Helpful Resources

Helpful resources for beginners:


Your local beekeeping association will be a good source of loaner books, magazines and other resources, but if you’d like to add some good books to your personal library, here is a start:

Beekeeping for Dummies
By Howland Blackistan

The Beekeeper’s Handbook
By Diana Sammataro

The Backyard Beekeeper
By Kim Flottum

Natural Beekeeping
By Ross Conrad

The Practical Beekeeper: Beginning Beekeeping
By Michael Bush

Courses/ Conferences

Taking a course or attending a conference is highly recommended. Here are a few excellent resources in Ontario and nearby U.S.

University of Guelph, School of Environmental Studies - UofG offers an excellent annual introduction to beekeeping at its campus in April. The course fills up quickly, so it's best to enroll in January/February. To obtain a course registration form or further course information contact: Paul Kelly, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, (Tel:) 519-836-8897, (Email:) If you request a course registration form, please provide your email address and/or full postal address.

The Ontario Beekeeper’s Association (OBA) provides courses on various topics in various locations in Ontario. The OBA also has bi-annual meetings where you can meet other beekeepers and catch up on the latest research and thinking. Check out the Calendar on the Home Page and the Tech Transfer area of this website.

The Eastern Apiculture Society (EAS) puts on a terrific annual conference for beginners to experts. 

Dalhousie University This course is designed for new farmers and existing producers with (at least 3 hives), who want to gain production skills and grow their business into a viable agricultural business..

Check with your local beekeeper’s association as well for courses run by local beekeepers.

On-line resources

The Internet is loaded with information and advice about beekeeping and it’s fun to wander through, picking and choosing what to explore. But, as with any other topic, you will find the whole range from excellent, research-based information to really terrible advice. And even the good advisors will have different points of view, which can be confusing. Your challenge as a new beekeeper is to develop your own beekeeping style and values and to balance that with an open mind and a commitment to learning. Here are some good resources you can trust to get you started.

OBA Wander through this site for practical, research-based advice and information.

Ohio State Beekeepers Association: A web-based Introductory Beekeeping Training Program.  Terrific 34 module video training program for beginners.

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Search ‘beekeeping’ and find regulations for Ontario beekeepers and excellent factsheets on issues related to the well-being of bees.

The Australian Government’s (very helpful) Biosecurity Plan for Beekeepers and an on-line training program.

Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium Chock full of credible helpful and detailed information for beginners.

David and Sherri Burns from Long Lane Honey Farm has an extensive on-line course with resources and videos. 

Kalamazoo Bee Club Practical information for beginners including a good guide to terms and definitions.

The Xerces Society is a highly regarded conservation association specializing in invertebrates. Fantastic learning about pollinators.

North Carolina State has some helpful extension courses and webinars

The Bee Informed Partnership. A nice straightforward blog supported by beekeeping ‘heavy hitters’ ensuring its accuracy.  This link has some great photos for assessing health of hive.

Beesource Forum Lots of lively points of view on many beekeeping topics. Keep an open mind, but don’t believe everything you read...


Mid Atlantic Apicultural Research and Extension: Swarming Control

University of Florida: Swarm Control for Managed Beehives