New series of books coming to beekeeping: The Mentor Series

When it comes to how-to books, I’m a BIG fan. Especially when they’re beekeeping books, and there’s plenty of them. I have bought quite a few books on Beekeeping, and checked out several from the library.

And just like everything in life, there’s some good ones and some not-so-good ones. It’s redundant to find book after book with the same BASIC information on hive tools, hive beetle, etc. So as you can imagine, I have my own little collection of beekeeping books that I’ve bought over the years that I feel really adds to our unique profession.

I like books that give outside-of-the-box information. And for these reasons I am adding to the book-world of beekeeping with a unique book series of my own: The Mentor Series.

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american honey plants book
Here is one of my favorites that I refer to often throughout my blog. American Honey Plants has influenced my beekeeping awareness and is pretty much the catalyst for my honey bee photography. Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

My primary goal with The Mentor Series is to provide a practical use for the information inside. Specifically experiential information. I want to offer the type of information that all experienced beekeepers wish they had known from the beginning. Something more than just the basics.

The way I figure it, if I could go back in time and meet myself, what would I tell my past me about beekeeping in order to ‘jump start’ my beekeeping experience? In essence, I’m talking about a mentor. Someone who shares their experience with the inexperienced. Hence, The Mentor Series.

honey in the comb book
This book has had the greatest impact on the type of equipment I run in my apiary and how I run it. Honey in the Comb is much more than just how to make comb honey.
Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

The series is going to cover topics like where to begin and how to choose the right stuff for beginners. As a building block, Book One is all about Choosing the Best Gear. The remaining eight books in the series will continue to cover beginner, intermediate and even advanced beekeeping levels. I have a lot of exciting things to share.

Why am I writing a series of books as opposed to one big book to cover all topics? Well, I have a couple of reasons. First, so that beginners do not become overwhelmed with the wide girth of information and second, so that more experienced beekeepers do not have to wade through the mundane waters of beginner information.

the hive and the honey bee book
This is not a book. It is a Tome! From cover to cover is a collection of research studies done in just about every topic on beekeeping that you can imagine. This is the book I refer to for the more scientific and technical information. Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

You see, each book in the series is going to cover very specific topics. This gives the chance for greater detail to be given when it matters most. I mean, how many times have you read an author write when to do such and such, without giving the how or the why? Or vice versa. And also, with each book in the series covering specific topics, you can choose which one applies to you the most.

Do you want to know which veil is going to last you the longest and give you the best visibility? Or do you want to figure out why your smoker keeps going out and what you can do about it? Then Book One is the one for you. Or perhaps you want to learn how to make some quality comb honey? Then Book Nine is what you’re looking for. Or maybe you’re getting frustrated with winter losses? There’s good news! Books Five & Six are all about wintering successfully and confidently. And there’s much more.

at the hive entrance book
This is the thinnest book I own but it’s still worth its weight in beeswax! At the Hive Entrance has influenced my beekeeping with its brilliant idea of observing a beehive’s entrance in order to understand what is going on inside the hive. I take it everywhere I go.
Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

The information is not based solely on my own experience. No no. I learned from others’ experiences as well. I have been around a dozen different commercial beekeepers for years. And I’ve had the privilege of getting to know some hobby beekeepers in my area of Georgia at the local beekeeping club. I’ve seen them struggle.

Plus, like I said in the beginning of this post, I am a how-to book nerd. My small, but very meticulously selected collection of beekeeping books has served me well. More so, as I have put what I have learned from them into years of successful practice.


Book one cover photo of the mentor series
Here’s the current cover of Book One of the Mentor Series. Photo by Jonathan Hargus©

Here’s my current progress at the time of this post: All Nine books are currently in the making and planning phase. Book One is in the writing phase. The covers have been designed and book one will soon be pressed through the ‘awesome’ machine. And I have an editor too! So technically I have a team on this project and it’s going to be great. I’m so excited about writing this new series as one way that I want to contribute to the community of Keepers.

Even though I have not yet revealed everything that I’m covering in the Nine Book Series, I would really appreciate hearing from you about what you would like to learn about. The books haven’t been written yet and if I can include something that is important to you then it’s worth making a comment below. Is there something that’s been eluding you? Hey, we’re all in this together. Most beekeepers have one thing in common: they each want to find the sweet spot in their beekeeping practices. They want to reach a point where their bees are thriving and making lots of honey.

Thanks for joining me again today. I hope you look forward to this half as much as I do. Stay updated on this book series on my Projects Page here. And for any parents or teachers reading this you may be interested to keep tabs on my first children’s picture book coming this summer. Learn more about it on this Projects Page here.

Until next time remember,

~Weeds are Wildflowers, let them Bee.~

Jonathan Hargus/Author Extraordinaire

7 Thoughts

  1. Oh fantastic! I think it’s brilliant. I too have such a huge stack of acquired knowledge and you’re right – so many books say the same thing. I think showing the sheer range of bee colony individuality is something that is missed in most books as it talks about ‘it’ like they’re all the same, whereas there is HUGE variation and this is something that can throw a newbee. Can’t wait to see what you do!

      1. I like The Buzz about Bees by Jurgen Tautz. That’s what got me in to keeping bees rather than just making honey 😉

      2. So I looked up the Buzz about Bees. It’s a neat coincidence that you brought it up because I just red a short blog about that book! The blogger name is Katkoot. I gotta see this book for myself.

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