Myrth Montana wrote:
And on that note, one book that I don’t see recommended nearly often enough is The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. It is not strictly for bees, obviously, given the title. But if you endeavor to grow many of the herbs she recommends, you will likely have healthy bees. She also has a chapter giving her thoughts on the natural care of bees, and herbs that are helpful to them.
Mike Barkley wrote:
want to make sure I get started off on the right foot.
Asking questions & seeking help IS a great start.
Beekeeping for Dummies is a good book. It is available online for free but I found the online version difficult to read. Your local library also might have other useful bee books. There are too many to list. Bee supply companies usually have good books for sale.
As others have pointed out there are non-traditional methods & hives becoming more popular as time goes on. Especially among permie type people. Those will be probably harder to learn & get help with though. Local laws vary. Beware that some of the less common hive types are not legal everywhere.
On YouTube Fat Bee Guy has many good videos with many helpful tips & generally helpful advice. He uses traditional methods. Michael Palmer doesn't use chemicals & has some excellent videos too. He's my personal favorite YouTube bee person. Not sure if he has much geared toward beginners though. If nothing else his thoughts & techniques about natural beekeeping are very wise.
Try to find a local bee club or local beekeeper for assistance. Wish I would have known about that option when first starting. It would have saved time & been an easier path to follow.
One important thing to consider before getting in too deep is bee food. Flowers & trees. Bees need them. Lots of them!!! Local bee keepers are a valuable source of info about that aspect of beekeeping.
Welcome to permies. Enjoy the bees!
Chris Kott wrote:My Valentine's Day present from my much better half is one of at least two two-week beekeeping courses offered online through the Ontario Beekeepers Association. The first course is everything but pest management, the second is entirely pest management, and those make up the entirety of the entry-level courses (they discuss them as sides of the same coin, but as pest management is so involved, it gets its own course).
They also offer queen-rearing and breeding courses, but one thing at a time.
It's not that I don't trust my own ability to learn from youTube videos, or that I have a problem with Jaqueline Freeman, because I don't. But taking these region-specific courses gives me something to point to when I go out to do my practicum with beekeepers either in the city or out where we're looking to move. They will also be able to address region-specific challenges, as well as legal and compliance issues.
James Landreth wrote:Anything by Jacqueline Freeman. I interned with her for a while. She has a book called The Song of Increase. It's a really good read. To be honest it's got a bit of hippy-woo in it, but her methods are also grounded in scientific evidence and her success rates in our region have been fantastic, especially considering the added challenges posed by the wildfire smoke these past few years (I'm only 45 minutes from Olympia by the way). Her website is
Also, here's a thread on some "newer" (recently revived) hive styles that people are having success with in our region, and why we're using them:
James Landreth wrote:I live about forty-five minutes away from Olympia. Paw paws are tough to establish but do well once they are. My advice is to plant lots of seedlings (they're cheaper from places like burnt ridge, plus pawpaw grows well from seed) and don't give up! They're absolutely delicious and a novelty. Use shadecloth over them if the site is very sunny.