Books I like and use
Beekeeping for Dummies, by Howland Blackston
Well written, great pictures, excellent overview for beginning beekeepers no matter what type of hive you are using.
The Barefoot Beekeeper by Phil Chandler
Best book I have seen out there on top bar beekeeping, available online. Phil also runs the Natural Beekeeping Network and is a wonderful advocate for the bees in the UK.
Beekeeping for All by Emile Warre. The how to guide for the warre hive (basically a vertical version of a top bar hive). Available free online.
The ABC and XYZ of Beekeeping by AI Root. An encyclopedia of beekeeping terms, history, management and disease. This book has been in print for close to 100 years and is arranged alphabetically. Possibly the book I reference the most, even though my copy is from 1943.
The Beekeepers Handbook by Alphonse Avitabile and Diana Sammataro
Very comprehensive, some consider this the bible of modern beekeeping.
Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, by Ross Conrad
Good reference for comprehensive organic Integrated Pest Management strategies.
Websites and Forums:
The Natural Beekeeping Network based in the UK, members worldwide, primary emphasis on natural beekeeping in top bar hives.
ORSBA Oregon State Beekeeper Association’s beekeeping online forum and network.
Beesource North American beekeepers online forum and network. I haunt the natural beekeeping forum when I have a question and want an answer from some of the best out there.
Michael Bush’s website. Michael Bush has been keeping bees on natural comb in Nebraska for over 10 years with great success. His website is well organized and very informative, and he has a wonderful Occam’s Razor approach to beekeeping (Occam’s Razor: the simplest answer is probably the correct one). He mostly runs Langstroth hives set up as TBH’s or with frames using natural comb. I think he is brilliant. He also moderates on the Beesource forum, and posts often.
Sam Comfort’s website. Part rant, part love story, part conceptual art project. Sam is the one who inspired me to catch local swarms to foster local genetic diversity in my apiary and in Portland at large. Sam is currently breeding locally adapted queens and selling top bar nucs in upstate NY. I basically stole the “you will get stung” joke in my last post from him.
These are some of my favorites, you will find your own out there (feel free to turn me on to any your particularly like!). It is an overwhelming amount of information, but as you get more experienced you will learn how to sift for the info you need.
Local sources for Bee Stuff in Portland:
Tyvek suits: any paint store, Sanderson Safety.
Non irradiated Bee Pollen (for DIY pollen patties) and essential oils: I go to Limbo on 39th Ave in SE, also People’s Food Co-op.
There are several options: Ruhl has in the past had an excellent series of workshops, especially for newer beekeepers.
Zenger Farm also has a few beekeeping workshops this spring ( I am teaching two of them). If you want hands on bee experience, you can join the Zenger bee group for free! See details on the Zenger site, we are found under ‘livestock’.
Livingscape Nursery. Some of their workshops are taught by Tom Lea, a local beekeeper who is very knowledgeable. We call him the ‘bee whisperer’.
There is a local farm in SW Washington that leads beekeeping workshops, I believe with a biodynamic focus. I will try to look her up and add that information. Again, if you know of any good local workshops not on this list, let me know!
Finally, if you are interested in ordering package bees or nucs for this spring, you should do so now. I would also check the links above for workshop dates, most will occur between now and March.
Ah, I now have serious bee fever. Here comes spring!