50 Books About Bees

December 16, 2022

Books about bees arranged on a shelf with a mini honey jar


Thinking of giving a book about bees to a bee-loving friend or relative this year? There are literally hundreds of books about bees to consider. To help you choose, we’ve selected 50 books based on the recommendation of our staff, journalists & authors, and the books with the best reviews on Amazon. To make things easier, we’ve grouped them into categories: Introduction to Bees, Beekeeping, Bee Books for Kids, Science & Health, Wild & Native Bees, History of Bees & Beekeeping, Pollinator-friendly Gardening, Home Uses of Beeswax & Honey, and Novels about Bees & Beekeepers.


Introduction to Bees


1. The Bees in Your Backyard: A Guide to North America’s Bees Joseph Wilson and Olivia Messinger Carrill, Princeton University Press 2015



The Bees in Your Backyard provides an engaging introduction to the roughly 4,000 different bee species found in the United States and Canada, dispelling common myths about bees while offering essential tips for telling them apart in the field. The book features more than 900 stunning color photos of the bees living all around us―in our gardens and parks, along nature trails, and in the wild spaces between. It describes their natural history, including where they live, how they gather food, their role as pollinators, and even how to attract them to your own backyard.” 

Amazon Winner of the 2017 PROSE Award in Single Volume Reference/Science, Association of American Publisher


2. The Bee Book: Discover the Wonder of Bees and How to Protect Them for Generations to Come Alistair Daing, Editor, DK 2016



“The Bee Book shows you step-by-step how to create a bee-friendly garden, get started in beekeeping, and harness the power of honey for well-being. Fully illustrated with full-color photographs throughout, this beautiful guide covers everything you need to know to start your own backyard hive, from setup to harvest. Practical beekeeping techniques are explained with clear step-by-step sequences, photos, and diagrams so you’ll be prepared to establish your own colony, deal with diseases, collect a swarm, and much more.” – Amazon

“Budding entomologists, young environmentalists, and gardening enthusiasts alike are bound to discover fascinating facts and how-to project inspiration.”  – School Library Journal


3. Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of BeesThor Hanson, Basic Books 2019 



“In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They’ve given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.” – Amazon

“Buzz shines the most brightly…when Hanson’s own adoration of bees comes through: he wanders around the landscape observing them and musing about their natural history in ways that light up the page…A rewarding choice for readers keen on science and nature.” – NPR


4. Wild Honey Bees: An Intimate Portrait Ingo Arndt, Jurgen Tautz, and Thomas Seeley, Princeton University Press 2022



“In this lavishly illustrated book, Ingo Arndt, one of the world’s best wildlife photographers, and Jürgen Tautz, one of the world’s leading bee experts, set out on the trail of wild honey bees, bringing back sensational photographs, some of which document behaviors never captured before, and new scientific insights that promise to revolutionize conservation and beekeeping.” – Amazon

  • Recommended by Bridget Whalen, Best Bees Beekeeper


5. The Mind of a BeeLars Chittka, Princeton University Press 2022


books about bees the mind of a bee by lars chittka book cover


“Taking readers deep into the sensory world of bees, Chittka illustrates how bee brains are unparalleled in the animal kingdom in terms of how much sophisticated material is packed into their tiny nervous systems. He looks at their innate behaviors and the ways their evolution as foragers may have contributed to their keen spatial memory. Chittka also examines the psychological differences between bees and the ethical dilemmas that arise in conservation and laboratory settings because bees feel and think.” – Amazon

“A thorough and thoughtful primer on the interiority of bees.”Mike Welch, Scientific American


6. Bee Quest Dave Goulson, Jonathan Cape 2017



“A hunt for the most elusive bees leads Dave Goulson from the Salisbury plains to the Sussex hedgerows, from Poland to Patagonia. Whether he is tracking great yellow bumblebees in the Hebrides or chasing orchid bees through the Ecuadorian jungle, Dave Goulson’s wit, humour and deep love of nature make him the ideal travelling companion…Through his scientific expertise and passion for conservation, Goulson shows us nature’s resilience against the odds, and that beauty hides in the most surprising places.” – Amazon


7. The Bees of the WorldCharles Michener, Johns Hopkins University Press 2017



“In this extensive update of his definitive reference, Charles D. Michener reveals a diverse fauna that numbers more than 17,000 species and ranges from the common honeybee to rare bees that feed on the pollen of a single type of plant. With many new facts, reclassifications, and revisions, the second edition of The Bees of the World provides the most comprehensive treatment of the 1,200 genera and subgenera of the Apiformes. Included are hundreds of updated citations to work published since the appearance of the first edition and a new set of plates of fossil bees.” – Amazon

“Magnificent book . . . Should appeal not only to entomologists interested in bees, but also to ecologists looking for an overview of bee biology.” – Nature


Beekeeping Books


8. Beekeeping for Beginners: How To Raise Your First Bee ColoniesAmber Bradshaw, Rockridge Press 2019



“Beekeeping for Beginners is a simple, step-by-step guide that helps you learn the fundamentals of modern beekeeping. You (and your bees) will be buzzing with delight. From picking the right hive and bringing your bees home to surviving winter and collecting honey, experienced beekeeper Amber Bradshaw takes you on an easy-to-follow journey through your first year of beekeeping and beyond.” – Amazon

“Finally – a beekeeping book that’s truly for beginners. Amber walks the reader through all the basics of beekeeping with patience, a sense of humor, and honesty – including information many books skip. Well done.” – Laurie Neverman, Common Sense Home

  • Recommended by David Hansen, Best Bees Beekeeper


9. The Hive and the Honey Bee Revisited: An Annotated Update of Langstroth’s ClassicRoger Hoopingarner, Wicwas Press, 2014



“More than 150 years after L.L. Langstroth invented the movable-comb hive and brought beekeeping into the modern age, we can still learn from this historic book. The original book, preserved in its original text and illustrations, is updated and annotated by one of the foremost researchers in apiculture, Dr. Roger Hoopingarner. This book keeps alive, for future generations, beekeeping techniques from the past and offers many lessons for modern beekeepers.” – Amazon 

  • Recommended by Nate Reid, Best Bees Head Beekeeper


10. The Backyard Beekeeper: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and GardenKim Flottum, Quarry Books 2014



“More than a guide to beekeeping, it is a handbook for harvesting the products of a beehive and a honey cookbook – all in one lively, beautifully illustrated reference. This complete honey bee resource contains general information on bees; a how-to guide to the art of bee keeping and how to set up, care for, and harvest honey from your own colonies; as well as tons of bee-related facts and projects.” – Amazon

  • Recommended by Elsa Scott, Best Bees Marketing Coordinator


11. The Beekeepers HandbookDiana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile, Comstock Publishing Associates  2021



“Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile have created the best single-volume guide to the hobby and profession of beekeeping. The Beekeeper’s Handbook provides step-by-step instructions for setting up an apiary, handling bees, and working throughout the season to maintain a healthy colony and a generous.” supply of honey. Various colony care options and techniques are explained so that beekeepers can make the best choices for their hives.” – Amazon

“Since the publication of the first edition of the handbook in 1973, many thousands of novice and experienced beekeepers have relied on this book as the preferred single-volume guide to bee keeping.” – British Journal of Entomology and Natural History

  • Recommended by Noah Wilson-Rich, Best Bees Founder and Chief Science Officer


Bee Books for Kids


12. The HoneybeeKirsten Hall, Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2018



“Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.” – Amazon

“Glorious… this lively work of nonfiction has a buoyant, enthusiastic tone… children will pick up not only a bit of information but also a sense of wonder and even admiration.”  – The Wall Street Journal


13. Amazing Bees: Buzzing with Bee Facts!Sue Unstead, DK Children 2014



“Learn everything there is know about bees in Amazing Bees! From buzzing to different flowers to being a vital part of the earth’s ecosystem, bees are very busy creatures. Discover what makes bees so special and find out how we can help them in Amazing Bees.” – Amazon


14. Save the Bees (Save the Earth)Bethany Stahl, Bethany Stahl Publishing 2020



“Save the Bees tells the story of three friends working together to make Clover’s pollination route easier! This engaging children’s book that is perfect for Earth Day teaches about pollination and includes activities after the story is over to interact with the reader directly!” – Amazon


15. Bees on the RoofRobbie Shell, Tumblehome 2018



“Sam needs to find a seventh-grade science fair project and a way to save the restaurant where his father works. When he enrolls three friends in an effort to raise bees on a hotel roof in New York City, the complications multiply. Bee sting allergies, a great bee die-off, a rival team’s cheating, a mysteriously reclusive science teacher, and Sam’s romantic feelings for a classmate make the bee project anything but simple. This story includes lots of facts about bees and Colony Collapse Disorder.” – Amazon

“Bees on the Roof is a sweet coming of age story. The book explores issues of family dynamics, friendships and first loves while sending an eco-friendly message. It provides fascinating information on bees and how bee colony collapse impacts all of our lives. A great read for tweens.”  – Melanie Jacobs, Teen Librarian, Enoch Pratt Free Library


16. Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book – Britta Teckentrup, Doubleday Books for Young Readers 2017



“Through a hole in the book’s cover, a bee is buzzing inside a flower. Peek into this bright and lively book and discover the big ways this little insect contributes to the beauty of the environment, from pollinating colorful flowers to buzzing about the bright and beautiful meadow.” – Amazon

“Ample opportunities can be found to linger over the vibrant multimedia collages of meadows, woods, hedgerows, streams, and, most of all, the flowers bursting from the pages. An inviting introduction to the busy lives of honeybees.” – Booklist


Bee Science & Health


17. Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping, RevisedDewey Caron and Lawrence Connor, Wicwas Press 2013 



“The standard beekeeping (apiculture) textbook used to teach college students and beekeepers the science and practice of bees and beekeeping. It concentrates on the ‘why’,’how’ and ‘when’ of beekeeping. It explains bee basics in a manner meaningful to people who lack an intensive background in biology. It does not oversimplify, and provides a meaningful source of beekeeping information for the new and informed beekeeper.” – Amazon 

  • Recommended by Noah Wilson-Rich, Best Bees Founder and Chief Science Officer


18. The Anatomy of a Honey BeeR.E. Snodgrass, Home Farm Books 2016 



The Anatomy of the Honey Bee is a vintage treatise first published in 1910. It deals in detail with the physiognomy, anatomy, and natural history of the honey bee, making it ideal for those with a serious interest in bees and beekeeping.” – Amazon 

  • Recommended by David Hansen, Best Beekeeper


19. Biology of the Honey BeeMark Winston, Harvard University Press 1991



“Winston probes the dynamics of the honey bee’s social organization. He recreates for us the complex infrastructure of the nest, describes the highly specialized behavior of workers, queens, and drones, and examines in detail the remarkable ability of the honey bee colony to regulate its functions according to events within and outside the nest. Winston integrates into his discussion the results of recent studies, bringing into sharp focus topics of current bee research.” – Amazon

  • Recommended by Noah Wilson-Rich, Best Bees Founder and Chief Science Officer


20. Queen Bee: Biology, Rearing and BreedingDavid Woodward, Northern Bee Books 2014



“Divided into three major chapters with many sub-sections, this book is a definitive guide to the biology and breeding of queen bees. Chapter one covers queen bee biology, chapter two looks at queen bee rearing, and chapter three covers queen bee breeding.” – Amazon

  • Recommended by David Hansen, Best Bees Beekeeper


21. The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a SuperorganismJurgen Tautz, Springer 2008



“We are surprised to learn that no single bee, from queen through drone to sterile worker, has the oversight or control over the colony. – stead, through a network of integrated control systems and fee- backs, and communication between individuals, the colony – rives at consensus decisions from the bottom up through a type of “swarm intelligence”. Indeed, there are remarkable parallels between the functional organization of a swarming honeybee colony and vertebrate brains.” – Amazon


22. Honeybee DemocracyThomas Seeley, Princeton University Press 2010



“Honeybees make decisions collectively―and democratically. Every year, faced with the life-or-death problem of choosing and traveling to a new home, honeybees stake everything on a process that includes collective fact-finding, vigorous debate, and consensus building. In fact, as world-renowned animal behaviorist Thomas Seeley reveals, these incredible insects have much to teach us when it comes to collective wisdom and effective decision making.” – Amazon

“The year’s most enchanting science book.” ― Financial Times 

  • Recommended by Noah Wilson-Rich, Best Bees Founder and Chief Science Officer


23. Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable SolutionsDiana Sammataro, CRC Press 2011



“This book summarizes the current progress of bee researchers investigating the status of honey bees and possible reasons for their decline, providing a basis for establishing management methods that maintain colony health. Integrating discussion of Colony Collapse Disorder, the chapters provide information on the new microsporidian Nosema ceranae pathogens, the current status of the parasitic bee mites, updates on bee viruses, and the effects these problems are having on our important bee pollinators.” – Amazon

“I am not going to say that this book should be on every beekeeper’s book shelf; that is the wrong place for it. It should be much nearer at hand and thoroughly studied. With beekeepers commonly accepting 30% losses, they need to know what is going on and what is being done to help them and their bees.”  – John Phipps, The Beekeepers Quarterly


24. The Bee: A Natural History Noah Wilson-Rich, Princeton University Press 2018



“This book provides an unmatched account of this astounding diversity, blending an engaging narrative with practical, hands-on discussions of such topics as beekeeping and bee health. It explores our relationship with the bee over evolutionary time, examining how it originated and where it stands today―and what the future holds for humanity and bees alike.”  – Amazon

“By contrasting the biologies and behaviours of some of the solitary bees, stingless bees, masons, carpenters and bumbles, the author presents an interesting and readable handbook on this insect icon and its wild relatives.” – Richard Jones, BBC Wildlife


Wild and Native Bees


25. The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild Thomas Seeley, Princeton University Press 2019



“Drawing on the latest science as well as insights from his own pioneering fieldwork, he describes in extraordinary detail how honey bees live in nature and shows how this differs significantly from their lives under the management of beekeepers. Seeley presents an entirely new approach to beekeeping―Darwinian Beekeeping―which enables honey bees to use the toolkit of survival skills their species has acquired over the past thirty million years, and to evolve solutions to the new challenges they face today. He shows beekeepers how to use the principles of natural selection to guide their practices, and he offers a new vision of how beekeeping can better align with the natural habits of honey bees.” – Amazon

“I was really drawn to Tom Seeley’s The Lives of Bees. He IS the bee keeper’s bee keeper.”  – Ira Flatow, Science Friday

  • Recommended by Dave Hansen, Best Bees Beekeeper


26. Bumblebee EconomicsBernd Heinrich, Harvard University Press Revised Edition 2004



“Here is a brilliant introduction to insect and plant ecology focusing on one of nature’s most adaptive creatures, the bumblebee. Survival for the bumblebee depends on its ability to regulate body temperature through a complex energy exchange, and it is this management of energy resources around which Bernd Heinrich enters his discussion of physiology, behavior, and ecological interaction.” – Amazon

“This is a remarkable and rewarding book, complementary to, yet in some respects going far beyond, its predecessors. It is highly recommended.” – Caryl P. Haskins, New York Times Book Review

  • Recommended by David Hansen, Best Bees Beekeeper


27. Our Native Bees: North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save ThemPage Embry, Timber Press 2018



“Through interviews with farmers, gardeners, scientists, and bee experts, Our Native Bees explores the importance of native bees and focuses on why they play a key role in gardening and agriculture. The people and stories are compelling: Paige Embry goes on a bee hunt with the world expert on the likely extinct Franklin’s bumble bee, raises blue orchard bees in her refrigerator, and learns about an organization that turns the out-of-play areas in golf courses into pollinator habitats.” – Amazon 

“A buzzworthy book if ever there was one.”  – Country Gardens


28. The Solitary Bees: Biology, Evolution, ConservationBryan Danforth, Princeton University Press 2019



“The Solitary Bees uses a modern phylogenetic framework to shed new light on the life histories and evolution of solitary bees. It explains the foraging behavior of solitary bees, their development, and competitive mating tactics. The book describes how they construct complex nests using an amazing variety of substrates and materials, and how solitary bees have co-opted beneficial mites, nematodes, and fungi to provide safe environments for their brood. It looks at how they have evolved intimate partnerships with flowering plants and examines their associations with predators, parasites, microbes, and other bees.” – Amazon

“This richly detailed yet accessible book covers the ecology, evolution, and life history of solitary bees. A must-read for seasoned researchers as well as those who are new to the field.”  – Neal M. Williams, University of California, Davis


29. Following the Wild Bees: The Craft and Science of Bee HuntingThomas Seeley, Princeton University Press 2019



“Following the Wild Bees is a delightful foray into the pastime of bee hunting, an exhilarating outdoor activity that used to be practiced widely but which few people know about today. Weaving informative discussions of bee biology with colorful anecdotes, personal insights, and beautiful photos, Thomas Seeley describes the history and science behind this lost pastime and how anyone can do it.” – Amazon 

“Following the Wild Bees just might give readers an intellectually (and physically) stimulating new outdoor activity.” – The Scientist


History of Bees and Beekeeping


30. The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and FolkloreHilda Ransome, Dover Publications 2004



“No creature has provided man with so much wholesome food as the honey bee. Equally impressive is the number of beliefs and superstitions the industrious insect has inspired. Its honey, which was known to the ancient Greeks as the ‘food of the Gods,’ played an important role in early religious rites and was also mentioned in the folklore of many peoples. Hilda Ransome’s well-documented and copiously illustrated study of bees focuses on this valuable byproduct of nature and its creator — the ‘sacred’ bee.” – Amazon

  • Recommended by Mariah MacDonald, Best Bees Beekeeper


31. Bees in AmericaTammy Horn, The University Press of Kentucky 2006



“Bees in America is an enlightening cultural history of bees and beekeeping in the United States. Tammy Horn, herself a beekeeper, offers a social and technological history from the colonial period, when the British first brought bees to the New World, to the present, when bees are being trained by the American military to detect bombs. Horn shows how the honey bee was one of the first symbols of colonization and how bees’ societal structures shaped our ideals about work, family, community, and leisure.” – Amazon

“Integrates history, technology, sociology, economics, and politics with this remarkable insect serving as the unifying concept.”  – Buffalo News


32. Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the HoneybeeHattie Ellis, Crown 2006



“In Sweetness and Light, Hattie Ellis leads us into the hive, revealing the fascinating story of bees and honey from the Stone Age to the present, from Nepalese honey hunters to urban hives on the rooftops of New York City. Uncovering the secrets of the honeybee one by one, Ellis shows how this small insect, with a collective significance so much greater than its individual size, can carry us through past and present to tell us more about ourselves than any other living creature.” – Amazon

“Deftly blending natural history, human history, literature, biography, and biology, Ellis provides a graceful survey as entertaining as it is enlightening.”  – Los Angeles Times


33. Bees & Their Keepers: A Journey Through Seasons and CenturiesLotte Möller, Harry N. Abrams 2021



“In this compelling cultural history that moves beautifully through the beekeeper’s year, Swedish beekeeper and writer Lotte Möller shares her understanding of bees and bee lore from antiquity to the present with deep knowledge and sharp wit. Möller gives insight into the activity in the hive and describes the bees’ natural order and habits. She explores the myths of the past, and how and when they were replaced by fact. In stories from her travels, Möller encounters a host of colorful characters, from a trigger-happy California beekeeper raging against both killer bees and bee politics, to the legendary Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey, breeder of the Buckfast Queen, now popular around the world.” – Amazon 


Pollinator-Friendly Gardening


34. 100 Plants to Feed the Bees: Provide a Healthy Habitat to Help Pollinators Thrive Xerxes Society, Storey Publishing 2016



“The international bee crisis is threatening our global food supply, but this user-friendly field guide shows what you can do to help protect our pollinators. The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation offers browsable profiles of 100 common flowers, herbs, shrubs, and trees that support bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. The recommendations are simple: pick the right plants for pollinators, protect them from pesticides, and provide abundant blooms throughout the growing season by mixing perennials with herbs and annuals!” – Amazon

“If you’re ready to help save the bees, this is a great place to start. No matter where you live, this well-organized companion shows you the best plants to use.”  – Joe Lamp’l, creator and host of Growing a Greener World® 


35. Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native PlantsHeather Holm, Pollination Press 2014



“This is the first comprehensive book to illustrate the specific relationships between native pollinators and native plants. Organized by plant communities, the book profiles over 65 perennial native plants of the Midwest, Great Lakes region, Northeast and southern Canada and the pollinators, beneficial insects and flower visitors the plants attract.” – Amazon

“What I find truly unique about this book is that the author recognizes that a garden is an ecosystem. The gardener is a steward who works best when he or she understands how nature is working.” – Eric R. Eaton, Co-author of Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America


36. The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening; Attract and Support Bees, Beetles, Butterflies, Bats, and Other Pollinators – Kim Eierman, Quarry Books 2020



“With The Pollinator Victory Garden, you can give pollinators a fighting chance. Learn how to transition your landscape into a pollinator haven by creating a habitat that includes pollinator nutrition, larval host plants for butterflies and moths, and areas for egg laying, nesting, sheltering, overwintering, resting, and warming.” – Amazon

“With so many pollinator species at risk around the globe, The Pollinator Victory Garden could not be more timely. Please put this thoughtful, easy-to-read book to use in making your own yard a haven for pollinators.” – Phyllis Stiles, Founder, Bee CIty USA


37. Lawns into Meadows: Growing a Regenerative LandscapeOwen Wormser, Stone Pier Press 2020



“This is a how-to book on meadow-making that’s also about sustainability, regeneration, and beauty. In a world where lawns have wreaked havoc on our natural ecosystems, meadows offer a compelling solution. It is garden landscaping that is beautiful, all year round. Meadows establish wildlife and pollinator habitats, are low-maintenance and low-cost, have a built-in resilience that helps them weather climate extremes, and can draw down and store far more carbon dioxide than any manicured lawn.” – Amazon

“It’s time to rebuild meadows wherever we can, including the deadscape we call lawn. Owen Wormser explains why, and how to do this, with oodles of highly readable, ecologically sound advice.” – Douglas W. Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home and Nature’s Best Hope


38. Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes – Thomas Rainer & Claudia West, Timber Press 2015



“Planting in a Post-Wild World by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West is an inspiring call to action dedicated to the idea of a new nature—a hybrid of both the wild and the cultivated—that can flourish in our cities and suburbs. This is both a post-wild manifesto and practical guide that describes how to incorporate and layer plants into plant communities to create an environment that is reflective of natural systems and thrives within our built world.” – Amazon

“A groundbreaking guide that lays out an alternative to traditional horticulture: designed plantings that function like naturally occurring plant communities. As practical as it is poetic, theirs is an optimistic call to action.” – Chicago Tribune


39. Gardening for Birds, Butterflies, and Bees: Everything you need to Know to Create a wildlife Habitat in your Backyard – Editors at Birds and Blooms, Trusted Media Brands 2016



“This book, brought to you by the editors of Birds & Blooms magazine, can serve as your guide to attracting new visitors to your landscape. Birds & Blooms has helped lead the trend we like to call “gardening with a purpose” for over 20 years. We’ve always recognized the importance of going beyond just the beauty of a garden, and purposefully choosing flowers, trees and shrubs specifically for their environmental benefits.” – Amazon


Home Uses of Beeswax and Honey


40. The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home UsesRichard Jones and Sharon Sweeny-Lynch, Stewart, Tabori and Chang 2011



“Part history book, part handbook, and part cookbook, this illustrated tome covers every facet of the ancient hobby of beekeeping, from how to manage hives safely to harvesting one’s own honey, and ideas for how to use honey and beeswax. Detailed instructions for making candles, furniture polish, beauty products, and nearly 100 honey-themed recipes are included.” – Amazon 

“Jones and Sweeney-Lynch explain the science and society of bees in clear, accessible language. And the recipes are admirably useful: honey scones, honey soap, honey hangover cures. ‘Oh, stuff and fluff,’ as Pooh might say. Dip a paw into this richly satisfying volume and you won’t have to do stoutness exercises.” The New York Times

  • Recommended by Elsa Scott, Best Bees Marketing Coordinator


41. Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams, and Salves from the HivePetra Ahnert, Quarry Books 2015   



“Featuring over 40 DIY projects that illustrate how to transform one of the world’s most natural ingredients into tangible creations, Beeswax Alchemy is the perfect amalgamation of recipe craft book and beekeepers’ guide.” – Amazon


42. The Book of Honey: Nature’s wonder ingredient: The Ultimate Practical Guide to a Natural Golden Treasure – Jenni Fleetwood, Lorenz Books 2009



“Honey was the first sweetener, predating sugar by hundreds of years. But as well as its noted culinary uses, honey has long been valued in folk remedies for its unique properties. This new book presents in one special volume not only a fascinating history of honey, but also a practical guide to its uses.” – Amazon 


43. The Fresh Honey Cookbook: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen Laury Masterton, Storey Publishing 2013



“Indulge your sweet tooth all year long with honey’s many seasonal flavors. Use avocado honey to add depth to April’s baby carrots; spice up your July peaches with sourwood honey; and add some cranberry honey to November’s Thanksgiving spread. This delightful book is filled with bits of honey lore and beekeeping history to sweeten your exploration of the varied and delicious ways you can use honey every day.” – Amazon


44. Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey, The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the WorldHolly Bishop, Atria 2016



“Honey has been waiting almost ten million years for a good biography. Bees have been making this prized food — for centuries the world’s only sweetener — for millennia, but we humans started recording our fascination with it only in the past few thousand years. Part history, part love letter, Robbing the Bees is a celebration of bees and their magical produce, revealing the varied roles of bees and honey in nature, world civilization, business, and gastronomy.” – Amazon

“Holley Bishop’s love affair with honeybees combines natural and social history with gastronomy and memoir to produce a delicious reading experience.” – Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire

Novels about Bees and Beekeeping


45. The Secret Life of BeesSue Monk Kidd, Penguin Books 2003



“Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted Black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of Black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna.” – Amazon

“A moving first novel…Lily is an authentic and winning character and her story is compellingly told. The bees presage her journey toward self-acceptance, faith and freedom that is at the heart of this novel.”  – USA Today


46. The Music of Bees: A NovelEileen Garvin, Headline Review 2021



“After the sudden death of her husband, Alice Holtzman finds herself a social outsider. Reclusive, middle-aged, childless, and with only 850,000 honeybees for company. On the other side of town, Jake Stevenson and his enormous black mohawk had a bright future in front of them studying music, all until an accident at a high school party leaves him in a wheelchair. So when Alice nearly crashes her pick-up truck, packed with thousands of restless honeybees, into Jake, the last thing she expects from the near-miss is to find that Jake has a gift: not only is he a natural with bees, but he can hear their buzzing as a form of music…” – Amazon

“The Music of Bees is an enchanting book of belonging, overcoming adversity and the journey to find a hive of one’s own.” – Kira Jane Buxton, author of Hollow Kingdom


47. The Beekeeper of AleppoChristy Lefteri, Ballantine Books 2019



“Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo—until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain.” – Amazon

“In recounting the daily brutality as well as the glimmers of beauty, this novel humanizes the terrifying refugee stories we read about in the news. Lefteri explores questions of trust and portrays what trauma and loss can do to individuals and their relationships. . . . A beautiful rumination on seeing what is right in front of us—both the negative and the positive.”  – The Boston Globe


48. The Ardent Swarm: A Novel Yamen Manai, Amazon Crossing 2021



“Sidi lives a hermetic life as a bee whisperer, tending to his beloved “girls” on the outskirts of the desolate North African village of Nawa. He wakes one morning to find that something has attacked one of his beehives, brutally killing every inhabitant. Heartbroken, he soon learns that a mysterious swarm of vicious hornets committed the mass murder—but where did they come from, and how can he stop them? If he is going to unravel this mystery and save his bees from annihilation, Sidi must venture out into the village and then brave the big city and beyond in search of answers.” – Amazon

“Immersive descriptions of animal life…it’s clear that Manai spared no effort to depict bees in the most affectionate, lush, and well-researched terms possible…He leans into the obvious parallels between the inner workings of a bee colony and human power struggles in order to grapple with globalization, colonialism, and the possibilities of collective action. And he pulls it off without making the premise feel contrived, offering deep observations that you’d never know were really about bees.” – Outside Magazine


49. The Bees: A Novel Laline Paull, Ecco 2014



“The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death. Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive’s survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen’s inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.” – Amazon

“Fascinating… engrossing… Paull’s clear fascination with her source material brings humanity and warmth to a depiction of the remarkable social world of bees, which is no small achievement.” – Huffington Post

  • Recommended by Bruce Rutter, Best Bees Copywriter


50. The Last Beekeeper Jared Gulian, Waysout Press 2021



When murder strikes a remote community, a reclusive beekeeper uncovers a horrifying secret that could destroy humanity. Jim Parker, a honeybee expert, has retreated to a small island in Lake Michigan with his teenage daughter after a terrible family tragedy. He longs to hide from an increasingly dangerous world. In the midst of a Global Bee Crisis, bees everywhere are dying and the food supply teeters on the brink of collapse. Pollination now relies on powerful mega-corporations known as Beelords. But this island is not the haven Jim once thought. Someone is torching his traditional beehives, people are disappearing, and an unknown threat is lurking in the woods behind his house.” – Amazon

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