Beekeeping For Dummies: Everything You Need to Know About Beekeeping

Beekeeping is a great way to support our pollinators.  Of course, raising honeybees isn’t easy!  How do you build a beehive?  Where do you buy honeybees? If you want answers to these questions, Beekeeping for Dummies can help!

Interested in raising honey bees? Beekeeping for Dummies is a friendly, practical guide to starting your own beehive. It includes expert tips for maintaining a healthy honeybee colony. You get the latest on honey bee medication and treatments, harvesting and marketing your honey, and the impact the sudden disappearance of the honey bee has on our environment.


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Beekeeping for Dummies


Beekeeping For Dummies

  • Title: Beekeeping for Dummies
  • Author: Howland Blackiston
  • Publisher: Wiley Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-0-470-43065-1
  • Pages: 392  (paperback)
  • Buy This Beekeeping Book

Raising honey bees

About Howland Blackiston:

Howland Blackiston has more than 20 years experience keeping bees. He has written many articles on beekeeping and appeared on dozens of television and radio programs, including CNBC, CNN, NPR, and Sirius Satellite Radio. Blackiston has been a keynote speaker at conferences in more than 40 countries.

****This review has been written by my husband! I am really getting him interested in this blogging adventure! Read on to see what kind of great information he found in this book!****
A Great List of All Natural Sweeteners

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Bees, Honey, and Mead Oh My!

My wife recently let me read (and now review) Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston. I must say that I have always thought bees were fascinating. I mean, insects that communicate by dancing, how cool is that?
If you’ve never seen a wildlife show on bees you really need to check one out. However, I was really never interested in beekeeping until recently. Diane’s great uncle kept bees, which was my first exposure, and more recently one of my brothers started beekeeping.
The wildflower honey did taste delicious and it looked like a lot of fun, too. I was thinking it is time for me to take the plunge and Beekeeping for Dummies really does have everything you need to know to help you decide if this is for you and how to get started. What did I learn?

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apiary and beekeeping

Why Keep Bees?

Beekeeping for Dummies discusses a lot of great reasons to keep bees besides the honey (as though that isn’t enough (Mmmm honey on toast, honey on a spoon, honey in cereal, honey butter!). Here are a few perks that I read about:
  •  60-80 lbs of honey per year! Plenty for you and your friends! Eat it, give it as a gift, or make a soothing honey milk bath for your skin. 
  • Pollination: 60% of fruit and vegetables rely on honey bees for pollination. Some people place them near gardens just for this reason. We would love to have a more productive garden. Check out this post on attracting beneficial insects to your garden for more info. 
  • You help the struggling honey bee. The honey bee has fallen on hard times recently, including a phenomenon that is not completely understood called “Colony Collapse Disorder.”
  • If you love nature – most folks report that caring for and observing bees is incredibly relaxing and reduces stress. Make a DIY mason bee house if you don’t have room for a beehive.
  • In addition to honey, bees make propolis, royal jelly and beeswax. Proplis is used for many ointments and varnish. Beeswax makes very desirable candles that burn for a long time but don’t drip or smoke. It is also used for furniture polish, skin cream, lip balm and more!
  • Mead! This is wine fermented from honey instead of grapes. There are a lot of varieties and they can be fantastic. As a former beer brewer, I would love to give this a try.


Concerns about Beekeeping

The first thing many people think about when you talk about bees is getting stung. Honey bees are really quite docile. They generally only sting to defend the hive and you really have to mess with it. My kids and I sat within 12 inches of my brothers hive and just watched them fly in and out. They didn’t bother us a bit and they almost never sting while out foraging in the field.
Wasps, yellow jackets, and Africanized honey bees tend to be more aggressive. I have been stung by yellow jackets a lot, but even then, I must say I did provoke them. Evidently they don’t like people pouring water down their holes. Lesson learned quickly.

Is diatomaceous earth safe for bees?  

Great for Amateur Beekeeping

Beekeeping for Dummies is a great resource for the amateur beekeeper! It helps you learn how to build and maintain your hive and process your honey. In addition, you learn to understand the importance of honeybees in our environment and the impact that Colony Collapse Disorder on their survival (as well as ours!).
The last section of the book includes a wonderful and extensive list of resources and a glossary full of definitions. There are several pages of beautiful, full color, up close photos that are just amazing! I highly recommend this book if you are interested in getting started on beekeeping! Buy This Beekeeping Book on Amazon.

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