Bee my Valentine?

Beekeeper with hives
Photo credit: Lynn Ketchum

I am interested in starting my own honey bee hive on my property. I am surrounded by orchards and small patches of blueberries. I am looking for good research material, there are lots of books and lots of web sites but what is real and what is just color wash to sell a book. I graduated in horticulture and trust OSU to help me further my education. Could you please shed some light on my journey into the land of the bee keeping.

- Marion County, Oregon

There are many good books on beekeeping, and I'll list my favorites below. In addition to reading and research, I would suggest attending a local bee school. Not only will you learn from experienced beekeepers, you will also meet people and possibly find a beekeeper willing to help you get started. Nothing beats a day in the hives with an experienced beekeeper!

Another avenue for beekeeping education is the Oregon Master Beekeeper program, which is a joint OSU Extension and Oregon State Beekeepers Association program. You don't need experience to enroll, and the program emphasizes hands-on training. You would be matched up with a mentor in your area and you meet each season to learn beekeeping techniques appropriate for the season. Please visit Oregon Master Beekeeper for more information on this program.


I'd recommend these books for getting started in beekeeping:

  • First Lessons in Beekeeping: by Keith Delaplane (the Oregon Master Beekeeper text)
  • The Beekeeper's Handbook: by Sammataro and Avitabile
  • The Backyard Beekeeper: by Kim Flottum

Useful sites:

Good Luck!

Carolyn Breece
Research Assistant
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