Beekeeping for Beginners by Amber Bradshaw shares tips and ideas to help you create a backyard bee haven. From beehive selection to honey harvest, and everything in between, Amber walks you through step by step. You'll have all the information you need to decide if beekeeping is right for you.
Contents of “Beekeeping for Beginners”
Beekeeping for Beginners is divided into two parts:
- Part One: All About Bees and Setting up an Apiary
- Part Two: The First Year of Your New Colony
All About Bees and Setting up an Apiary includes:
- Benefits, challenges, legality and “other things to consider” before getting your first bee hive.
- The role of each bee in the hive and how they communicate – from queens bees laying eggs fertilized by the male bees (drones) to worker bees gathering nectar and pollen.
- Choosing the honeybee hive that right for you and your bees – Langstroth, Top Bar or Warre – and must have beekeeping equipment. (Amber does not encourage the use of the Flow Hive in natural beekeeping.)
- Deciding on the right type of honey bee and creating a bee friendly yard.
The First Year of Your New Colony includes:
- Bringing home your package bees and safely introducing them to their new hive and habitat.
- How to do a hive inspection to monitor hive health, recording conditions in a “beekeeping for beginners” journal and coping with bee stings.
- What to expect with your hive as the honeybees settle in and through the seasons.
- Harvesting the honey stores (and beeswax) safely for you and the bees and what to do with the bounty.
- Keeping your honeybee hive healthy and productive, including finding local beekeepers as mentors to help you on your journey.
- Expanding your apiary, what happens when a swarm leaves the hive, requeening and beekeeping equipment hygiene.
Beekeeping for Beginners is filled with interesting snippets – like how bees poop, and what to look for in healthy hive toileting habits. Two pages of old time remedies and natural remedies for bee stings give you plenty of options for pain relief, should your ladies decide to take offense.
The charts and ample photos to make the text easy to follow, including common equipment like the smoker and hive tool. A detailed list of beekeeping resources and glossary rounds out the text. There are organizations, beekeeping apps, supplies and supplementary information sources. The glossary covers beekeeping terms every beekeeper should know before you get your first hive.
Where this beekeeping book began…
Beekeeping for Beginners is a great introduction to the art of natural beekeeping. I think Amber did a wonderful job on her first book – and I'm not saying that just because she's my friend.
I connected Amber with the publisher because they were looking for someone with cast iron cooking experience. (She cooks on a wood stove at their Tennessee homestead.) That project didn't pan out, but they did invite her to write about beekeeping.
She was nervous about tackling the project because they had so much going on with establishing their new homestead, building their home, and recording a TV show, but I knew she's the kind of person who can do anything she sets her mind to do. (If you spot my name in the acknowledgements, this is why.)
I was not disappointed. I think you'll enjoy the book, too, and encourage you to check it out and support a newly christened author. Good job, Amber!
You can pre-order your copy now at a great sale price.
How fun is beekeeping?
Ask any long term amateur beekeeper, and I bet they'll tell you that one of the reasons they keep bees is because it's a fun and fascinating hobby. A healthy hive hums with life. If you have a garden or orchard, the bees help with fruit set. You get delicious honey and wax for candles, salves and other projects. Yes, there's work involved, but also rewards – plus you're helping the bees.
Still on the fence about bees? We have a number of articles on the site about bees and honey, including:
- 7 Reasons You Need Homestead Bees
- 5 Uses for Honey that Everyone Should Know
- Honey as Medicine
- Start Beekeeping – Iron Oak Farm's First Hive
- Bumblebee – Super Charged Pollinator for Your Yard and Garden