This is a collection of free resources about bees and beekeeping. If you know of any other good resources, please let us know in the comments!

Books and courses

The cover of L L Langstroth’s 1853 classic

Bee Biology and Beekeeping course by Ohio State University: A free course with 138 (!) segments covering topics such as swarming, queen rearing and Varroa mites.

The Hive and the Honey-Bee: This classic by L L Langstroth, “the father of American beekeeping”, was published in 1853 and is still in print!

Beekeeping for All: Another classic by the French priest and beekeeping enthusiast, Abbé Émile Warré (1867-1951). Contains lines such as “beekeeping is a moral activity, as far as it keeps one away from cafés and low places and puts before the beekeeper an example of work, order and devotion to the common cause.”

A Practical Manual of Beekeeping: A more modern offering (from 2008) with illustrations and practical info and tips about all aspects of beekeeping.

Bees in Britain: Free ebook by the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society focusing on the lesser-known native bee species (mining bees, carpenter bees, leaf-cutter bees and all the rest). Unfortunately text-only for now (no illustrations).

Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees: Illustrated guide to the native bees of the United States

The Hive and the Honeybee: Not to be confused with Langstroth’s classic book (see above), this is a selection from Cornell’s Albert R. Mann Library, one of the largest and most complete apiculture libraries in the world.

The Beekeeper’s Library: Another collection of bee books available for free online (though not all are of equal quality).

How to Build a Top-Bar Hive: 44-page illustrated PDF.


There are hundreds of bee blogs on the internet, but these are some of our favourites:

Bad Beekeeping: Ron from Calgary runs one of our favourite bee blogs on the internet – a great blend of humour, unexpected facts and general bee wisdom.

HoneyBeeSuite: Rusty, a master beekeeper from western Washington, has a scientific take on beekeeping (and, based on the comment threads, an amazing community of regular readers).

Adventuresinbeeland: An upbeat and informative blog by Emily, who keeps bees at an allotment in Ealing, West London.

Natural Beekeeping Trust: If you’ve ever wondered what natural beekeeping is all about or wanted to give it a go, this is the blog for you.

Linda’s Bees: One of the best-known bee blogs, run by an Atlanta beekeeper who has been keeping bees and blogging since 2006 (sadly inactive since August 2016).

The Bee Journal: Barbara from Ontario records her research and adventures with bees.

Beekeeping Like A Girl: By Hilary from San Diego, California – an artist turned beekeeper who practices natural, treatment-free beekeeping.

Bee Thinking: A blog by a company which sells beekeeping supplies. Some posts advertise their products, but most are quite informative.

Other websites

BBKA: Official website of the British Beekeepers Association, with news of events, advice and other resources.

Bush Farms: The Practical Beekeeper: A fount of information about natural beekeeping, and beekeeping in general.

Decoding the Language of the Bee: Nobel Lecture by Karl von Frisch, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973 for translating the meaning of the waggle dance.

BWAR Information Sheets: The Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society’s info sheets on gardening for bees, bee hotels and identification.

Bumblebees of the World: The Natural History Museum’s research and resources on bumblebees (including identification aids).

British Bees on Flickr: High-quality close-up photos of nearly all 278 species of bee on the British and Irish list.

Honey recipes from the US National Honey Board.

Wild Bee Action Pack (PDF): Visually appealing and informative booklet about wild bees and how to help them.

Royal Horticultural Society Perfect for Pollinators Plant List


The Case of Death and Honey: A short story by Neil Gaiman featuring Sherlock Holmes as a beekeeper. Enough said!

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees: A short story by E. Lily Yu – 2011 Nebula Award nominee and 2012 Hugo Award nominee for best short story.

Documentaries and videos

Een Handvol Bijen / A Handful of Bees (2012). Dutch with English subtitles:

The Mysterious Bee (1981):

Silence of the Bees (2008):

Tales from the Hive (2000):

The Bee Understanding Project Film (2016):

BBC’s The Wonder of Bees with Martha Kearney (2014):

The First 21 Days of a Bee’s Life: TED talk by Anand Varma (2015):

National Geographic timelapse of bees hatching (2015):

Honeybee Democracy: talk by Tom Seeley at Cornell University (2011):

Honey Bee Societies and Dance Floor Democracy: TEDx talk by Margaret Couvillon (2012):

Hallucinogen Honey Hunters: Hunting Mad Honey (2013):

The Perils and Secret Language of Bees: talk by James Nieh (2009):

Life inside the Beehive: TEDx talk by Mat Welch (2014):

Bee Hunting: Finding a Wild Colony of Honey Bees (2016):