The Beekeepers' Library

                     Library Categories

Basic Beekeeping - Books and videos on everything from biology to seasonal maintenance of honey bees
-  Online Education
-  Regional 
-  Bee Biology 
-  Basic Beekeeping Information 
-  Hive Inspection 
-  Splits, Nucs and Packages 
-  Swarms 
-  Winter Management

Beehive Construction - Do it yourself plans for hives and beekeeping accessories
Honey Bee Diseases and Parasites - Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all pests and diseases
Hygienic Behaviour - A trait of honey bees in which bees detect and remove bee pupae infested by Varroa
Feeding - Nutritional requirements of honey bees and recipes for a variety syrups and protein patties
Native Pollinators - Non honey bee species. Primarily mason, bumble and stingless
Advanced Beekeeping - From queen rearing to commercial beekeeping management
General Interest - A wide variety of topics from science and history to cultural
Pesticides and Bees - Studies on the effects of agrichemicals on all bee species
Planting for Pollinators - Specific regional planting guides for plants beneficial to bees
Natural Beekeeping - Treatment free beekeeping 
Top Bar Beekeeping - From construction to maintenance of primarily the Kenyan Top Bar Hive
Honey, Wax and Propolis - The constituents, harvesting and uses of bee products
Recipes - A wide variety of food uses and recipes for honey
Education - Bee and environmental teaching material for preschool to adult
Pictures - Fun and educational apiary signage
Books - From the classics to contemporary including children's books
Webinars - Recorded participatory webinars from primarily OSU and Brushy Mt
Apicultura (Espanol) - Todo, desde la biología hasta el mantenimiento estacional de las abejas de miel

      This library is a collection of articles, powerpoint presentations, webinars, software, videos and books on bee related subjects like bees, plants, farming, insecticides and beekeeping.  We are adding to the library regularly.  All of the library is in English except "Apicultura (Espanol)" however google translate does a good job of translating documents on your computer.  Underneath the box on the left in google translate you will see "translate a document" which enables you to translate any pdf or doc file on your computer.  To view a PDF file you will need a PDF Reader.  There are a lot of free pdf readers and  a few options are Foxit and Adobe.  All of the individual files in the library are free to preview and download.  The 3 most important aspects of beekeeping like real estate are location, location and location.  In this library you will find information on keeping Asian Bees in the Himalayas, African Bees in Uganda, Africanized Bees in Belize, European Bees in North America and Europe, Mason and Bumble Bees for crop pollination and much more.  If you have articles, books or other sources of information related to beekeeping that you think may be of value to others and is freely available (Not copyrighted) please share it with us.  You can contact us at  Have fun.
* To search for a specific word on this page like Varroa or Nosema you can use crtl + f on your keyboard to bring up word search on your browser.  A very useful tool.

Click on the link to read the article or book.  On the top of the page is an option to download the file.  We are continuously adding to the library with the hope that you find it useful and enjoyable and share our love of bees. We ask only that you not copy the page. 

Getting Started

Backyard Beekeeping (James E. Tew)  This book by Dr. James Tew is a good overview of the basic steps to acquiring and management of a bee colony for the beginner beekeeper.  Some of the things that are covered are the cost, races of honey bees, bee life cycle, hive design, equipment, swarms, hive site, seasonal management, pesticides, diseases and harvesting of honey and wax.  Most of the information in this library comes from beekeeping organizations, government publications and publications from universites and science institutes.  I have found through many years of compiling this library that the best sources of freely available information on beekeeping are the Australian government and U.S. Universities.  At the forefront of the U.S. source has been Dr. James Tew, through years of publications, webinars, video series and power points all freely available to the public.  Thank you Dr. Tew.   

A Web-Based Introductory Beekeeping Training Program  This online beekeeping program from the Ohio State Beekeepers' Association consists of 34 videos and 3 powerpoints and is made to accompany the book "Backyard Beekeeping" (above).  Some of the video segments include assembling your hive and frames, branding, lighting a smoker, seasonal management, cross combing, evaluating a queen, package bees, swarms, laying workers, diseases and pests, moving hives, feeders and overwintering your colonies.  This combination of information is a great starting point for the beginning beekeeper.  

Introductory Beekeeping Powerpoint Presentations  This is an informative 8 part introduction to beekeeping developed by master beekeeper Dana Stahlman from the Ohio State Beekeeping Association that includes topics like starting a colony,  diseases and pests, seasonal management, queen production and management of nucs. 

Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary  This is a useful 7 part, 25 video beginning beekeeper series presented by Dr. Keith Delaplane of the University of Georgia and covers almost everything you will encounter in your first year of beekeeping.  Some of the topics covered are building hive equipment, installing bees, bee biology, diseases and pests, seasonal management, harvesting and overwintering.

Beekeeping Basics  This Penn State University publication provides a fairly comprehensive and detailed book for the backyard beekeeper.  "This manual is all about beekeeping—understanding honey bee biology, getting started, managing bee colonies for fun and/or profit and is designed to help you become a successful beekeeper. Welcome to the world of beekeeping."  It covers topics like bee castes, beekeeping equipment, clothing, packages and nucs, apiary location, seasonal management, diseases and pests, honey production and processing, rendering bees wax and pollen trapping ... A very good resource for the beginning beekeeper.

Handbook on Beekeeping: A good, complete guide to sustainable beekeeping from the European Union Bees project.  "BEES is a Transfer of Innovation project aiming at further developing a module from the Leonardo da Vinci ENSA project on organic and biodynamic agriculture education. The main objective of the project is to create completely updated teaching materials on bee behaviours and relevant importance as indicators of agriculture sustainability. Biodiversity is directly linked to this approach. The main targets of the handbook are farmers' associations, environmental associations, agriculture professional schools, agriculture and veterinary medicine universities, bee keepers associations, policy makers, institutions at European, national and local level, elementary and secondary schools."

Australian Beekeeping Guide  A great beginner's guide to beekeeping from the Australian government.  It covers everything from bee castes and life-cycle to seasonal management, diseases and pests.  "This book provides basic information to assist beginner and sideline beekeepers. It draws on the knowledge and experience of apiculture scientists, various state and territory apiary inspectors and apiary officers, and most importantly, the many beekeepers who enjoy keeping bees."  It covers most everything except treatment of varroa mites which are not present in Australia.

Canadian Best Management Practices for Honey Bee Health (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) - "Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the honey bee industry are developed by different levels and divisions of government, various organizations, institutions and stakeholders. Content ranging from regulations for pest and disease treatment thresholds to management of colonies during pollination services are included. While in many cases these recommendations are readily available, their authors are varied and the publications are provided by diverse sources. Some recommendations will apply to the Canadian nation as a whole, while others will only relate to specific areas of the country. The BMPs discussed in this document refer to those that pertain to honey bee health. Traceability aspects like food safety, beekeeper safety and environmental safety are not included within this BMP document."

4 H Beekeeping Manuals  The 4-H  Beekeeping  Project  from Purdue University is  divided  into  three  divisions.  Division  I,  Understanding  the  Honey  Bee, covers information on the basic facts of beekeeping: the types of bees, the honey and wax they produce, the plants that attract bees, and the equipment a beekeeper needs. In the first year, youth are not required to have any bees, but prepare to take care of a honey bee colony of their own. In Division II, Working with Honey Bees, youth acquire a colony of bees and learn how to care for their beehive throughout the year. This will include basic beekeeping operations that result in the production of extracted, chunk, or cut comb honey. When the youth are experienced and knowledgeable in the basic care of a beehive, they should move on to Division III, Advanced Beekeeping Methods. The advanced topics include: increasing the number of your honey bee colonies, increasing honey production, producing special kinds of honey, learning more about the bee societies, and how to manage honey bee diseases and parasites.  This is a good resource for beginning beekeepers of all ages. 

4 H Beekeeping Manual  A good beginner beekeeper manual written by Brian Rowe of the 4 H organization that covers everything from hive components, types of bees, first year and seasonal management, honey, wax and diseases and pests.  "Welcome to beekeeping.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  The bees have been good to me, and I hope they will do the same for you." Brian Rowe.

The Basics of Beekeeping  This is a good introductory Beekeeping guide written by M.M. Peterson on behalf of the Dunblane and Stirling Districts Beekeepers' Association in Scotland.  The topics discussed include bee biology, beekeeping equipment, handling bees, swarm control, diseases and pests and harvesting.   

Beekeeping: The Essential Guide  A step by step guide.  "In this essential guide, we will cover an introduction to beekeeping, all you need to know about your bees, how to set up your first bee colony, how to safely manage and inspect your beehive, how to raise your bees, seasonal beekeeping tasks, how to harvest honey and beeswax, how to make beeswax body lotion and candles, and much more!"

At the Hive Entrance  This useful German handbook written by Prof. Storch in 1985 (pre varroa) explains the value of being able to calculate a hive health by observing the outside of the hive.  "All year round it is through this little opening that the life of a colony pulses. Here it breathes and rejects all that it will not tolerate in its domain. Here it transmits its meaningful message for the person who can understand it. Here the colony's behaviour informs the beekeeper of its problems and state of health, and lets him know whether it needs his help. A keeper who can tell the condition of his bees by observing the hive entrance does not need to open his hives and disturb the bees' sanctuary, the brood nest. This never produces good results.  A healthy colony must have peace if it is to perform its productive role. On principle a visit should only be made once the keeper has determined at the hive entrance that something is not in order. It is not always easy to know what is happening inside the hive by observing the hive entrance and this is only learnt after many years, especially when the keeper is alone and there is no-one to give advice.  The aquisition of this knowledge can be facilitated by complementing observations at the hive entrance with those made at the rear window or at the building frame. A look beneath the frames is also very often instructive.  As long as the beekeeper cannot understand the inter-nal condition of the hive by watching the outside, he can only lose money and will have to pay his appren-ticeship dearly.  Therefore it is in the best interest of every beekeeper to learn this field as fast and as thoroughly as possible. It is not only the ears and eyes of the observer which must participate, but also his senses of smell and touch, and above all his heart, spirit and intelligence."

Beemaster's beekeeping course  This is a good, fairly comprehensive beginners beekeeping course from the good folks at the Beemaster site and covers everything from "is beekeeping right for you?", choosing your apiary site, bee castes, ordering and installing nucs, swarm catching, hive inspection, diseases and parasites and links to the beemaster beekeeping forum.

Beekeeping in the United States  This beekeeping handbook from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides readers with a better understanding of beekeeping in the United States from a l980 perspective (pre Varroa). Some topics discussed are the life history of the honey bee; bee behavior; breeding and genetics of honey bees; queens, packaged bees, and nuclei; managing colonies for high honey yield and crop pollination; dis- eases and pests of honey bees; and effects of pesticides on honey bee mortality. The handbook also lists beekeeping organizations and some statistics on bees and honey. Martin, E. C, E. Oertel, N. P. Nye, and others. 1980. Beekeeping in the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Handbook. 

Basic Beekeeping Manual  This is a 2 volume publication written by Pam Gregory with assistance of Gay Marris of the U.K. National Bee Unit (FERA) that concentrates on top bar hive beekeeping, but many of the techniques and ideas can also be used by traditional and frame hive beekeepers.  "This field manual is designed for use by field-based trainers in sub Saharan Africa. It is based on colour pictures with few words. The manual covers basic techniques needed to start a beekeeping business. It also offers some new ideas to help beekeepers to become independent by making their own equipment from local materials. I hope that this will help people to start beekeeping at an affordable cost, and maybe to experiment with new materials. The pictures show some of the many different ways that people keep bees. This is intended to promote discussion and shared experiences to help people to solve problems locally. The manual concentrates on top bar hive beekeeping but many of the techniques and ideas can also be used by traditional and frame hive beekeepers."   The Advanced Beekeeping Manual covers more advanced management techniques and problem solving and offers some ideas about how to tackle them.  The Swahili language version of this manual.

Tropical and Sub-tropical Apiculture  The book brings out the enormous untapped potential for thedevelopment of a dynamic apiculture industry in the developing countries. Most countriesin these regions are blessed with abundant sunshine, and a rich flora which blooms all the year round. An integrated consideration of the problems and potential of the apiculture industry in the tropics andsub- tropics will therefore help in identifying the constraints responsible for the gap between potential and actual honey production. At the same time, it will help to monitor and regulate the movement ofbees and associated pathogens from temperate into tropical areas, where beekeeping is especially vulnerable to setbacks caused by new diseases. We urgently need a mechanism for disease monitoring, and for organizing an early warning system with reference to the spread of new pests and pathogens. Information on marketing opportunities will also be necessary for countries that are substantially increasing their apicultural production.  Much of this book has been written by scientists who are authorities in their respective fields. The book, therefore, serves as an encyclopedia of information relating to the various aspects of apiculture.

The National Beekeeping Training Extension Manual  This beekeeping training guide produced by the Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture is a manual that others in tropical and subtropical areas may find useful.  "Over the years, several stakeholders including Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been carrying out training of farmers in their own ways without standard guide and uniformity.  Some of the guides/manuals used by the stakeholders are substandard. This practice has for long undermined efforts to increase production and enforce compliance to standards.  This manual has therefore been developed to provide the basic standards for training beekeepers all over Uganda."

Apiculture in Sub-Saharan Africa (A manual for trainers)  This manual focuses on modern beekeeping in Sub-Saharan Africa. It attempts to upgrade and refine the knowledge of trainers/field workers within government departments or organizations/NGOs on the correct use of modern beekeeping techniques. The final aim is that competent services will be provided to farmers/beekeepers and appropriate transfer of know-how will be accomplished to the same. It is hoped that this will contribute to the creation of a new generation of beekeepers in the Region.

Small Scale Beekeeping (The Peace Corps) As part of the United States “whole of government” effrt to address food security in the developing world, the Peace Corps has edited and revised several existing technical manuals designed for use by Volunteers. Most of these materials were created in the late 1970s and early 1980s and were written by a number of diffrent subject-matter experts employed or contracted by the Peace Corps. They have been revised with funding provided to the Peace Corps by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau of Food Security under a food security agreement, known as “Feed the Future.”  The Small-Scale Beekeeping manual is written as a guide for Volunteers who are getting started with small-scale beekeeping projects. The intention is to provide an overview of beekeeping and its possibilities as a tool for development. The manual focuses on “intermediate levels” of beekeeping that can be self-sustaining, using only local resources.

A Manual for Trainers of Small-Scale Beekeeping Development Workers (The Peace Corps)   A Manual for Trainers of Small-scale Beekeeping Development Workers [T0029] is useful for Volunteers and staff for training purposes. The content is adaptable to pre-service and inservice training events. It is also valuable to Volunteers interested in training community members. The training is designed to help participants develop the skills they will need to work and live as beekeeping extensionists.  The emphasis of this training is on equipping future Volunteers, counterparts, and community members with the skills necessary to promote appropriate beekeeping development. This is a creative process that requires individuals to take an active role in identifying their own needs and finding appropriate and sustainable ways to meet them. The sessions outlined in this manual cover a range of skills needed to establish beekeeping projects. The approach to training used in this manual is based on the principles of non formal education and is designed to strike a balance between structured learning and independent discovery. By using the sessions, resources, and methods outlined here, participants will develop a working knowledge of beekeeping, as well as skills for applying that knowledge in a meaningful way.

Beekeeping Training for Farmers in the Hymalayas  This manual produced by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development covers the full range of basic topics related to beekeeping development, including the importance of beekeeping in modern agriculture and the use of bees for crop pollination; production of honey, wax and other hive products; honey quality standards; and using value chain and market management to increase the benefits accruing to beekeepers. The focus is on participatory hands-on training, with issues explained in simple language with many illustrations. The manual was prepared to meet formal training needs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal, but it is suitable for use in ICIMOD's other member countries as well - Afghanistan, China, Myanmar, and Pakistan.

Beekeeping in Asia by Pongthep Akratanakul (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) - "In a continent as vast as Asia, differences in climate, levels of agricultural development, and bee races are so variable that no one book can cover all beekeeping situations. The author of this study draws heavily on his experiences with European honeybees introduced into northern Thailand, but he also discusses the principal features of beekeeping activities in the other zonal and socio-cultural contexts in Asia at different stages of development.  Both the experienced beekeeper and the novice will find a mine of useful information, guidance and suggestions in the publication and it is for this reason that FAO hopes that it will be a useful contribution to the economic development of the most populous continent in the world."

Bees and their Role in Forest Livelihoods by Nicola Bradbear (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) - "The role of bees in sustaining forests and forest dependent livelihoods remains poorly known and appreciated. Bees are a fantastic world resource: they are essential for sustaining our environment because they pollinate flowering plants. Bees sustain our agriculture by pollinating crops and thereby increasing yields of seeds and fruits.  Today, apiculture plays a valuable part in rural livelihoods worldwide, and this book aims to provide an insight into the many ways in which bees and beekeeping contribute to these livelihoods, and how to strengthen this contribution. While the rationale for the sustainable use of tree resources is widely appreciated, by contrast the sustainable use of bee resources is poorly promoted and appreciated. Rural people in every developing country are keeping bees or harvesting from them in one way or another.  This book aims to help ensure that these people gain the most from these activities."

A Beekeeping Guide  - A good beginners guide written by Harlan Attfield of VITA for beekeeping in the tropics and subtropics.  "This guide provides an overview of beekeeping in the tropics and subtropics.  It explains hive management techniques and offers insight into the life of the common honey bee, Apis Mellifera and the Asian Honey Bee, Apis Cerana.  There are many races of these two honey bees and they often require very specific techniques and equipment to hive them successfully."

Beekeeping in the Tropics   - A beginners beekeeping guide written by P. Segeren and published by Agrodok.  "You can keep bees as an interesting hobby, or as a main or an extra source of income. This booklet  mainly provides information on how to work with honey-bees that nest in cavities. In most of the world regions this will be the European bee Apis mellifera, but in large parts of (sub)tropical Asia the quite similar species A.cerana is mainly used. Although the composition of a honey-bee colony is basically the same all over the world, the management of bees must be adapted to the species and race, the climate and the vegetation." 

Beekeeping in India    Beekeeping has been practiced in Indian since time immemorial.  The earliest mention of it is in the Vedas and the Ramayana.  Success in beekeeping is largely a question of the proper understanding of the biology and behaviour of the honey bees and their proper management including knowledge of their diseases and enemies and the latest equipment for handling them.  This book is intended to serve as a handy reference and guide for students of agriculture, extension workers and all those who are interested in beekeeping either as a hobby or profession. 

Honeybees and Their Management in India by R.C. Mishra (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) - "The beekeeping practices for domesticated Indian honeybee, Apis cerana indica F. were adopted from the west with suitable modifications suiting to Indian honeybee. There is need to undertake intensive research for therefinement of management practices for improved honey yield and efficient pollination of crops. Production of other valuable hive products like royal jelly, beeswax and bee venom needs commercialization. There is a great diversity in regional agroclimatic conditions and flora. Therefore, for taking up beekeeping, there is a need to carry out some careful studies to explore the potential of each area.  This is an attempt to present a world-wide picture of beekeeping, suitable for practical and class-room reference. The book is mainly focussed on Indian literature, though the contents also draw from the knowledge accumulated in more advanced countries. It is a comprehensive account on different aspects of beekeeping, and students, teachers and scientists will profit by studying it. I am sure, the book will generate awareness and catalyse action towards a more effective exploitation of honeybees for honey and other bee products as also for crop production through bee pollination."

Beekeeper's Manual - Management and Caring of Africanized Bees for the Production of Honey In the Vaca Forest Reserve.  The primary aim of this Beekeeper’s Manual is to provide information to beekeepers on the integrated management of Africanized Bees. The manual describes the basic management of beekeeping from the formation of a new nucleus to the extraction and marketing of honey.  Beekeepers in Belize should not only think that the only product in beekeeping ishoney. Pollen, propolis, wax, royal jelly and venom, the queen, the beehives and the apicultural materials are other products that capture a good market price.  This manual takes into consideration climatic changes experienced over the past 5 years and the response of bees to this factor.

Beekeeping (22 page overview) written by Lance Gegner of ATTRA-  "This publication is intended as a guide for anyone interested in beginning or expanding a beekeeping enterprise. Whether the bees are kept as pollinators for crops or for the income from their products, producers need to be aware of their states’ apiary laws concerning inspection, registration, and permits, as well as labeling and marketing standards. Producers also need to be aware of pesticide application laws and pesticide notification laws relative to bees.  Both beginning and experienced beekeepers need to consider li-ability insurance; the possibility of Africanized hybrid bees taking over the hives; and all the pests and diseases that afflict bees and their colonies."
The first year of beekeeping (Powerpoint) - A fairly good picture based powerpoint from Dr. Deborah Delaney of the University of Delaware which provides a brief but comprehensive description of "Hive Mangement in the First Year of Beekeeping".

Ohio State University has created a free honey bee biology and beekeeping course based on Dr. Reed Johnson's for-credit OSU Beekeeping Course.  The free course consists of video lectures, handouts and readings presented on iTunes which is a free download.  The course is in the testing phase, is extensive and consists of 138 segments covering every aspect of bees and beekeeping including: Packages and Nucs; Package Installation; Pheremones; Mites; Swarming; Vitellogenin; Queen rearing and development; Foraging; Planting; Pesticides; Phenology; Nest Architecture; Honey Extraction; IPM; Honey Flow; Honey Laundering; Commercial Pollination; Drone Congregation; Dance Language; Feeding and Wintering; Honey Crystalization; Apiary Sites; Nutrition; Pests and Diseases; Broodmapper; Bee Races; and Bee Biology.  O.S.U. is asking for volunteer beekeepers to review the course and offer suggestions.  The only suggestions I would give of this great course are that a few of the videos are repeated and that they be presented in order of learning.  To access this course and assist in it's development go to "Beekeeping and Honey Bee Biology" on iTunes.

Free Online Beekeeping Course  "Honey Bees and Colony Strength Evaluation" (You can log in as a guest)  Recommended for beekeepers, inspectors and farmers hiring bee pollinators.  This online course from the University of California is useful for all beekeepers from the beginner to the professional.  "The objective in developing this course was to provide easily accessible information to improve the understanding of basic honey bee biology, recommended colony strength evaluation practices, and recognition of important diseases, pests, and parasites that impact honey bees. The course consists of individual modules that provide background information on honey bees as well as clear, consistent recommendations for apiary inspection. Individuals can take advantage of the training at their convenience. The modular approach requires short blocks of time for each section and the viewer can proceed at their own pace viewing modules in any order they wish. Modules covering basic information may not be necessary for more experienced beekeepers or apiary inspectors. However, for those less familiar with the process, training modules can be re-visited as necessary. The existing information will be updated when appropriate and additional topics may be added in the future. Within each module, there are short quizzes to test for understanding. A series of skills practice sets is also included in this online training to improve your understanding of brood, frame, and cluster count evaluation. Nothing can replace actual hands-on experience, so this course should be considered as an overview of the colony strength evaluation process with the aim to improve consistency of inspections."  This course comes with a workbook that you can view or download, Honey Bee Colony Assessment Workbook .

The BeeMD is a diagnostic tool to help beekeepers identify honey bee health issues. The BeeMD will be used in multiple modalities including computers and handheld devices such as tablets and smart phones. The information on The BeeMD will be continually evolving and updated as science and technology add new information to the ability to diagnose and understand hive health.  The BeeMD originated as a project of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) with funding from the USDA APHIS, the Rust Foundation, the Pollinator Partnership and the University of Delaware. The founding team included the University of Maryland, Florida State University, the American Beekeeping Federation, and the Pollinator Partnership.

The PerfectBee Online Beekeeping Course:  "Our unique, free 3-part online course, delivered through our eMail newsletter PerfectBee Buzz, builds your knowledge step-by-step, through fun and engaging articles covering all aspects of beekeeping."  You will receive 12 emails with links to articles that cover most of the topics you will need to know to start beekeeping like: The Science of Bees; Bee Society; Beekeeping Philosophy; Beehives and Accessories; Equipment and Clothing; Starting your Bee Hive; Threats to Bees; Inspecting you Hive and Harvesting Honey and Bees Wax.  The PerfectBee is a company that sells beekeeping products so I was naturally concerned about my email box being filled with advertising but there has been minimal marketing email.  You can unsubscribe at any time.  All in all a fairly good beginner beekeeping course.

Beekeeping in West Virginia  Beekeeping in West Virginia began with individuals keeping bees in log hives often called gums. Some bees were managed in hives made out of rough sawed lumber and they were called box hives. Records show that these honeybee colonies produced from 14 to 24 pounds of honey on average each year.
Beekeeping in the Phillipines

Internal Anatomy of the Honey Bee

1. Digestive and excretory systems.
2. Circulatory, respiratory, and nervous systems.
3. Endocrine system.
4. Reproductive organs.

Western Honey Bee Subspecies   The European Honey bee or Western Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera) is a species of honey bee.  The genus Apis is Latin for "Bee" and mellifera comes from the Latin meli meaning "honey" and ferre meaning "to bear".  Hence the scientific name means "honey-bearing bee".  The name was coined in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus who, realizing that bees do not bear honey, but nectar, tried later to correct it to Apis Mellifica (honey-making bee) in a subsequent publication.  However, according to the rules of synonymy in zoological nomenclature the older name has precedence.  

Hobby beekeeping in the city of Vancouver
Useful Beekeeping Websites

Hive Inspection guide and checklist  There are a number of things we need to look for when we inspect the hive.  An inspection sheet helps keep things organized and allows easy comparison from one inspection to the next.  It helps keep beginners and forgetful old folks like me from overlooking something important.  I encourage you to use one of these or make your own to suit your needs from the checklists here.  There are also many apps and software programs for tracking your hives like Hive Tracks,  MyBeekeeperBeeCloud and Beetight which is a free for up to 6 hives.

The advantages of using Nucs (University of Florida)  Nucleus colonies, commonly called “nucs”, are smaller versions of full-size Langstroth colonies. They usu-ally have the same length and depth dimensions as full-size colonies, but nucs are not as wide. As such, nucs may hold 3-5 frames compared to the 8-10 frames typically held by a full size colony. A second type of nuc, commonly called a “baby nuc” or “queen mating nuc”, exists but is smaller than full-size colonies in every dimension and is used primarily for queen bee production. Queen mating nucs will not be discussed in this document. Rather, we will focus on five-frame nucs exclusively, although three- and four-frame nucs can be used and managed almost identically.

The main thrust of Checkerboarding is to break up the overhead band of capped honey maintained by the colony through the swarm preparation season. (The literature refers to the band of honey or nectar as causing a “honey bound” condition.) In the undisturbed colony, it is capped honey. In the colony reversed in the early season, the band is rebuilt with nectar. Maintenance of the band is deliberate addition of empty comb above the band is often ignored, and swarm preparations continue below the band – which Walt calls the “reserve”. He says that the reserve is maintained through the swarm prep period to offset forage drop – outs or bad weather during swarm preps.

(Beaverlodge Research Farm, Alberta, Canada) In nature bees have two general methods for maintaining colony temperatures in winter: 1) selecting a protected and well-suited cavity (Tab. 1) and 2) clustering.  Clusters have a two-part structure (Fig. 1): 1) a dense outer mantle in which bees jam together, orienting their heads towards the center of the cluster and 2) a loose inner core where bees are free to move. The mantle insulates and, at its tightest, approaches the insulation of bird feathers or mammal fur (0.1 W/kg/ºC). Clusters move slowly from empty combs to ones full of honey. This movement is typically upwards and sideways, never downwards. Before we go on, here are four critical temperatures you should know: 1) brood nest = 32-36ºC, 2) minimum thorax temperature needed for flight = 27ºC, 3) minimum temperature needed to pump flight muscles and warm up (analogous to mammal “shivering”) = 18ºCand 4) below which bees go into a “chill coma” = 6ºC.  

Beehive construction (B.C. Government) - Most beekeepers will assemble pre-cut beehive equipment at some time.  Others go farther by manufacturing their own equipment.  In either case, it is important to use standard dimensions and assembly methods to ensure that the equipment will be interchangeable, strong and durable.  This publication offers dimensions and designs of individual hive parts, and a few assembly hints. In Canada, the Langstroth movable-frame hive has been adopted as the hive standard.  This hive design provides simplicity of construction and ease of manipulation, permitting rapid inspection and interchange of frames.  Well-constructed equipment pays off in ease of management, and retains its resale value. 

Observation Hives

Hive bodies take a lot of abuse and need to be con-structed accordingly.  Not only do they have to bear a lot of weight (up to 70 pounds, or more) for a super, but the bee-keeper will use their hive tool to twist and pry apart hive bodies after the bees glue everything together with propolis. Of all the hive components, hive bodies have the most differences in size.  There are four standard heights (referred to as “depth”) for hive bodes: deep, medium, shallow and  comb honey.  In addition there are three common widths: 10-frame, 8-frame and 5-frame.  We typically recommend to beekeepers just starting out to decide on one size hive body and then stick with it.  That way, all equipment is interchangeable.  Because a 10-frame deep super can be very heavy (70+ pounds), we suggest using 10-frame mediums (which usually top out around 35 pounds when full of honey).  The plans presented in this article are for 10-frame medium hive bodies, though tables on the cut list page provide dimensions for the other sizes.

1. #8 Hardware cloth should be placed over the middle section of the bottom of the hive for ventilation. It is easiest to install if it is stapled on after the front, back and sides are assembled but before the bottom is attached.  2. A 9 3/4 x 9'' piece of corrugated plastic can be slid in the dados in the bottom pieces to block off the ventilation in cold weather.  3. The feet may be made of treated wood or other wood that resists rot to extend life.  4. To enable feeding the nuc a hole may be cut in the top to fit a quart jar or other suitable feeder. Screen may be placed on the inner side of the hole to prevent the bees from coming out when the feeder is replaced and a square of heavy plastic may be placed over the hole and attached by one screw or nail. This piece of plastic can be moved aside when feeding and moved over the hole when not feeding.
5. When moving the nuc you need only close off the entrance with duct tape. The bees will have plenty of ventilation from the bottom screen.


Bottom Boards and Racks

Give entire inside of feeder two coats of polyurethane or marine varnish.  Pour molten wax onto all inside seams.  Attach hardware cloth to top of boards "A" with staples (

Pollen Traps



Parts for Pests

Winter Protection
Insulated Moisture Quilt
Ventilation/Insulation Box

English translation: The large bicycle tires (57-406, 20 x 2, 125) give the sack barrow a particularly good ride suitability in uneven terrain. The wide wheelbase provides a good grip against slip of the Hives. The Prey truck for hives to max. 46 cm width. If your hives be wider than 46 cm, is only an adaptation of Pos. 1 and 2 (see Plan A) to the desired width make. The construction of the prey truck based on both a comfortable posture and on the great usability with secure stand against overturning. 

Heating and Ventilating


A properly constructed electric fence is safe for people and pets  and has proven to be effective at deterring bears from apiaries (beehives), fruit trees, gardens, livestock pens, rabbit hutches, garbage containers, dog kennels, chicken coups, compost piles, storage sheds, along with numerous other uses. There is an abundant variety of applications and effective fencing designs for deterring bears. Design, construction and proper maintenance will determine the effectiveness of your electric fence. Safety is always a concern when using electrified equipment. Modern electric fence energizers have been shown to be safe for humans, animals and vegetation. The pulse rate of a modern energizer is so quick that they cannot generate enough heat to start vegetation on fire. While touching an electrified fence is unpleasant, modern energizers are safe to use around pets and children.

Honey Extraction
The bicycle wheel extractor begins with a bike.  The frame cage is made of the bicycle rims, with the spokes serving to hold the frames in place.  Which bike you want is based on your drum and your frames.  Not all bike wheels are created equal, primarily because of the spoke design.  For the western supers I use, I discovered that the front wheels of some sixteen inch bicycles would fit nicely, while the rear wheel and some other spoke patterns wouldn’t allow western frames (but did allow true shallow frames).  The way that I discovered this involved my daughter’s bike.  “You don’t need a wrench to put on streamers,” she said.  Her bike wasn’t right anyway.  I didn’t want to buy two bikes just to sacrifice the front wheel, so tape measure in hand I descended on yard sales and thrift shops, carrying a western frame along for a “test fit”...

Hive Care

Diseases and Pests

A Field Guide to Honey Bees and their Maladies (Penn State University) - The key to protecting honey bee colonies from diseases, parasites, and other harm-ful conditions is the ability to identify and deal with problems early. This publication is designed to assist beekeepers in recog-nizing the symptoms of common honey bee maladies. Some simple cultural controls are included here; however, for a complete list and discussion of manage-ment tactics and currently registered chemicals approved for the control of honey bee maladies, see the MAAREC Web site,

Varroa Mites
Sampling Colonies for Varroa Destructor by G. Reuter and M. Spivak (U. of Minnesota)
Altered Physiology of Honey Bees Infested with Varroa (Norwegian Research Council)
Alternative Strategies for Control of Varroa Mites in Europe (Apimondia)
Aspects of Varroa Reproduction as possible new control method by D. Anderson (Australian Government)

Small Hive Beetle
The beetle is indigenous to Africa, where it is considered a minor pest of honey bees, and until recently was thought to be restricted to that continent. However, in 1998 it was detected in Florida and it is now widespread in the USA. It is called the small hive beetle to distinguish it from other minor pests of bee hives in Africa, known as large hive beetles. At the time of writing, the SHB is not thought to be present in the UK. The beetle can multiply to huge numbers within infested colonies where it eats brood, destroys combs and if uncontrolled ultimately destroys them. The resulting economic impact on the beekeeping industry in the USA has been severe. Within two years of its discovery, at least 20,000 colonies were destroyed by the beetle, costing many millions of dollars. It has also been found in Manitoba, Canada where it arrived with beeswax imported from the USA. In October 2002, it was found in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. The economic consequences to the beekeeping industry in Australia are likely to be extremely serious, jeopardising bee exports, pollination services and honey production. Normally they move down into the hive to get away from the light It is not known how the beetle reached either the USA or Australia, although in the USA shipping is considered the most likely route. By the time the beetle was detected in both countries it was already well established. The potential implications for European apiculture are enormous, as we must now assume that the SHB could spread to Europe and that it is likely to prove as harmful here as in Australia and the USA. Package bees and honey bee colonies are the principal means of spread, but it could also be transmitted inadvertently and unnoticed through swarms in shipping or air cargo, or in consignments of fruit, unrefined wax and used beekeeping equipment. Beekeeper vigilance must be heightened following the discovery of the SHB in Australia. In the future, keeping an eye out for the beetle needs to become a routine part of colony management in the UK.
Prevention of Deformed Wing Virus by dsRNA ingestion (University of Manitoba) 



Deformed Wing Virus


Pathogen Webs in Collapsing Honey Bee Colonies (N.C. State, U. of Maryland, U.S.D.A)
"On-site" Replication of CCD (Harvard, Worcester County B.A.)

Medications and Stress

Essential Oils
Why should parasite resistance be costly? (U.C. Santa Barbara and U. of Vermont)

Hygienic bees removing infested larvae
Hygienic honeybee colonies are those in which dead and diseased brood is rapidly removed from the colony, thereby reducing the amount of inoculum present. Hygienic behaviour is a trait present in about 20% of Australian honeybee colonies. Some researchers claim that highly hygienic colonies are strongly resistant to the major diseases of honeybees including American and European foul brood, Chalk brood and Sac brood. Hygienic bees are also claimed to be resistant to the parasitic mite Varroa. Hygienic behaviour is usually measured by using liquid nitrogen to freeze-kill a small patch of brood. Hygienic colonies uncap and remove the dead brood within 24 hours whereas this process takes several days with non-hygienic colonies. The first studies of hygienic behaviour were conducted in the 1960s. Walter Rothenbuhler crossed a strongly hygienic line with a strongly non-hygienic line. The resulting F1 colonies were not hygienic. Rothenbuhler then raised daughters off an F1 queen backcrossed these to drones of the hygienic parent. He then evaluated these colonies for hygienic behaviour. The pattern of expression of hygienic behaviour among these backcross colonies suggested that the trait was controlled by two separate genes, one that controlled uncapping behaviour, the other which controlled removal behaviour.

Fat Bees Skinny Bees - a manual on honey bee nutrition for beekeepers by Doug Somerville (Australian Government). This publication provides information on the known essential chemical requirements of  honey bees including the components of nectar and pollen.  Pollens with a protein level  around 25% or greater have been recognised as excellent quality pollens, those less  than 20% have been described as of a poor quality. Australia has had more pollens  analysed than any other country, and for the first time all of the profiles of the analysis  are presented, representing 183 species.  There is some evidence that pollens from the  same genus, i.e., closely related plants, exhibit similar nutritional values in regards to  pollen chemical composition. Lack of nectar or stored honey presents the beekeeper with various sets of problems. These scenarios are discussed with the most appropriate course of action. Likewise, lack of pollen or poor quality pollen creates its own set of problems, often exacerbated by the stimulus of a nectar flow. How to recognise the need to provide pollen supplement and the circumstances which may lead a beekeeper to invest in this practice are discussed. Some facts about honey bee nutrition include; nectar flows stimulate hygienic behaviour; total protein intake is what should be considered, not so much the individual chemical properties of individual pollens; fats in pollen act as strong attractants to foraging bees, although increasing concentrations in pollen limit brood rearing; vitamins are very unstable and deteriorate in stored pollen; principal cause of winter losses is starvation, not cold...

Honey Bee Nutrition by Eric Mussen (UC Davis)
Honey Bee Nutrition by Zachery Huang (Michigan State U.)
Honey Bee Nutrition - Review of Research and Practices by J. Black (Australian Government)
Honey (not sugar) constituents up-regulate immunity and detoxification genes in Honey Bees (University of Illinois) 
The Benefits of Pollen to Honey Bees (University of Florida)
Considerations in Selecting Sugars for feeding to Honey Bees by R. Barker (U.S.D.A)
Feeding Bees Pollen Substitute by Dr. E. Mussen (UC Davis)
Honey Substitution Chart for Feeding Bees (National Honey Board)

Bee Feeding Recipes by Cass Cohenour
Recipe for a Pollen Substitute (Scottish Beekeepers Association)


An Introduction to Native Bees (U.S.D.A and Pollinator Partnership)   Native bees are a hidden treasure.  From alpine meadows in the national forests of the Rocky Mountains to the Sonoran Desert in the Coronado National Forest in Arizona and from the boreal forests of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska to the Ocala National Forest in Florida, bees can be found anywhere in North America, where flowers bloom.  From forests to farms, from cities to wildlands, there are 4,000 native bee species in the United States, from the tiny Perdita minima to large carpenter bees. Most people do not realize that there were no honey bees in America before European settlers brought hives from Europe. These resourceful animals promptly managed to escape from domestication. As they had done for millennia in Europe and Asia, honey bees formed swarms and set up nests in hollow trees. Native pollinators, especially bees other than honey bees, have been pollinating the continent’s flowering plants since long before the arrival of honey bees.  Even in today’s vastly altered landscapes, they continue to do the yeomen’s share of pollination, especially when it comes to native plants.

Native Bee Identification

Humble (Bumble) Bees

Mason Bees

Stingless Bees

The Stingless Bees of the Yucatan: Preserving Mayan Meliponiculture by Diana Cohn

Making Native Bee Homes

Farming with Native Bees

Queen Rearing
The age of grafted larvae plays a major part in the quality of resulting queens. The younger the larvae the better the queens.  Select the smallest larvae possible, preferably larvae just hatched from the egg.  A larvae 0 to 24 hrs old is the same length as an egg.  Grafting of eggs themselves is extremely difficult and not recommended.  Introducing plastic queen cell cups into strong colonies about one day before grafting allows the bees to clean, polish and warm the cells.  Place the frame containing the larva onto a support board at an angle of about 30 degrees, with a cool light shining into the cells so that each larva can be seen.  Place the nib or needle of the grafting tool under the royal jelly under the middle of the larva....

Commercial Beekeeping
Basic Microscopy for Beekeepers by Christina Wahl (Cornell College)


Morphometrics -  A system of measuring morphological characteristics to determine honey bee type.  The CHBRC laboratory analyzes samples nationwide in an effort to provide vital information on the migration of Africanized honey bees.


BK-Economics - BK-Economics is a software package that was developed by a team of scientists at the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona to assist commercial beekeepers in streamling their business practices.  This software allows beekeepers to simulate years of business, taking into account factors like equipment purchases, labor force, transportation, marketing strategies, loans, honey flow, and other hive products without taking the usual risks.  This software, when used in combination with the marketing strategy information in publication, can help beekeepers formulate a successful business plan when making financial decisions, expanding an operation or just starting out.  

Varroa Pop - Varroa Pop simulates the growth of Varroa mite population in honey bee colonies.  The program demonstratres how Varroa mites influence colony population growth throughout the year.  You can change many factors through the menus in the model such as the initial population size, queen egg laying potential, and mite reproduction rates, so you can see how these factors influence both colony and mite population growth.  We hope that the model will help you understand the interactions between the honey bee and mite populations and provide insights on how best to control Varroa in colonies.

Redapol Developed by Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman et al.  A computer-based model simulating the interactions of weather, bloom and honey bee foraging activity that culminate in 'Delicious' apple fruit-set.  The model predicts the percentage of blossoms setting fruit based upon weather conditions, orchard design, tree characteistics, and honey bee colonies per hectare.  Now available in a complete archive (.ZIP file). 

Almopol - ALMOPOL is a web-based model that is used to investigate the relationship between the many variables encountered in pollinating almonds by using Honeybees or Osmia.  This program gives you full control over your model of your orchards, your scenarios, your weather, and your model parameters. When you first get started, you will define your orchards and then you can start running scenarios.

WebBeePop -  A honey bee population dynamics simulation model.

Honey Money - Honey cost of production calculator produced by the Australian Government to assist beekeepers to assess the cost of production and profitability in a honeybee enterprise.

Mini Honey Money - Produced by the Australian Government to monitor cost of production and profitability. 

USDA Report on Honey Bee Health (2012)
Ancient Chinese Apiculture by C.W. Lau
Bees in the Green Movement by Dr. James Tew (Auburn University)
Langstroth Patent (L.L. Langstroth October 5, 1852)
Honey Bees in House Walls (Ohio State University)

Africanized Honey Bees

Beekeeping History

Bees of the World
Honey hunting in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (India) by Kunal Sharma
Organic Bee Pollen: Origin, Value, Compounds, Activity and Quality (Scientific study)
The Main Driver in Aging in Long-Lived Winter Honey Bees
Altered Physiology of Honey Bees Infested with Varroa
Alternative Strategies in Central Europe for Control of Varroa

Methods for Characterising subspecies of Apis Mellifera (IBRA)
Ecological Adaptations of Diverse Honey Bee populations (U.B.C. and Agr-Food Canada)
Mating between Apis Cerana and Apis Mellifera in Australia (Australian Government)
Polyandry (multiple mates) in Honey Bees (H. Laidlaw and R. Page)
The Impact of Polyandry and Drifting on Honey Bee Genetics (P. Neumann)
Drifting Behavior of Honey Bees and the effect of AFB
Factors influencing Honey Bee Queen Drifting (
Honey Bee Ability to Identify Colors White and Blue (Alexander Komissar)

Bats (a bees friend)

Individual Studies

Pesticides and Their Involvement in Colony Collapse Disorder (Penn State University) - For honey bees low levels of pesticides have been shown to reduce associative learning of individual bees in laboratory studies using the proboscis extension response (Decourtye et al, 2004), altering maze learning performance in free-flying bees (Decourtye, et al. 2010) and the loss of foraging efficiency in radio tagged bees, (Decourtye, et al. 2011). The precocious foraging of nurse bees from IGR insecticides is also documented (Thompson et al. 2007). These changes in learning and behavior can potentially alter normal colony level functions, yet colony-level impacts remain to be verified.  Honey bee larvae reared in cells contaminated with the miticides fluvalenate or coumaphos show a reduced developmental rate and delayed adult emergence along with reduced adult longevity (Wu et al, 2011). These effects can have multiple consequences for the colony including increased developmental time for Varroa mites, reduced colony population dynamics and build up, as well as potential shifts in worker division of labor. Whether or not the pesticides associated with wax in the CART study (aboce) have similar impacts on larvae remains to be determined. Fungicides have long been known to synergize with some pesticides in laboratory toxicity bioassays (Iwasi et al, 2004). More recently, we have determined that combinations of formulated pesticides and fungicides fed to either adult worker bees or to larvae can have synergistic effects on mortality. What happens when 3 or 4 or 5 different pesticide mixtures are ingested by honey bee larvae or adults for substantial periods of time?

The Bees Burden (University of Exeter (England)) - This study reports concentrations of pesticides found in pollen brought back to hives by foraging bees, and sampled using pollen traps (trapped pollen) or direct from the comb (comb pollen, beebread). Twenty-five samples of comb pollen stored over winter from the 2012 foraging season were obtained from locations in seven European countries, and subsequently 107 samples of trapped pollen from the 2013 foraging season were obtained from locations in 12 European countries and analysed at an accredited laboratory. In terms of the geographical areas covered, and the numbers of samples taken simultaneously, this is one of the most extensive studies of pesticides in bee-collected pollen carried out to date.  Residues of at least one of 53 pesticides (including 22 insecticides/acaricides, 29
fungicides and two herbicides) were identified in 72 of the 107 trapped pollen samples, while residues of at least one of 17 pesticides (including nine insecticides / acaricides and eight fungicides) were identified in 17 of the 25 samples of comb pollen (beebread).

Implications of High Levels of Miticides and Pesticides in North American Apiaries (Penn State University and the U.S.D.A.) - "Honey bees across North America are extensively exposed to multiple pesticides.  Brood nest wax and foundations, beebread and trapped pollen, and adult bees and brood comprising 749 samples contained 118 different pesticides and metabolites, 4894 total residues of which 748 were systemics, and averaged 6.5 detections per sample. In the 259 wax samples (Table 1) 87 pesticides and metabolites were found with up to 39 different detections in a single sample, averaging 8 different pesticide residues each. In the 350 pollen samples analyzed (Table 2), 98 pesticides and degradates were identified, with up to 31 different pesticides found in a single sample, and samples averaged 7.1 different pesticide residues each.  The analysis of bees resulted in fewer detections (Table 3), and
averaged 2.5 residues per each of the 140 samples, with a maximum of 25 in one sample. Only one of the wax, three pollen and 12 bee samples had no detectable pesticides."

4 Common Pesticides highly toxic to Honey Bee Larvae (Penn State University and University of Florida) - Four Common Pesticides, Their Mixtures and a Formulation Solvent in the Hive Environment Have High Oral Toxicity to Honey Bee Larvae. "The current study demonstrates the chronic oral and mixture toxicity of common pesticides at hive levels to honey bees at the larval stage. Most notable are the chronic larval toxicities of the fungicide chlorothalonil and its synergistic combinations with frequently used in-hive miticides, and the unexpected high toxicity of the formulation ingredient N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone." 

Impact of Neonicotinoid exposure on colony performance and Queen Supersedure (University of Zurich, Swiss Bee Research Centre, University of Berne and the University of Reading) - Impact of Chronic Neonicotinoid Exposure on Honeybee Colony Performance and Queen Supersedure.  "In line with a recent meta-analysis [44], our results clearly indicate that neonicotinoids negatively impact on honeybee colony performance after chronic sublethal exposure throughout two brood cycles." 

Pesticide Exposure Increases susceptibility to Nosema  (U.S.D.A., University of Maryland and the University of California) - Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae.   "Our results combined with several recent studies of specific pesticides’ effects on Nosema infection dynamics [13–15] indicate that a detrimental interaction occurs when honey bees are exposed to both pesticides and Nosema."

Interactions between Nosema and neonicotinoids weakens honey bees (INRA - Europe's top agricultural research institute) - "We demonstrated that the interaction between the microsporidia Nosema and a neonicotinoid (imidacloprid) significantly weak-ened honeybees."

Exposure to Neonicotinoids effects learning and memory in Honey Bees (Newcastle University, UK) - "The experiments reported here show that prolonged exposure to field-realistic concentrations of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and the organophosphate acetylcholinesterase inhibitor coumaphos and their combination impairs olfactory learning and memory formation in the honeybee."

Parasite-Insecticide interaction (Clermont University and CNRS)

In this study, we used a multi-residue method based on LC-MS/MS to analyze samples of puddle water taken in the field during the planting of treated corn and one month later. If honey bees were to collect and drink water from these puddles, our results showed that they would be exposed to various agricultural pesticides. All water samples collected from corn fields were contaminated with at least one neonicotinoid compound, although most contained more than one systemic insecticide. Concentrations of neonicotinoids were higher in early spring, indicating that emission and drifting of contaminated dust during sowing raises contamination levels of puddles. Although the overall average acute risk of drinking water from puddles was relatively low, concentrations of neonicotinoids ranged from 0.01 to 63 mg/L and were sufficient to potentially elicit a wide array of sublethal effects in individuals and colony alike. Our results also suggest that risk assessment of honey bee water resources underestimates the foragers’ exposure and consequently miscalculates the risk. In fact, our data shows that honey bees and native pollinators are facing unprecedented cumulative exposure to these insecticides from combined residues in pollen, nectar and water.


Third generation Ontario beekeeper's story

Conclusions drawn from multiple studies

Worldwide assessment of systemic pesticides  - The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides is an independent group of scientists from all over the globe, who came together to work on the Worldwide Integrated Assessment of the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems.  The mandate of the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides (TFSP) has been “to carry out a comprehensive, objective, scientific review and assessment of the impact of systemic pesticides on biodiversity, and on the basis of the results of this review to make any recommendations that might be needed with regard to risk management procedures, governmental approval of new pesticides, and any other relevant issues that should be brought to the attention of decision makers, policy developers and society in general.”  To this end a highly multidisciplinary team of 30 scientists from all over the globe jointly made a synthesis of 1,121 published peer-reviewed studies spanning the last five years, including industry-sponsored ones.  "The present scale of use, combined with the properties of these compounds, has resulted in widespread contamination of ag-ricultural soils, freshwater resources, wetlands, non-target vegetation and estuarine and coastal marine systems, which means that many organisms inhabiting these habitats are being repeatedly and chronically exposed to effective concentrations of these insecticides." (175 pages)

Clothianidin adversely effects insect immunity - Neonicotinoid clothianidin adversely affects insect immunity and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees.

Pesticide Exposure reduces foraging success and survival in Honey Bees - "As Henry et al.’s experiments so elegantly demonstrate, there is no question that dietary thiamethoxam harms honey bee colonies by ele-vating the mortality of adult foragers through navigation failure, at least when the entire daily intake of a forager is consumed in a single dose."

Sublethal doses of a neonicotinoid pesticide and pathogens interact to elevate honey bee mortality - "Through fully crossed experiments in which treatments were administered singly or in combination, we found an additive interaction between BQCV and thiacloprid on host larval survival, likely because the pesticide significantly elevated viral loads."

Combined Pesticide Exposure severely effects Bees -  "Here we show that chronic exposure of bumblebees to two pesticides (neonicotinoid and pyrethroid) at concentrations that could approximate field-level exposure impairs natural fora-ging behaviour and increases worker mortality leading to signi-ficant reductions in brood development and colony success."

Low dose pesticides effects on Bees  - "At the end of the experiment, the hives with the bees that had eaten the imidacloprid in the lab weighed 8% to 12% less than the 25 untreated hives—an indication that the bees had gathered less food and produced fewer workers."

Neonicotinoids - Our Toxic Countryside - "How was all of this allowed to happen? How did the pesticide companies manage to poison most of the world’s arable landscapes and kill close to 10 million bee colonies as well as countless myriads of other insects and birds?  The answer is their profits buy ‘influence’.  More than $1 billion a year from Imidacloprid alone – and possibly $20 billion since 1992 – has enabled them, it is believed, to bully,  bribe, coerce, co-opt and persuade  the governments, regulators and universities of the developed world as well as national beekeeping associations including our own BBKA."

Neonic effect on Honey bees - "So the disruption to the neurological signalling of honey bees by Neonicotinoids means that they become disorientated. The chemicals impair their communication, homing and foraging ability, flight activity, olfactory discrimination (smell is also vital to bees communication systems), and learning, and a weakened immune system."

Pesticides and honey bees (State of the Science 2012 PAN) - “The weight of evidence demonstrates that pesticides are indeed key in explaining honey bee declines, both directly and in tandem with the other two leading factors, pathogens and poor nutrition.”

Are Neonicotinoids killing Bees? (Xerces) - A Review of Research into the Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on Bees, with Recommendations for Action.  

Bee Health The Role of Pesticides (Congress) -  "The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that overwinter colony losses from 2006 to 2011 averaged more than 32% annually.  This report provides a listing of the range of possible factors thought to be negatively affecting managed and wild bee populations. In addition to pesticides, other identified factors include bee pests and diseases, diet and nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and other environmental stressors, and beekeeping management issues, as well as the possibility that bees are being negatively affected by cumulative, multiple exposures and/or the interactive effects of each of these factors.  Briefly summarizes readily available scientific research and analysis regarding the potential role of pesticides among the factors affecting the health and well-being of bees, as well as the statutory authority and related regulatory activities of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to pesticide use." 

This is the first investigation of neonicotinoid insecticide concentrations in “bee-friendly” nursery plants sold to consumers at garden centers in cities across America. The findings indicate that bee-friendly nursery plants sold at U.S. retailers may contain systemic pesticides at levels that are high enough to cause adverse effects on bees and other pollinators — with no warning to consumers. Neonicotinoid residues were detected in seven out of thirteen samples (54 percent) of commercial nursery plants. In the samples with detections, concentrations ranged from 11 to 1,500 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg or parts per billion) of plant material.   

The 2008 food crisis was an important catalyst for realizing the need for a fundamental transformation and questioning some of the assumptions that had driven food, agricultural and trade policy in recent decades.  The world currently produces sufficient calories per head to feed a global population of 12-14 billion.  Around 1 billion people chronically suffer from starvation and another billion are mal-nurished.  Therefore hunger and malnutrition are not a product of insufficient supply but results of prevailing poverty and above all access to food.  The world needs a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a “green revolution” to an “ecological intensification” approach.  This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. 

Roundup (Glyphosate)


General Planting Guides

Bee Friendly Planting Guide - This planting guide from the Australian Government is particularly timely as there is increasing public concern for the well being and survival of global honeybee populations following the reported colony collapse disorder in the United States and Europe, and the threat to the Australian industry of the destructive varroa mite. This guide to planting choices from the backyard to the bush, right across the nation, will assist with increasing the available bee food.  Although this planting guide is written from an Australian perspective most of the plants are grown around the world.

Bee Protective Habitat Guide - This guide from "Beyond Pesticides" is designed to provide information on pollinators with resources on pollinator-friendly habitat, as well as pesticide use that contributes to declines in pollinator health. To that end, the wildflower section contains perennial species that are known to nurture bee populations in the U.S. The guide is divided into several sections and is arranged by season to encourage gardeners  and land managers to plant flowers that will bloom all year round. Within each season, plants are arranged in alphabetical order by common name. Bloom months have been provided and are rated based on when they commonly begin to bloom in the Midwest. Some species may continue blooming later into the season depending on the location. Note that plant hardiness should be referenced with the Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

*Your ability to grow a specific plant is not based on the country you live in but on the plant hardiness. The world is divided into plant hardiness zones which can be seen on the maps below. Though you should be able to grow any plants from your hardiness zone you are encouraged to grow native plants.

Pollinator Planting for Farms
United Nations Report on Small Scale, Organic Farming - The 2008 food crisis was an important catalyst for realizing the need for a fundamental transformation and questioning some of the assumptions that had driven food, agricultural and trade policy in recent decades.  The fundamental transformation of agriculture may well turn out to be one of the biggest challenges, including for international security, of the 21st century.  The world needs a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a “green revolution” to an “ecological intensification” approach.  The required transformation is much more profound than simply tweaking the existing industrial agricultural system.  

Planting for Pollinators in the U.S.
Wildflowers of Texas: Part 1 (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)  - The annual sunflower is very useful and Native Americans greatly valued it. They used for it medicines, fiber, cordage, and as a highly nutritious food for both humans and cattle. The seeds could be ground up and used to make bread. The shells were used to brew a pseudo-coffee. The Incas believed that the sunflower was the physical manifestation of the Sun God on Earth. The plant is an important part of the Iroquois creation myth. Iroquois Creation Myth (from: Long before the world was created there was an island, floating in the sky, upon which the Sky People lived. They lived quietly and happily. No one ever died, or was born, or experienced sadness. However, one day one of the Sky Women realized she was going to give birth to twins. She told her husband, who flew into a rage. In the center of the island there was a tree that gave light to the entire island, since the sun hadn't been created yet. He tore up this tree, creating a huge hole in the middle of the island. Curiously, the woman peered into the hole. Far below she could see the waters that covered the Earth. At that moment her husband pushed her. She fell through the hole, tumbling towards the waters below...

Planting for Pollinators in Canada
Gardening with native plants on Vancouver Island - The three essentials: food, shelter and water. Seed and berry producing shrubs feed and shelter birds. Provide a variety of food sources through the seasons by leaving seed heads on plants. A water feature (protected from cats and hawks) will attract many types of birds and animals.  Butterflies boycott pesticides. Feeding adults prefer certain plant species, but missing plants for caterpillars often restricts butterfly abundance. Plant poplar and willow, maintain areas of natural meadow, create a mud puddle, and tolerate some chewed leaves. Swallowtail caterpillars eat herbs with umbrella-like flowers including Spring Gold, Lomatiums, & Cow Parsnip. Some butterflies overwinter in the leaf litter that renews the soil.  Plant tall sticks in sunny quiet spots for butterflies and dragonflies to rest.

Planting for Pollinators throughout the World
Planting Guide for Honey and Australian Native Bees - The Australian honeybee industry provides essential benefits to the agricultural and horticultural sector through managed and incidental pollination services. Urban environments also benefit from the activities of honeybees. Planting bee forage for honeybee nutrition can offer major benefits to the industry and to society.  However, listed weeds should not be planted. Local nurseries will provide advice about which plants are listed as weeds in your area.  This planting guide for bee forage is particularly timely as there is increasing public concern for the well being and survival of global honeybee populations following the reported colony collapse disorder in the United States and Europe, and the threat to the Australian industry of the destructive varroa mite. This guide to planting choices from the backyard to the bush, right across the nation, will assist with increasing the available bee food.

Handbook for Natural Beekeeping - This Handbook is based on Certified Naturally Grown’s apiary certification standards, which place the primary focus on the health of honey bees and the sustainability of beekeeping, and a secondary focus on agricultural products of the hive (honey, pollen, and propolis). The second edition reflects the latest version of our standards as of October 2012. We intend this booklet to be a handy resource for natural beekeepers. It serves as a guide to best practices (the Recommended and Required sub-headings), while accommodating a range of reasonable choices (Permitted) and steering readers away from bad practices (Prohibited).

Top Bar Beekeeping

Top Bar Hives

Standard Top Bars for the Beekeeper (TJ Carr and John Bradford)
An analysis of the KTB Hive in Calgary, Alberta (Calgary Beekeepers Association)
The Top Bar Hive in Commercial Beekeeping and Research (Dr. W.A. Mangum)
Comparison of TBH vs Langstroth Hives (Chantal Forster)
The Kenyan Top Bar Hive Explained
Comparison- Vertical to Horizontal Top Bar Hive
The Vertical Top Bar Hive (Warre Hive)

Top Bar Hive Management

The Appropriate Beehive: An Introduction to Top Bar Beekeeping by Marty Hardison
This hive is called by a number of names: the David hive, the Kenya hive, or simply the frameless movable comb topbar hive. These hives were designed for use in Third World development projects. The David hive was developed by an Israeli apiculturalist, 1. Linder, for use in Senegal, Africa. The Kenya hive was developed by two English beekeepers, E. J. Tredwell and P. Paterson. It was designed for use in Kenya, Africa. (Sperling:1980, p. 285.) Both of these situations lack the kind of material and monetary resources that facilitate Langstroth
beekeeping. But I believe that their necessity has been mother to a great invention. The topbar hive is an appropriate technology tool for beekeeping. It's not an inefficient primitive instrument nor is it a high cost convenience. It lies somewhere in the middle. It operates by the same discovery that enabled the Langstroth hive - the bee space. In this hive independent movable combs are suspended from carefully sized topbars. The topbars are the precise width that once a comb is build on one· the bee space between that comb and the next is preserved. The combs are built entirely by the bees.

Basic Beekeeping Manual by Pam Gregory - Top Bar Hives (Africa)
This is a 2 volume publication written by Pam Gregory with assistance of Gay Marris of the U.K. National Bee Unit (FERA) that concentrates on top bar hive beekeeping, but many of the techniques and ideas can also be used by traditional and frame hive beekeepers.  "This field manual is designed for use by field-based trainers in sub Saharan Africa. It is based on colour pictures with few words. The manual covers basic techniques needed to start a beekeeping business. It also offers some new ideas to help beekeepers to become independent by making their own equipment from local materials. I hope that this will help people to start beekeeping at an affordable cost, and maybe to experiment with new materials. The pictures show some of the many different ways that people keep bees. This is intended to promote discussion and shared experiences to help people to solve problems locally. The manual concentrates on top bar hive beekeeping but many of the techniques and ideas can also be used by traditional and frame hive beekeepers."   The Advanced Beekeeping Manual covers more advanced management techniques and problem solving and offers some ideas about how to tackle them.  The Swahili language version of this manual.

Top Bar Beekeeping in New Zealand - When talking to professional bee keepers about Top Bar hive's don't be put off if they look at you blankly. Most bee keepers have not heard of this way of keeping bees and indeed Top Bar hives are not an option for a professional bee keeper as the honey production is not as high as with a conventional hive. These hives are becoming more and more popular in the UK and America, where people are looking for a more natural and cheaper way of keeping bees. A great website to start your research is Phillip Chandlers Biobees ( You can also buy his book The Barefoot Beekeeper which describes the management and care of a Top Bar hive based on his U.K. Experience.

Top Bar Hive Management (Tanya Philips -
Top Bar Beekeeping in Alaska (Stephen Petersen,
Beekeeping with Top Bar Hives (Nicola Bradbear and Gladstone Solomon BFD)
Top Bar Hive - Essential Management
Sample simple 32 bar Top Bar Hive Inspection Form (
Simple 32 bar Top Bar Inspection Form (
Top Bar Hive Inspection Diagram (Christy Hemenway)
How to introduce bees to a Top Bar Hive
How to install a package of bees into a Top Bar Hive (
Video - Installing a Package of Bees in a KTBH (Wyatt Mangum)
Video - Inspecting the installed package of bees on the third day (Wyatt Mangum)
Installing a Langstroth Nuc into a Top Bar Hive
Choosing a site, making a hive stand and attracting bees (BFD)
Video - Top Bar Hive Inspection (
Video - Comb Management Part 1 (
Video - Comb Management Part 2 (
Top Bar Hive Ventilation (T.J Carr and John Bradford)
Video - How to Make a KTBH Feeder (Philip Chandler
How to Harvest Honey from a Top Bar Hive (Pam Gregory)
Winterizing your Top Bar Hive (
Winter in a Top Bar Hive (Christy Hemenway)
Video - Winterize your Top Bar Hive (
Video - Minnesota Cold Winterizing your KTBH (Pine City Apiary)
Dividing Top Bar Hives in Ethiopia (BFD) 
Facts about a frame for the Kenyan Top Bar Hive (Stanley Mboboa, Kenya)
A Guide to Natural Beekeeping with the Warre Hive (Nick Hampshire)
*BFD = Bees For Development (
Top Bar Hive Construction 

The Calgary Top Bar Hive: For Northern Climates (Calgary Beekeepers Association) 
The CTBH features an IPM screened bottom, and is partitionable for the purpose of running a 2 queen colony, queen rearing or hiving a swarm. It is also interoperable with Langstroth equipment and can be expanded using Langstroth honey supers. This hive is an indirect result of my analysis of using Top Bar Hives in Calgary. This hive improves upon current offerings by being specifically designed for a northern climate, while still acknowledging the simplicity of design fundamental to the original Kenyan Top Bar Hive.

How to Build a Top Bar Hive (Philip Chandler -
Building a Top Bar Hive (
Crowder Top Bar Hive Plans (Les Crowder)
Drawings for a Top Bar Hive with Window (T.J Carr and John Bradford)
How to Make a Movable Comb Top Bar Hive (Pam Gregory, Kenya)
Video - How to Build a Top Bar Beehive
Making a Top Bar Hive (BFD - Bees for Development)
Colorado Top Bar Hive (
Kenyan Top Bar Hive Plans (Peace Corps)

Top Bar Hive Websites:

Honey, Wax and Propolis

Honey (Reference Guide) - Honey has the capacity to serve as a natural food preservative. Research has demonstrated the potential for honey to reduce enzymatic browning in fruits and vegetables and prevent lipid oxidation in meats. Most of the antibacterial activity of the honeys occurs due to hydrogen peroxide generation. Other researchers have identified the flavonoids in honey, particularly caffeic acid and ferulic acid, as the most likely contributors. Honey is composed primarily of the sugars glucose and fructose; its third greatest component is water.  Honey also contains numerous other types of sugars, as well as acids, proteins and minerals.4,5 Carbohydrates are described by the number of sub-units they contain.  Fructose and glucose are monosac-charides, that is, simple sugars.  Sucrose, which is composed of fructose and glucose linked together, is a disaccharide; it comprises a little over 1 percent of the composition of honey.

How do bees make honey?
How do bees make honey? It's not just bee barf.
Honey and it's uses
Infant Botulism and Honey



Honey (Reference Guide) - Honey has the capacity to serve as a natural food preservative. Research has demonstrated the potential for honey to reduce enzymatic browning in fruits and vegetables and prevent lipid oxidation in meats. Most of the antibacterial activity of the honeys occurs due to hydrogen peroxide generation. Other researchers have identified the flavonoids in honey, particularly caffeic acid and ferulic acid, as the most likely contributors. Honey is composed primarily of the sugars glucose and fructose; its third greatest component is water.  Honey also contains numerous other types of sugars, as well as acids, proteins and minerals.4,5 Carbohydrates are described by the number of sub-units they contain.  Fructose and glucose are monosac-charides, that is, simple sugars.  Sucrose, which is composed of fructose and glucose linked together, is a disaccharide; it comprises a little over 1 percent of the composition of honey.  

Education (for parents and teachers)

*The epub book format can be read using the free ebook reader Calibre.
*Some of the instructional material is appropriate for children and adults (All)

Teaching (Lesson Plans and aids)
Act For Bees - This is a great curriculum brought to you by the good folks at "Act for Bees" and "Cool Australia".  "We have partnered with  ‘Cool Australia- Learn for Life’ to create an exciting ‘Love Food?Love Bees!‘ curriculum for years 5/6  that can be downloaded from the Cool Australia website and taken straight into the classroom & also practically outside in the garden!"  Cool Australia has a wide range of good curriculum topics connected to sustainability such as "Biodiversity", "Climate Change", "Nature of Mindfulness", "Outdoor Learning", "Sustainability" and "Indigenous Education".  I highly recommend this as an amazing curriculum resource for educators and students of all ages. 

Beekeeping Projects K-3 (Stephen Bambara, N.C. State University) - This beekeeping project for K-3rd grade youth offers learning activities that encourage and strengthen positive interactions between parents (mentors or teachers) and children.  It uses the 1993 Experiential Learning Model by Deen and Newman and Iowa State Univ. Extension Targeting Life Skills models as a foundation. This project book is divided into two levels. Step I is for children 5 and 6 years in age (with little required reading). Step II is for children 7 and 8 years in age and uses more reading skills and is for children who may have completed Step I and seek more activities. They are best performed as a joint activity between adult and children.  The benefit of this subject is to introduce honey bees and beekeeping to our youngest in a responsible way that will help them realize the importance of honey bees and reduce potential fear of the insect.

Honey Bee Education Program (K-5)  The following four lessons are designed to help you teach students in grades K-5 many interesting facts about honey bees including Lesson A - What are honey bees and why are they so important?  Students will learn what a honey bee is, the social structure of honey bees and their role in the hive, and about the behavior of insects that are similar to honey bees. Lesson B - How do honey bees make honey? What’s inside a honey bee, a hive, and a flower? Students will learn what pollination is, how bees behave, how beehives are constructed, what products are found inside the hive, the parts of a honey bee, and the parts of a flower.  Lesson C - What keeps a beekeeper busy? Students will learn the difference between feral and managed bee colonies, the basic structure of a beehive, what beekeepers do and the equipment they use, and how beehives are moved around to help pollinate crops.  Lesson D - what are Africanized honey bees, and why should You, “Bee Aware, Look, Listen, and Run”? Students will learn the importance of managed honey bees, how to describe the differences between Africanized and European honey bees, how to prevent Africanized bees from establishing nests in and around their homes and schools, how to prevent potential stinging incidents, and what to do if they are attacked by bees or other stinging insects.

An Adventure with Bees created by Behany Swartz, Oakland University (8 lesson Grades 4-5)  "Being in an elementary self-contained classroom setting, I chose to integrate this curriculum by using the common theme of honeybees and pulling the identified GLCEs and applying them to this unit.  By using the KNOW/DO/BE framework (Drake & Burns, 2004) as my main model, the major goals of this unit are listed below.KNOW: “Bees are a life lesson.   We have much to learn about and from them” (Caron, 1999, p. I.9).  Students should broaden their knowledge of honey bees.  They will move from basic facts up through larger concepts and make generalizations about the impacts of honeybees on our environment. DO: Eight focused lessons provide visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (hands-on) learning with extensions to provide students exposure to several aspects of honey bees.  Thisintergrated unit incorporates the subjects of science, math, language arts, and technology.BE: Bees and wasps have gotten a “bad rap” and negative image because of their ability to sting and cause fear in many children.  Caron remarks that, “…a lot of people know something about honey bees.  Bees have been admired, studied, cultured, feared and valued, but not always understood” (p. I.3). At the conclusion of this unit, I hope that students will view the honey bee not as an enemy, but instead as a friend and advocate.I also kept in mind the aspects of backwards design when creating my pre/post test and what I wanted the students to achieve.  After that, I designed my lessons to help me reach my goal." 

A Bee's Life Teaching Guide (National Honey Board Grades 4-6)  A fairly extensive teaching guide which includes the subjects, honey bee biology, society, the hive, pollination, honey and beekeeping.
The Buzz About Bees Book 1 (4H Project - Virginia Cooperative Extension)  The beekeeping project (Books 1 - 4) will teach you the basic biology and behavior of honey bees and give you hands-on management skills. The honey bee project books begin with basic honey bee and insect information (junior level) and advance to instruction on how to rear honey bee colonies and extract honey (senior level). These project books are intended to provide in-depth information related to honey bee management, yet they are written for the amateur beekeeper, whether or not you have previous experience in rearing honey bees.

Pollinator Gardens Habitat Program Curriculum and Activities Pre K - Gr. 12 (Pollinator Partnership -  Pollinator Partnership is pleased to provide this supplemental curriculum packet as one way to enrich classroom education through a butterfly and pollinator garden. It includes exercises to expand on and enforce what students have learned about butterfly and pollinator gardens, pollinators, other insects, their relatives and biodiversity. Included are: • Lesson plans for activities relating to insects, ready to integrate into subject areas across the elementary and middle school curriculum, including language arts, math and science • Extension ideas for home • Background information for the teacher • California State Content Standards correlation.

Bee World Project Education Pack (IBRA)  The Beeworld Project aims to promote the value of bees in schools and communities.  This education pack has been produced to help teachers and other educators introduce bees, their activities and their relationship with humans. It provides basic information for the study and understanding of bees, and offers ideas for bee-related activities across the curriculum and in support of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC).  Using this resource is an effective way to get children interested in bees and pollination, and help them discover how important these are to our daily lives. More detailed information about bees and additional educational resources are available on the IBRA Beeworld Project website.

Honey (B.C. Agriculture)   This unit on Honey has been designed for use in a Grade 11 or 12 Foods and Nutrition class but could also be modified for junior grades. The teaching activities explore a range of topics including fun facts about honey, how honey is gathered and processed, the types of and uses for honey, cooking with honey, and finally, the problems currently faced by beekeepers across the world. Lessons also explore honey as a sustainable food source and encourage the student to compare and evaluate the product with sugar in terms of its health benefits and ecological impact. The topic of Colony Collapse Disorder is important especially as bees are so essential to fertilization of food crops, and it is necessary that they feel empowered to affect change. Each activity is self-contained and suggestions for extending the lesson are given at the end of each.

The Honey Bee: A Teacher's Companion - (L.Johnson, Antioch University) This is an extensive exploration of honey bees for the benefit of the class teacher.  The text and appendices provide material - poetry, music, fables, biographics, class projects and further resources - to draw Apis Mellifera into the life of a teacher and a class.

• learn terminology related to honeybees and beekeeping • learn about honeybees, their life cycle and how honey is produced • understand what pollination is, and how plants produce seeds and fruit • discover the role of bees and the wind in pollinating plants • learn about the tasks and responsibilities of beekeepers, and how honey is harvested • learn about the products and by-products of beekeeping.  Visit the "Bees A Honey of an Idea" virtual museum from the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum.

School Resource Kit K1-6 (The Canadian Honey Council) - The activities presented in this course relate to honey production.  Although a fascinating subject in itself, the resource does not restrict itself to providing facts and information of honey bees and how honey is made.  Instead honey production is used as a vehicle to develop skills that will make students better learners.  The activities also help foster positive attitudes towards self, others and our world. 

Smithonian Pollinator Lesson Plans (Gr. 4-9)  Smithsonian in Your Classroom’s purpose is to help you use the educational power of museums and other community resources. Smithsonian in Your Classroom draws on the Institution’s hundreds of exhibitions and programs—from art, history, and science to aviation and folk life—to create classroom-ready materials for grades four through nine. Each of the four annual issues explores a single topic through an interdisciplinary, multicultural approach.  The Smithsonian invites teachers to duplicate materials from this publication for educational use.

Kids Discover Bees - Reading Comprehension Skills (  Power Vocabulary is a systematic and individualized approach to vocabulary development that enables teachers to assist students to improve their reading comprehension skills.  Power Vocabulary consists of two word groups—specialized and general-usage words. 

Environmental Learning Program (Pollinators) K-6  This is a single lesson plan with the objective to observe the interaction between flowers and pollinators.

Environmental Learning Program (Bees as Pollinators) K-6  This is a single lesson plan with the objective to observe the interaction between flowers and honey bees as pollinators.

Environmental Learning Program (Pollinator Field Guides) K-6  The objective of this lesson plan is using various colors of pressed flowers, create a field guide to pollinators to various colors of flower.

Africanized Honey Bee Activity Program (Children)  This is a single lesson plan providing information on identifying Africanized Honey Bees and their potential nesting sites. 

Pollinator Activity Book (U.S.D.A. Gr. 4-7)  Information and activities on bees and pollination.

Bees Visit Flowers (Teaching Guide)  Bees visit flowers is a concept cartoon activity that evaluates competing ideas using discussion of alternative explanations about observable facts. Children decide which of the alternatives presented represents the whole answer. They need to support or add to the statements in the cartoon and to link these with their own observations.

Honey Bee Lapbook - Adaptable to different ages ( -  Educational Information and activities on honey bees.  Designed to assist home schooling.

Bees and Flowers - Partners in Pollination (Oregon State University)  - 6 lesson plans (Grades 6-8).  The Rural Science Education Program is a partnership between Oregon State University and local rural K-12 schools for enrichment of the science curriculum with hands-on science activities that encourage critical thinking in K-12 students about the impacts of agriculture on the environment and the implications of advanced scientific research on human lives.

The Bee Book (Haagen Dazs)  An assortment of  honey bee education and activities covering the subjects of science, math, reading, writing and art (Grades 6-8).

What's The Buzz About (  Single page honey bee educational information (all ages).

The Environment
Environmental Education Story Book (Centre for Eco-Cultural Studies, Sri Lanka - Ages 4-9)  Stories are a perfect way to reach a young child’s attention as they mix real issues and a fantasy world where everything is possible and imagination is the only limit. They are a different way to create a genuine interest in learning while also allowing children to become aware of the different threats to the environment they live in. A mixture of these three ingredients, school, English learning and storytelling has proven effective in other places around the world, where entire conservationist movements have been created around characters like the Easter Bilby in Australia. This and other successes inspired the creation of this book. I hope it can of use to facilitate English learning in Sri Lanka and in other regions where these stories fit the biodiversity conservation context. 

The Travelling Beehive (pdf) - "The Travelling Beehive" is an amazing book for children of all ages.  I highly recommend it for every beekeeper, their children and grandchildren. This book is wonderfully written by Elena Garcia and Manuel Angel Rosado and beautifully illustrated by Juan Hernaz.  It is published by Apolo which is an organization dedicated to the preservation of pollinators and their habitat.  You can follow Polli the honey bee and her friend Dipter the hover fly as they face the challenges of a disappearing green space.  They are joined in their struggle by Bazumba the wild bee, Missus Bombus the bumblebee, Lepi the butterfly, her majesty the queen, Dorian the farmer and Ramon the beekeeper. Sit back and enjoy the The Travelling Beehive .
Swarm Story (Children's story)


Activities and Projects

Web based instructional seminars from Brushy Mountain Bee Farm and Ohio State University. Very interesting seminars put on by bee experts.  I have found them to be very informative.

Bee Friendly Insect Controls (Dr. Dave Shetlar) - 51 mins Play (Handout)
Green Honey Harvesting (Alex Zomchek) - 58 mins Play  (Handout)
Beehive Chemistry: Hive Communication (Dr. Thomas Janini) - 43 mins Play  (Handout) (Link)
Skunks in the Beeyard (Mark Headings) - 43 mins Play  (Webinar handout)
Setting up the Honey House (Big and Small)  Kim Flottum - 59 mins Play  (Webinar handout)
Gardening for Pollinators (Denise Ellsworth - 60 mins) Play (Webinar handout and links)
Broodmapper (Dr. Reed Johnson - 59 mins) Play (Link)
Swarms and Swarm Management (Dr. James Tew - 58 mins) Play  (Webinar handout)
Hive Health Diagnostics (Barb Bloetsher) 56 mins - Play
Protecting Honey Bees from Pesticides (Barb Bloesher - 49 mins) Play (Webinar handoutPurdue University)
Pesticides in and around the hive (Dr. Reed Johnson) - 58 mins Play
Questions from the hive (Dr. Reed Johnson) - 55 mins Play (Handout)
Honey Bees and Parasitic Mites (Dr. Jim Tew) - 55 mins Play  (Handout)
Putting the hive to bed for Winter (Kim Flottum) - 56 mins  Play (Handout)
Marketing Bee Products (Dr. Julie Fox - 54 mins) Play  (Handout)
Beeology 101 - Honey Bee Biology and Behavior (40 mins)    Play
Beekeeping 101 - Beekeeping Getting Started (16 mins)    Play
Caring for a new colony (143 mins)     Download  
Installing a package of bees (39 mins)    Download  
6 weeks as a beekeeper now what? (108 mins)    Download  
Getting ready for winter (91 mins)    Download
Harvesting and extracting (103 mins)     Download
Making colonies from the ones you have (90 mins)     Download  
Made it through the winter now what? (143 mins)     Download
3 things to know going into fall (80 mins)     Download
Basic Mead making (75 mins)     Download
Candle making (65 mins)     Download
IPM techniques (95 mins)     Download
Overwintering bees (124 mins)     Download
Processing your wax (75 mins)     Download
Queen maladies (117 mins)     Download
Small scale queen rearing (83 mins)     Download
Spring preparation management (91 mins)     Download
Urban beekeeping (80 mins)     Download
What to do when hives go bad (81 mins)     Download
Year 2 build them up (89 mins)     Download
Protecting Honey Bees during planting season (43 mins)    Download     Download (handout)

At the Hive Entrance (Book) - What to look for - All year round it is through this little opening that the life of a colony pulses. Here it breathes and rejects all that it will not tolerate in its domain. Here it transmits its meaningful message for the person who can understand it. Here the colony's behaviour informs the beekeeper of its problems and state of health, and lets him know whether it needs his help.  A keeper who can tell the condition of his bees by observing the hive entrance does not need to open his hives and disturb the bees' sanctuary, the brood nest. This never produces good results. A healthy colony must have peace if it is to perform its productive role. On principle a visit should only be made once the keeper has determined at the hive entrance that something is not in order. It is not always easy to know what is happening inside the hive by observing the hive entrance and this is only learnt after many years, especially when the keeper is alone and there is no-one to give advice.

Children's Books
The Travelling Beehive - Children's (pdf) - "The Travelling Beehive" is an amazing book for children of all ages.  I highly recommend it for every beekeeper, their children and grandchildren.  This book is wonderfully written by Elena Garcia and Manuel Angel Rosado and beautifully illustrated by Juan Hernaz.  It is published by Apolo which is an organization dedicated to the preservation of pollinators and their habitat.  You can follow Polli the honey bee and her friend Dipter the hover fly as they face the challenges of a disappearing green space. They are joined in their struggle by Bazumba the wild bee, Missus Bombus the bumblebee, Lepi the butterfly, her majesty the queen, Dorian the farmer and Ramon the beekeeper. Sit back and enjoy the The Travelling Beehive .

The Classics
The Hive and the Honey-Bee (Langstroth) - This Treatise on the Hive and the Honey-Bee
is respectfully submitted by the Author, to the candid consideration of those who are interested in the culture of the most useful as well as wonderful Insect,in all the range of Animated Nature. The information which it contains will be found to be greatly in advance of anything which has yet been presented to the English Reader; and, as far as facilities for practical management are concerned, it is believed to be a very material advance over anything which has hitherto been communicated to the Apiarian Public.  Debarred, by the state of his health, from the more appropriate duties of his Office, and compelled to seek an employment which would call him, as much as possible, into the open air, the Author indulges the hope that the result of his studies and observations, in an important branch of Natural History, will be found of service to the Community as well as to himself. The satisfaction which he has taken in his researches has been such that he has felt exceedingly desirous of interesting others, in a pursuit which, (without any reference to its pecuniary profits,) is capable of exciting the delight and enthusiasm of all intelligent observers.

Practicas de Apicultura - Con la publicación de este libro se pretende apoyarla impartición de módulos prácticos asociados a losprogramas de incorporación a la empresa agraria, a lavez que constituye un material didáctico de gran utilidad en los diversos tipos de formación impartidos enlas Escuelas.  Se trata de un libro de atractiva presentación y cuyocontenido, de gran detalle y especialización, responde auna marcada orientación práctica.  Esperamos sea degran utilidad y contribuya a mejorar la cualificación denuestros apicultores y la tecnificación del sector apícola regional.

Apicultura y medios de Vida Sostenibles (Beekeeping for sustainable livelihoods)
Apicultura de pequeña escala - (small scale beekeeping) Gentry 1982
La Vida De Las Abejas (Maurice Maeterlinck 1901)


  1. Rose-Marie LarssonJune 13, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Thanks so much for this library. I'm interested in the Native bees and am going to make use of your links.

  2. I'm glad you are enjoying it. I add material to the library every week. Don't forget the Busy Bumblebee song in the Children's section. It's my favourite.

  3. Very very nice work of you , big help for us , thank you.

    1. I am glad you find it useful. I add about 100 new articles or books every few months. I wish there was an easier way to quickly translate the PDF pages into any language without having to download them but at least there is google translate. Thank you for your kind words. Enjoy!

    2. what a wonderful library, thank you so much. can you find anything about eastern European bee sheds? they look like they would work here in Alberta. I kept a hive in an old shed here for 7 years succesfully until they got agressive and chased an old person and I had to put then down. They were very productive. I am not haveing much luck finding plans for the bee shed designs though they have been used for many many years.

    3. Thanks, I'm glad you are enjoying the library. I've also looked for Eastern European bee shed plans for years with no success which is strange because they are so popular. There are lots of free shed plans available on the internet ( so what I would do is choose the plan I like and design one south facing wall to fit the hives based on bee shed photos ( Good luck and let me know if you find any bee shed plans.

  4. thank you my friend!!!!!!!!!!! very nice work!

  5. You are very welcome. Enjoy!

  6. Thank you very much for this amazing library. I put a link on my website for the Dutch beekeepers.

  7. I'm glad you are enjoying it. You have a great website. Unfortunately we have no Buckfast bees in Canada. Bee imports are very restricted (we can't even get bees from the U.S.). I hope you and your family are happy and healthy and that your bees are resistant to disease and mites and produce buckets of honey.

  8. Excellent...for anyone going into or rearing bees

  9. I'm glad you find it useful. As Michael Bush says you can buy my book but all the information is available on his website. There are many great free sources of information on the internet and this is just a collection of those we found most useful. Thanks.

    1. My website is also available in Spanish: as is my book: It would be better if the links to my powerpoints went to my website. I try to continually improve them and the latest ones will be there:

      --Michael Bush

    2. Good to know. I didn't realize your site was also available in Spanish. I will change the powerpoints to link to your website.

  10. This site is really helpful. Thanks for your effort. I'm a beekeeper from Nigeria.

  11. I am so glad you have found this website helpful and I hope that you, your family and your bees in Nigeria are happy and healthy and that your bees give you buckets of honey.

  12. Thank You for the Web Library. I have downloaded all what I wanted to know more on Beekeeping to become a an advance beekeeper soon.

    1. You are most welcome Gabriel. Good luck in your beekeeping adventures.


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