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Beekeeping Books


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Simple, Smart Beekeeping:

Simple, Smart Beekeeping cover

Simple, Smart Beekeeping helps streamline your beekeeping success. This book will guide you through your years of beekeeping. Short, informative chapters cut through all the jargon and tell you just what you need to know.

When we started out keeping bees, we were eager to learn. We attended four introductory bee courses. To our dismay, each one contradicted the other. But we persevered, trotting the globe the last nine years in search of good beekeeping practices.

We traveled over 50,000 miles by car throughout Western Europe, meeting with bee breeders, bee scientists and avid beekeepers. Returning to the States, Kirsten earned her PhD in bee biology. We ventured to New Zealand just as the worst bee parasite, the aptly named Varroa destructor,
hit their remote shores.

Throughout our madcap beekeeping adventures, fine art photographer Michael documented the mysteries of the hive in exquisite detail.

We learned from the very best! Simple, Smart Beekeeping shares our hard-won knowledge
and helps you succeed in your beekeeping endeavor.

Simple, Smart Beekeeping book
Year End Special $25 plus shipping
To purchase a copy, signed by both authors, and inscribed, simply let us know the name to whom the book should be made out in the box below and click add to cart.

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Bee Culture Book Review:

In far, far too many beginner books the publishers want stunning, up close photos that show stunning up close bees. Little or nothing about how to, when to, it looks like this. That’s not the case here. The photos are stunning, up close photos showing exactly what needs to be seen describing a given task or subject. I was impressed with every page. ….Excellent photos, easy reading, and lots of ground covered with solid, up to date information. Hard to beat any book that does that.

-Kim Flottum


If you’re flipping through the pages of this book, you’ve already been stung with curiosity. You’ve toyed with the idea of keeping your own hive. Perhaps you want pollinators for your garden. Or
maybe a taste of honey from a local beekeeper stirred a desire to harvest your own. Possibly you’ve heard bees are disappearing and thought you could help by keeping a hive.

Whatever your reason for picking up this book, you’ve joined a growing crowd that stretches back
through time. Bees have fascinated mankind since before we had a written language.

There are many ways to keep bees. Many things you’ll hear will work. But unfortunately there’s also
lots of bad information out there. Before jumping head first into keeping bees, many would-be beekeepers attend a short course, an introductory class on beekeeping.

When my husband and I started out, we attended four of these intro classes peppered throughout
nearby counties. To our dismay they were often contradictory and confusing. Experienced beekeepers would throw out terms without explanation, sending our heads spinning. Instead of focusing on the joys of beekeeping, they presented long lists of what you should never do and the many pitfalls of beekeeping.

Like with any livestock, you should be aware that animals can catch infections and parasites. Bees are no exception. However, we feel it is best to learn what a healthy hive looks like. Then you will quickly recognize when something is amiss and can seek help from knowledgeable beekeepers or bee inspectors.

So why are we writing this book? Because your first few years of beekeeping should be a joy and not a burden. It’s a fascinating journey. A journey we started without knowing the interesting path we would end up following. We have kept bees for many years now. In 2006-2007 we spent 18 months traveling over 50,000 miles by car throughout Western Europe, investigating
how to keep healthy hives and studying the differences between American and European
beekeeping. In 2008 I started my PhD program in bee biology, earning my degree by studying honey bee communication. I currently investigate how pesticides impact honey bee health at the University of Maryland.

Despite all our experiences with bees, the hives still surprise us. I love opening up a hive. Remove the lid, slip out a frame and instead of order, you see a chaotic jumble of moving bees. Out of this cacophony, the colony grows, produces wax, makes honey, though no one is in command.

Everyone should experience the sensation of opening a hive. It forces you to slow down, to observe, to watch nature unfold.

Because of our bad experiences with short courses, we’ve made a conscious decision that this book will not cover it all. Instead it is a guide for learning how to keep bees. We’ve done our best to keep it to the necessary essentials, so you can experience the wonders of the hive. With time and experience, adjust and change things to suit your own style of beekeeping.

Beekeeping Book Chapters

  • Introduction: Why Keep Bees
  • History of Beekeeping
  • Essential Equipment for Keeping Bees
  • Installing Bees
  • Varroa
  • Summer Work
  • Winter Work
  • Bee Diseases
  • and Many More Informative Chapters
  • plus 190+ full color images shot in the field around the world
  • Helps you learn Simple, Smart Beekeeping techniques!

Used by the University of Maryland's Beekeeping Course with great success. Makes a fantastic textbook for beekeeping classes. Discounts available for bulk orders. Order now for your club's upcoming short course. Just contact us.