The super-organism of the honeybee (apis mellifera) is not only awe-inspiring, it’s worth understanding. Both for your own personal gratification, and for the pollination of your nation.
This list is a part of the notes we provide to students at the Natural Beekeeping courses we run with Tim Malfroy. It’s a list of Tim’s favorite books on bees, garnered from a lifetime of active research, practice, and discussion.
These books are largely not ‘how to’ books, but more ‘why to’ books, as regards natural beekeeping. Mind you, Emile Warré’s Beekeeping For All is an incredible synergy of how and why to consider partnering with bees in a method of beekeeping other than conventional practice. A gentle, fascinating read.
As are all the books on this list, actually. So much knowledge about bees past and present, still so much yet to be understood! A great list of books for the holidays…
- The Biology of the Honeybee, Mark L Wilston (also on GoogleBooks)
- The Buzz About Bees: Biology of a Super-organism, Jurgen Tautz (also on GoogleBooks)
- Honeybee Democracy, Thomas Seeley (also on GoogleBooks)
- The Wisdom of the Hive, Thomas Seeley (also on GoogleBooks)
- The Dancing Bees, Karl Von Frisch (also on GoogleBooks)
Natural Beekeeping Books:
- The Bee-friendly Beekeeper, David Heaf (available in Australia from Tim Malfroy)
- The Barefoot Beekeeper, Phil Chandler
- The People’s Hive – Beekeeping For All, Emile Warré (free download – David Heaf has just released a great paper copy, which can be got from Tim if you’re in Oz)
- Wisdom of the Bees, Erik Berrevoets (also on GoogleBooks)
- Fruitless Fall: the Collapse of the Honeybee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis, Rowan Jacobsen (also on GoogleBooks) – if you read just one book on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and the implications for agriculture, read this one – peer reviewed by many independent researchers as extremely accurate and not designed to pull your heart strings unduly..
- The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting, Eva Crane
- A Book of Honey, Eva Crane
- The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore, Hilda Ransome
Native Australian Bees:
For more info on Warré and Natural Beekeeping, head to Tim Malfroy’s website as a starting point, and explore the links from there.
There’s also this great Warré beekeeping yahoo group which is super supportive for beginners.
Or you could get the full lowdown at one of our Natural Beekeeping courses with Tim. They are awesome and they’re enough to set you solidly on the path to natural beekeeping. We’re also in the midst of scheduling a Natural Beekeeping field day at our Warré apiary at Milkwood Farm in Autumn.
Many thanks to Tim Malfroy for sharing his knowledge so generously. Leading photo by Cathy X.