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Newbie here & I feel overwhelmed. Please help suggest books to read


Hi there! Just started reading the forum & am a newbie to beekeeping. I received the flowhive & we will be setting it up in the next 2 weeks in northern Nevada, USA. I was hoping that there was a list of recommended books that will give me a good immersion into the basics & how to start. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with all the info here but I know it will start to make sense as I continue. I also have a lead on a local beekeeper who may be able to help mentor me yay :slight_smile:


Hi Angela, certainly latch on to that beekeeper mentor.

A video I like is on You Tube, the title is “City of The Bees”. it’s a great video shows you a lot of “Bee Culture”.

If you can borrow a copy of the “ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture”. There’s a lot of good information in that. Then of cause you have “Beekeeping For Dummies”. I never read that one. Good luck with your beekeeping, cheers


That is one of the best things you can do, well done! I would also join your local beekeeping club - there are lots in the US, so there is bound to be one not too far from you.

As far as books are concerned, you can buy @Michael_Bush’s book if you like books, or you can read all of his content free on his web site (and then make a suitable donation :smile: ).
Michael is one of the leading lights in Natural Beekeeping, but he has a very logical and balanced approach. Having said that, you will need some familiarity with the terminology, concepts and equipment before you will get the most out of his experience. So I also suggest:
Beekeeping for Dummies - lots of bad advice in this book (on disease treatment in particular), but you will get an idea of all of the terminology and a general plan for inspecting your hives. There are some helpful photos and diagrams, and some discount coupons for various US beekeeping suppliers. It is written for complete beginners, and you should have no trouble in reading most of it in less than a week.

If you want to understand bee biology and life cycle, this book is pretty good - The Beekeeper’s Handbook. It is written by a couple of scientists, and some of the advice is also possibly impractical and not a great idea, but you will certainly get a great understanding of the life of a bee colony, and what they need.

Otherwise, read everything you can on this forum. Like skinning cats, there are many ways to keep bees successfully, so expect a LOT of different opinions. Over time, you will work out what is best for you and your bees.

All the best, and welcome to the Flow forum!



Thank you I will check out that video & all the books you both suggested! Thank you for the quick reply too. I’m very excited to get started.


Your welcome, it’s something to watch over & over because you always pick up something you missed the previous time. It’s made in the early 60’s.

I think the trick to beekeeping is to understand bee culture. Once you understand bee culture, you can apply it to your beekeeping practices.




Honeybee Democracy by Thomas D. Seeley
This book totally changed how I saw bees and their interactions in the hive.


The Haynes Manual is good too. I found that reading the basic books first and gradually progressing to more books that give an in depth insight into beekeeping was the best route for me. Watching utube is fine but you have to take some of it with a pinch of salt and not believe it will all work in you area and climate. Talking to local beekeepers is good and going to local clubs helps a lot. Hands on instruction with your mentor will help enormously.


I’m doing an online Intro to Beekeeping class that will be 100% relevant to the Flow Hive on March 16 at 4PM PT. It’s a three hour lecture with handouts and email support. It’s designed for total beginners, but I have had even intermediate beeks say they learned a lot. My policy is that if you did not find the class useful, I will give you a refund. So, it’s a no risk venture! You can read more and sign up on my website. While you are there you might checkout my blog for lots of useful free info. http://girlnextdoorhoney.com/product/online-intro-to-beekeeping-class-for-non-locals/


Hey Angela,

I just saw the flowhive and also live in Northern Nevada and am super interested to hear if you got your hive up and running, how it worked, and absolutely anything you can share.

I’d love to get a flowhive for my mom for her birthday, but also want to make sure I don’t saddle her with a project that is likely to fail in this area.

Thank you!
Nikki (north of Reno)


Michale’s glossary was to me an invaluable precursor to understanding all the other literature.


I wanted to do beekeeping for years but every time I looked into it I was also overwhelmed by it all…

once we ordered a flowhive, I went and did a beekeeping course which took away most of my fears…

in fact, … I became so confident we went out and purchased a full standard beehive with bees to get going… by the time that the flowhive turned up we’d been beekeepers for nearly 12 months…

have made mistakes. sure, but when in doubt leave the bees alone and they can take care of themselves until you can think things through or are able to get answers to your problem…


There is also this: