This is a curated collection of free resources about bees and beekeeping. If you know of any other good resources, please let us know in the comments!
Podcasts and courses
Kiwimana: A refreshing podcast by Gary and Margaret from New Zealand, including interviews with beekeepers all over the world. Over a hundred episodes with lots of news, anecdotes and beekeeping advice. They also have a list of free beekeeping podcasts, in case you have a hankering for more.
BK Corner: A thoroughly-researched, highly respected podcast by Kevin Inglin from New Jersey. Over a hundred episodes ranging from zombie bees to honeycomb ice-cream.
Honey Bee Man: A short series (just 15 episodes) recorded back in 2007, but with excellent coverage of basic topics like hive equipment and bee-friendly gardening.
The Barefoot Beekeeper: A podcast by Phil Chandler, teacher and author of The Barefoot Beekeeper, with a focus on natural beekeeping. 47 episodes featuring interviews with beekeepers, scientists, campaigners and other experts.
PolliNation: A podcast from Oregon State University, with a focus on pollinators. The very first episode was on a topic close to our hearts: the benefits of bees in urban areas.
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), inventor of the Warré hive. Contains gems 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: There were no honey bees in America until European settlers brought them there, but there are over 4,000 native bee species in the United States. Find out more about them through this illustrated guide.
How to Build a Top-Bar Hive: a 44-page illustrated PDF for the DIY beekeeper.
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).
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.
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 of the 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.
The Case of Death and Honey: A short story by Neil Gaiman featuring Sherlock Holmes as a beekeeper. Enough said!
Royal Jelly: A short story by Roald Dahl.
The Drone King: A short story by Kurt Vonnegut (audio version also available).
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):