I'm going to need to begin keeping bees. Got any reading to advise me on? I'd love to get a head-start in the book knowledge department...
I've never heard anyone say that they have to start keeping bees. It would be interesting to know the reason.Anyway there are many good beekeeping books out there. I have probably dozens of beekeeping books. Two that I usually recommend are by Richard Bonney. They are "Beekeeping, A Practical Guide" and "Hive Management, A Seasonal Guide" Both are well written so that they are easy to understand, enjoyable to read and inexpensive. They will give you the basic understanding of how to get started from setting up your hive, right through the season and into the next. A couple of sources are
Betterbee.com and Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. A good link to information and other forums is Beesource.com Good Luck
Abebooks dot com. Second hand book finder, searches bookstores all over the country. You can usually get a book cheaper through Abebooks than from E-bay for example.
I'd recommend Richard Taylor's books. He has several.
There are a lot of resources on line, too.
I forgot to mention Not to use ebay for bee books because you'll usually pay too much. I also use abebooks as Steve mentioned, and have never had a problem.
Beekeeping for dummies is an easy read for the beginner.
Beemaster.com nad beesource.com are both good places toask questions.
Another good place is here:
There's also excellent info at www.beemaster.com. I think some of these web sites are better than books. Another one is www.bushfarms.com.
We're learning the hard way (from experience) so I suggest you learn all you can before you get your bees. We didn't and are now paying the price.
While Richard Taylor's books are a pleasure to read, they are out of date. Since the introduction of varroah mites in the mid 1980s, beekeepers have had to face challenges that did not exist before then and are not discussed in older books, and if you don't face these challenges with mites and other parasites, you will lose your bees. So start with up to date books, and read people like Taylor for the pleasure of it after you have gotten the most recent practices under your belt. I would recommend, besides the dummies book, Kim Flottum, The Backyard beekeeper and Sammataro and Avitabile's, The Beekeeper's Handbook, 3rd edition. There is an enormous amount of information on the web, and you will, unfortunately find quite divergent views, since beekeeping is an area where there is considerable disagreement.
Even better, join your local beekeeping club; it seems most counties in the US have them. And if you are planning to start bees next year (now is rather late to do so), see if you can tag along with some of their members when they work their hives. This is what I did last year when I was at your stage of the game, and this year I am now keeping my first hives.
Good luck with your beekeeping; you should enjoy it.