There’s some pretty awesome beekeeping literature on the market. Here are some of my favorites that I recommend and some on my personal wish list to get soon.
American Honey Plants by Frank C. Pellett/ So this is one of my favorite books on beekeeping. I’ve mentioned it in several blog posts and it comes highly recommended by me! American Honey Plants is a nice thick book with over 450 pages of content and hundreds of plant descriptions. But not just any plants; honey bee forage. The whole book is arranged alphabetically and covers plants from all 50 states. It also includes quite a lot of black and white photos. With this you can learn what types of plants are available in your area that you might not have known about before.
Honey in the Comb by Eugene E. Killion/ Another old book that has completely changed the way I keep bees. The valuable information in this old book (it has that old book smell, ah!) taught me the importance of ventilation in a beehive. Ventilation is KEY for bees on so many levels: honey production, colony health, etc. On top of all that, it has incredible in-depth detail about comb honey production, which I have had impressive success with. I’ve even designed my own personal comb super that yields nice fat solid frames of honeycomb! I’ve read this book cover to cover countless times. As a bonus, it even includes queen rearing how-to. Another book that goes everywhere with me.
At the Hive Entrance by H. Storch/ A classic written by a German observer, if I’m not mistaken. The cover of this book pretty much says it all. The format inside the cover is divided into two columns and the book itself divided into seasons, so its information can be applied to anyone, anywhere. The left-handed column lists a possible observation at the hive entrance and the right-hand column explains what that observation could mean depending upon the season. The authors keen observations teach us, the beekeepers, that there are many ways to know what is happening inside of the beehive without disturbing them by opening the hive. You can’t go wrong with this.
Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture/ This is one of my all-time favorite, keep-on-the-shelf-forever books on permaculture. The book never talks about honey bees but it has plenty of information on how to create a permacultural environment in less-than-ideal conditions. My personal permacultural project is painstakingly slow. When I read this book it makes me wish I had what he has. Sepp has worked long and hard for the environment he lives in. Having a system where everything supports everything else is what he has done. You can do it too and if you already have beehives, then you are one step closer than many other people.
Growing and Propagating Wild Flowers by Harry R. Phillips/ This book is based on Mr. Phillips professional research at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. In a way, this book is a how-to be a green thumb. Imagine only buying one plant of something that you love, and being able to propagate it into dozens within a few years. And all the while you’re supporting pollinators, giving them the food and nutrition that is missing in today’s overdeveloped world. This is a must-have on my list.