Winter is a good time to learn about beekeeping before taking the plunge. The Beekeeper’s Handbook might be the best guide to beekeeping I’ve come across. I only recently picked it up because I kept hearing how if there’s one book new beekeepers should have, this is the one. I’m not getting paid to say this, but I second that recommendation.
The Beekeeper’s Handbook didn’t teach me much I didn’t already know, but at the very least, it’s a useful reference book. It doesn’t cover absolutely everything such as dealing with shrews and a few other things that might be more particular to beekeeping in Newfoundland, but I haven’t come across a book like this before that pays attention to so many of the small but vital details about bees and beekeeping that most books (and most beekeepers who teach beekeeping) tend to overlook.
There are many excellent books about honey bees by people like Tom Seeley, Jürgen Tautz and Mark Winston that are also well worth reading, but none of those guys have yet written a single book that is so comprehensively and practically useful to new beekeepers.
The Beekeeper’s Handbook is not the cheapest beekeeping book out there, but considering how much is packed into the book and how the information is so well presented and easy to understand, at the current price of $35, it’s the best bang for your buck of any beekeeping book that I’ve come across. If I was just getting into beekeeping, I’d spend the whole winter eating it up.
I’ll write a more detailed review later.