Beekeeping Book: Homegrown Honey Bees

Disclaimer:  This beekeeping book was provided to me at no cost by Storey publishing in exchange for my honest review.

My husband and I have been wanting to get our own bees for years now but don’t feel that we live in a good location. Between the kids and the dog and the close by neighbors, we have finally admitted to ourselves that it will have to wait til we move out of the burbs. However, we keep doing research on beekeeping so that as soon as we are ready, we know what to do and where to buy our beekeeping supplies. I recently received Homegrown Honey Bees from Storey Publishing to review and am happy to add this to my beekeeping library. Here is a bit about the book if you are thinking of trying your hand at beekeeping.

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beekeeping book

Beginner Beekeeping Guide


Title:  Homegrown Honey Bees

SubTitle: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Beekeeping Your First Year, from Hiving to Honey Harvest

Author: Alethea Morrison

Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC; 1 edition (January 29, 2013)

ISBN: 978-1603429948

Format/Length: 160 pages (paperback)

From the Publisher:

This beginner’s guide clearly explains everything you need to know to keep bees successfully, from getting your first bees to harvesting your first crop of honey. Spectacular macro photography by Mars Vilaubi brings the inner workings of the hive to life, while the playful text gives you the information you need to make it through your first year. Everything is addressed here, from allergies, permits and restrictions, and how to deal with the neighbors to hive structure, colony hierarchy, and bee behavior.

About the Author:

Homegrown Honey Bees author Alethea Morrison and photographer Mars Vilaubi lived in San Francisco before stepping into the wild yonder of rural Massachusetts to raise their son, keep bees and chickens, brew beer, sew clothes, grow heirloom beans, and otherwise slow down to smell the flowers of a handmade life. Their experience raising chickens was chronicled in Chick Days. They both work as creative professionals, and Alethea serves as president of the Northern Berkshire Beekeepers Association.

My Review:

As a gardener, I am very aware of the importance that bees play in our food system. I love that the author starts out this book with a few pages of why we, as a society, need to be concerned with the health of our planet’s honeybees. Beekeeping is a great way to help ensure that there are enough pollinators in your area to help keep crops growing and flowers blooming. Ms. Morrison does a good job at giving the reader a realistic look at getting into beekeeping. She discusses the costs involved and encourages readers to educate themselves, join clubs, find a mentor and keep a journal. She delves into other issues like fear, allergies and the legal aspects of beekeeping in your area. That last one is important to research before getting started since many areas ban them.

The author delves very deeply into the science of beekeeping. Bees are truly amazing creatures and the photographs in this book are stunning. There is detailed information in this book for the absolute beginner. What type of bees should you choose? Where do you put the hive? How to handle them, how to harvest honey, and how to spot signs of trouble. I love the author’s honesty in this book when she says that there is a steep learning curve to beekeeping and not to get too discouraged when things go wrong. I think this book is very well written in a way that makes it incredibly easy to understand. Anything that needs detailed explanation is broken down into a step by step how to guide.

If you are a beginner looking to delve into bee keeping, I think that Homegrown Honeybees is a great reference to get you started. Check out my post about what honeybees do for us to learn why they are important and how to protect them.

21 thoughts on “Beekeeping Book: Homegrown Honey Bees”

  1. “The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible” is right up my alley! I was just looking at some empty space on my deck that I would normally plant flowers in, and am instead, now looking for ideas for veggies in those planters. Thanks for the giveaway…my BIL keeps bees, and is encouraging me to get a hive…this book will give me the confidence to seal the deal.

  2. I think I’d also like to read the Year Round Vegetable Gardener. They have a lot of other good books that I think I’d be interested in. Great website. Thanks for the review and giveaway.


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