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Beekeeping for Dummies

Beekeeping for Dummies 



  • Howland Blackiston


  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764554190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764554193
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.14 pounds


Book Description

Believe it or not, bees are one of the oldest species of domesticated animals. Archeologists have found evidence of beekeeping, or apiculture, in the Middle East dating back more than five thousand years. If you’ve ever tasted good clover honey, it’s not hard to understand why. But it’s not just for the honey that more than 125,000 people (and growing) in the United States, alone, keep hives. Anyone interested in nature can’t help but be fascinated by those buzzing yellow bundles of energy and the exotic world they inhabit, with all its weird rituals and incredible efficiency. Also, dedicated gardeners appreciate the extra bounty that pollinating bees bring to their fruits, flowers, and vegetable gardens.

In this easy-to-follow guide, Howland Blackiston, one of the nation’s most respected authorities on the subject, takes the mystery (and the sting) out of beekeeping. Taking a step-by-step approach to successful backyard beekeeping, he gets you up and running with all the information you need to:

  • Build a hive
  • Establish your first colony
  • Inspect your hives with confidence
  • Maintain healthy colonies
  • Deal with pests and fix common problems
  • Harvest and enjoy fresh homemade honey
  • Bottle and market your honey

Howland Blackiston covers all the bases, from bee anatomy, society, and behavior, to identifying and healing common illnesses afflicting bees. He also offers inventive solutions to most common and many uncommon problems you’re likely to run into. Among other things, you’ll discover:

  • Where to put your hive, basic equipment you’ll need, and how to assemble a hive
  • The best and safest way to inspect and enjoy your bees
  • Year-round tasks a beekeeper must perform to maintain a healthy colony
  • How to recognize and deal with common problems with brood production and the precious queen
  • How to harvest honey and decide what kind of honey you’d like to make
  • Making products from beeswax and propolis

For both fun and profit, beekeeping has become a booming enterprise. A real honey of a book, Beekeeping For Dummies gets you on the road to enjoying this ancient, highly-rewarding, and oh-so-tasty hobby. 

From the Back Cover

"The information a beginner needs to keep bees with confidence." Kim Flottum, Bee Culture Magazine "A reader-friendly guide to beekeeping for novices or beginners." Dewey M. Caron, Professor of Entomology, University of Delaware

A honey of a book on an increasingly popular hobby

For both enjoyment and profit, beekeeping has become a booming enterprise. In this easy-to-follow guide, author Howland Blackiston removes the mystery from this pastime, offering inventive solutions to many common — and uncommon dilemmas. Realize the benefits of keeping bees, from aiding the environment to enjoying homemade honey and wax products. For more plain-English advice, see:

The Dummies Way® Explanations in plain English "Get in , get out" information Icons and other navigational aids Tear-out cheat sheet Top ten lists A dash of humor and fun

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About the Author(s)

Howland Blackiston is the president and co-owner of, and a beekeeper with over 20 years experience. He is a well known media advocate for keeping bees 


Pretty good resource, but not the bee all, end all…, June 27, 2006

I used this book as my only reference for starting my career as a backyard beekeeper. I find it very helpful and it is a good reference but it’s also rather incomplete. I got my bees in Nucs not boxes and there wasn’t much that a beginner needed to understand the differences. Also, when I checked my hives for the first time, I realized that this book is lacking a lot of what looks normal and what doesn’t; there are only a few photos, mostly not very useful. Why doesn’t the book tell you to smoke yourself and the bees to help prevent stings? Why isn’t there info about using sugar water in addition to smoke to help you when in the hive? Now that I’m started I wish that there was a volume II with more detail to help me at the next level.

Still, it was a valuable tool in getting me started on this adventure and I learned a lot. a lot of the reference material out there is too technical and not practical..I still reccomend this book to anyone getting started in beekeeping.