These three books contain basic information that is largely duplicated from book to book. Thus, one of these books will cover much of the information in all of them. If one purchases a beginner's kit from any of these companies, the book is usually included. None provide in-depth management procedures.
Dadant, C.P. 1977. First Lessons in Beekeeping. Dadant and Sons, Inc. Hamilton, Ill. 127 pp.
Kelly, Walter T. 1941. How to Keep Bees and Sell Honey. Walter T. Kelly Co. Clarkson, Ky.
Root, A. C.. Starting Right with Bees. 16th Ed. A. C.. Root Co. Medina, Ohio. 96 pp.
Blackiston, H. 2009. Beekeeping for Dummies. 2nd Edition. Wiley Publishing, Hoboken, NJ. Reviews the tools of the trade, including complete instructions for building and maintaining beehives; offers detailed and easy-to-follow guidelines for all phases of honey production--including harvesting, bottling, packaging and marketing your honey and much more.
Conrad, Ross. 2007. Natural Beekeeping. Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture. Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont. This is a thorough book that promotes sound management practices, not too different from our own.
Graham, J.M. (ed.) 1992. The Hive and the Honey Bee. Dadant and Sons, Inc. 1324 pp. Each chapter is written by a specialist. The book was completely revised in 1992. It has value both as a text and a reference book. The chapters on anatomy and physiology are pretty heavy reading for the layman. Old editions are out of date in control of bee diseases. However, if one would want a single book that provides widely usable information, this may be the best available. Look for updated version in future years.
Hubbell, Sue. 1988. A Book of Bees. Random House, New York. 193 pp. This book has inspired many people to become beekeepers. Hubbell's wonderful narrative is educational and entertaining. This is a book you hand to your friends and neighbors when they ask about your bees.
Nordhaus, H. 2010. The Beekeeper’s Lament. How One Man and Half a Billion Honey Bees Help Feed America. Harper, New York. Highly recommended for an in-depth, funny, and poignant view of commercial beekeeping in the U.S. A must read.
Root, A. C.. 1972. ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture. The A. C.. Root Co. 712 pp. ABC's is a compendium of information arranged in alphabetical order for quick reference. It is a little difficult to use if one is interested in management only. However, it is literally a treasure box of old and historical information about beekeeping. This should be considered as a second text where one wishes a compact reference on historic information.
Sammataro, D, and Avitabile, A. 2011. The Beekeeper’s Handbook. 4th Ed. Comstock Publishing Associates, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. Lots of good and user-friendly information that will be most useful to experienced beekeepers.
Seeley T.D. 2010. Honeybee Democracy. Princeton University Press, Princeton. An amazing read about how honey bee colonies make collective decisions with no central authority. A must read.
Winston, M. 1987. The Biology of the Honey Bee. Harvard University Press, Cambridge. This is a wonderful reference on the biology of honey bees. This is not a source of beekeeping information; rather it is an extensive yet very readable account of the natural history of honey bees. Laymen and scientists alike will appreciate Winston's comfortable writing style.
Older Texts of Interest to Beekeepers
Crane, E. 1999. The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting. Routledge: New York. 682pp.
Free, J.B. 1970. Insect Pollination of Crops. Academic Press. 544 pp.
Frisch, Karl von. 1967. The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees. The Belknap Press of Howard U. Press. 566 pp.
Frisch, Karl von. 1971 rev. Bees. Their Vision, Chemical senses and Language. Cornell University Press. 157 pp.
Laidlaw, H.L., Page, R.E. Jr. 1997. Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding. Wicwas Press, Connecticut. 224pp.
Lovell, Harvey B. 1956. Honey Plants Manual. A.C. Root Co. 170 pp.
McGregor, S.E. 1976. Insect Pollination of Cultivated Crop Plants. Ag. Handbook No. 496. Supt. of Documents. 411 pp.
Morse, R.A. and Ted Hooper. 1985. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Beekeeping. E.P. Dutton, Inc. 432 pp.
Pellet, F.C. 1976. American Honey Plants. Dadant and Sons, Inc. 467 pp.
Ribbands, R. 1953. Behavior and Social Life of Honey Bees. Bee Research Assoc., Ltd.
Spivak, M., Fletcher, D.J.C., Breed, M.D. (eds.). 1991. The "African" Honey Bee.Westview Press, Boulder.
Winston, M. 1992. Killer Bees. The Africanized Honey Bee in the Americas. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.