods.
Extensive references
Index of scientific names
General index
Several appendix
1. Overview of species Apis and it’s various characteristics worldwide.
2. Synonymy of bee disease, description of foul brood
3. United States Federal and State laws related to bee transport and disease as of 1978.
4. Canadian laws relating to transport of bees and bee disease.

Indexes: HoneyO.com

HoneyO.com - Home of All Things HoneyTM: US Honey & Beekeeping
Associations: http://www.honeyo.com/org-US_State.shtml

This is a very useful website overall. This specific page is full of information related to beekeeping and associations of beekeepers. My target audience for this pathfinder is someone getting started considering beekeeping and finding someone local to provide local information is invaluable. This page provides links to state associations, which then link (most often) to county, city or regional associations.

Bibliographies: Agricultural Research Service

United States Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service.
(2005). The ARS Bee Bibliography. Retrieved March 5, 2008, from http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=7494

This website has two important links for anyone looking for additional beekeeping related information. The ARS Bee Bibliography was maintained from 1905 – 1973 and contains 30,000 records related to bees, beekeeping, bee products, laws and other issues. The bibliography is searchable through the website.
The second link is to Agricola, the Department of Agriculture’s library catalog. It has a searchable catalog of books and articles, which can be requested via local public or academic library interlibrary loan services. Most of the entries for books have abstracts which are helpful for narrowing down which book would be most helpful.

Bibliographies: Apicultural Abstracts


International Beekeeping Association. Apicultural abstracts. Gerrards Cross,
Bucks., Eng: International Bee Research Association.

This publication (ISSN: 0003-648X) was last updated in 2005 and will no longer be updated. The IBRA has put much of this information in their other publications: Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World. While it may not have the most current publications, it will provide a researcher common titles which cover beekeeping topics. The IBRA maintains a website (www.ibra.org.uk) which has many other resources as well the ability to request a bee-related search from a staff librarian.
This is the most current resource available. Many of the other printed resources in this category were last updated in the 70’s and 80’s.

Encyclopedia: Gale

DuVal, E. (2002). Apiculture. In A. B. Cobb (Ed.), Animal Sciences, Vol. 1.
(pp. 36-38). New York: Macmillan Reference USA. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from Gale Virtual Reference Library via Gale: http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CCX3400500026&v=2.1&u=nclivegp&it=r&p=GVRL&sw=w

I read all of the online encyclopedias available via NCLive, and this article was the most comprehensive, easy to read and illustrated. I am a visual learner, so I appreciate the photographs. Many of the online articles were completely lacking of photographs; this is disappointing because many children (and adults) find browsing an encyclopedia volume, mostly looking at the pictures is fun and educational.

The other helpful feature of this article is the bibliography at the end of the article, which can be used to find other resources and information.

Dictonary Resource

Grove, P. B. (Ed.). (1993). Webster’s third new international unabridged
dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster.

Beekeeping (n): the branch of agriculture concerned with the production of and caring for bees and honey: apiculture.

I chose this resource for a couple reasons. Practically, it was the only unabridged dictionary I could get my hands on. I appreciate how unabridged dictionaries use complete words, so I don’t find myself confused by abbreviations used in a definition. In this definition it also gave me a scientific word to also use in my searching, which is helpful in this topic and could be invaluable when working with topics I am even less familiar with.
There is also something quite satisfying in hauling open such a large volume as an unabridged dictionary. In the world of so much electronic information, this is a simple pleasure.