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Beekeeping For Dummies Paperback – March 16, 2009

423 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Now updated — your guide to becoming a successful backyard beekeeper

Interested in raising honey bees? This friendly, practical guide presents a step-by-step approach to starting your own beehive, along with expert tips for maintaining a healthy colony. You get the latest on honey bee medication and treatments, harvesting and marketing your honey, and the impact the sudden disappearance of the honey bee has on our environment and economy.

  • To bee or not to bee? — understand the benefits of beekeeping and whether it's right for you

  • Build your first hive — gather the right equipment, obtain your bees, and transfer them safely to their new home

  • Get up-close and personal — see how to open and close the hive, inspect your bees at the right times, and know what to look for

  • Handle common problems — from swarming to robbing to pesticide poisoning, find simple solutions

  • Understand Colony Collapse Syndrome — learn what you can do to help save the honey bees

  • Gear up for the golden harvest — use the tools of the trade to extract honey, store it, and sell it

Praise for Beekeeping For Dummies

"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

Open the book and find:

  • The various types of honey bees and the role each plays in a colony

  • Hands-on instruction in building a hive

  • How to keep bees healthier and more productive

  • Guidelines for all phases of honey production

  • New information on raising your own queens

  • Plenty of helpful, illustrative pictures to guide you

  • The safest ways to inspect and enjoy your bees

  • A Beekeeper's Calendar organized by climate zones

About the Author

Howland Blackiston has more than 20 years' experience keeping bees. He has written many articles on beekeeping and appeared on dozens of television and radio programs, including CNBC, CNN, NPR, and Sirius Satellite Radio. Blackiston has been a keynote speaker at conferences in more than 40 countries.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2nd edition (March 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470430656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470430651
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Howland Blackiston has been keeping bees since 1981. He has written many articles on beekeeping and appeared on dozens of television and radio programs, including CNBC, CNN, NPR, The Discovery Channel, and Sirius Satellite Radio. Howland has been a keynote speaker at conferences in more than 40 countries. he is the past president of the Back Yard Beekeepers Association, and is the co-founder of www.bee-commerce.com.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 79 people found the following review helpful By kinigit on February 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
I have read a lot of beekeeping books. This is a large one with lots of information, but it is far from complete. This author as well as many others recommend the traditional method of keeping bees, meaning a Langstroth hive with chemicals and traditional methods. However, the major audience for this book and many of the other books out there are new "backyard" beekeepers who are looking to keep bees for personal enjoyment not profit. Every beekeeping book that recommends the use of Langstroth hives should be upfront and honest with the reader that this hive was designed for the purpose of keeping bees in a way that was most convenient to beekeepers producing the largest honey crop they could without consideration for the bees. I blame this author no more than any other who does not include this piece of information. Many new beekeepers have heard about the plight of the honey bee and want to help bees regain there footing in our increasingly polluted and unfriendly world. They have more time to spend working on their bees per hive and can do more than a commercial beekeeper to keep their bees happy. Consider this book as one option. There are many others and you should read more than one to find the right path for you on this adventure.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have this and the "Idiots" guide. They are a bit different, both good in their own way.

The "Idiots" leans strongly in the direction of an "all natural" approach and gives some good reasoning for that, where as the "dummies" guide is a traditional "treat it this way when disease x shows up," and almost alway with chemicals (though more natural approaches are referenced).

As a new bee keeper (me) you won't go wrong with either. The dummies guide give a little better equipment description and has photos of common problems which is nice. They are cheap, so just get both. You'll see two sides of a somewhat controversial issue in beekeeping (treat vs no treat).
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jay Gilbertson on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Beekeeping For Dummies"
by Howland Blackiston

Book Review by Jay Gilbertson

Though I would hardly suggest that if you are indeed a beekeeper, that you're a dummy, for me this wonderful book was just the right place to begin a new (and really sticky) hobby. Since author Howland Blackiston has been an actual beekeeper for over 20 years, I felt that alone was enough proof that the guy knows his bees. Boy does he!

The layout of this particular beekeeping guide was the real deal-clincher when trying to find the one-and-only. There's an enormous collection to choose from and since this is truly my first stab at beekeeping, this book laid out a practical foundation. Blackiston takes you through the process from picking up your bees, to setting up a bee apiary (or bee yard), observing your hive from spring through summer, to fall honey harvesting and wintertime's slumber. Of course, Blackiston reminds you, that though the bees rarely leave the hive in the winter, the worker bees are working like crazy to keep the queen warm and make sure her every need is met.

One of the many great surprises about Blackiston's approach was that throughout the book he tosses in a great deal of history as well as oodles of useful hints and advice from just where to put your hive, to different methods of harvesting honey, to properly tucking in your hive(s) for winter. Some of the more interesting facts are that beekeeping has been around for at least 5 thousand years, yet not until October 30, 1851 did the actual practice of beekeeping become a more standardized, and thus teachable, trade/hobby due to a fellow named Langstroth. Reverend Landstroth was the one responsible for devising the interchangeable hives that are still in use today.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Martin on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
I borrowed several books from the library when I was getting started. This was by far the best one. Well-organized and concise. It's a great reference book and a good one to buy to have on hand when you're out at the hive. Also, you don't need to read it cover to cover, just page through and find what you need when you need it. Most of the other books were all paragraphs and I had to read the whole paragraph to find what I was looking for. This one has clear titles and bullet points that are great for looking up specific information. It is a good place to start and a good suppliment to hands-on experience with an established beekeeper.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By W. Dennis Barrett on November 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this and the Beekeeper's Handbook. Beekeeping for Dummies is by far the better of the two. The information in this book is complete, well organized and easy to read. In addition, it will get you excited about the new hobby. I was amazed at how much of the information I retained, which is a testimony to the effectiveness of the writing. My friends and family are impressed not only with my passion for beekeeping, but with my knowledge as I await the spring to begin this new adventure. Both my passion and knowledge were greatly enhanced from reading this book. I think this book is a must read for all new beekeepers.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lisa C. Beatty on March 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have been contemplating keeping bees for a while, but thought that it would be too difficult. However, after reading this book, we have decided that, yes, we can keep bees! This book has a plethora of information on everything from getting started to raising your own queen. Great read for the novice as well as the veteran bee keeper!
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