Uncle Drone answers a question about beekeeping literature

Dear Uncle Drone,
Last winter we had an interesting talk by an experienced beekeeper, during which he told us that old beekeeping books are available free online. I wonder if you can tell me how to go about finding these books?

Uncle Drone answers:

Dear Beekeeper
I have researched this and found the following:  While the talk you mention suggested that there was a need to use a Tablet or Kindle to see these books I have found that this is not completely necessary, you can also access and read them on any Android machine, Mac, PC, iPad or iPhone but you do need to have an Amazon account.

  1. Using your chosen machine, log onto Amazon and search for “Kindle App”
  2. Select your machine type and download and install the Kindle App following the prompts
  3. Once installed sign in with your Amazon login
  4. Use the search facility to find the books of your choice

Books that are of interest to beekeepers who want to understand the wider picture of beekeeping and those who are interested in progressing their studies for the higher beekeeping exams include the following (not exclusive) list.

  • A Manual or Easy Method of Managing Bees by John Moseley Weeks
  • The Hive and the Honey Bee, A Bee Keepers Manual by Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth
  • Mysteries of Bee-Keeping Explained by Moses Quinby
  • New Observations on the Natural History of Bees by Francis Huber
  • The Different forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species by Charles Darwin
  • The Mason Bees by Jean-Henri Fabre
  • Bramble Bees and Others by Jean-Henri Fabre

Readers need to be aware that all these books relate knowledge of the time in which they were written and that this can and has changed in many instances, however, much is good information and even out of date information is useful for developing the more advanced beekeepers to understand the evolution of the craft.  Few developments ‘parachute’ into the craft they evolve from many years of observation and understanding.

While there are numerous free books available, others for which there is a charge are also available, to pay charges it can be necessary to have a PayPal account or use a plastic card.

Have fun – Uncle Drone