Here is the list of books that I have read or am currently reading, along with my thoughts and opinions on them.
"Keeping Bees" by John Vivian - This was the first book that I bought and read on bee keeping and was a good book for beginners. The best thing besides the fundamentals that I got from this book was to hook up with a mentor.
"The Hive and the Honey Bee" a Dadant Publication - This was the second book that I bought along with the next book on the list. I have owned this book for almost 10 years now and am on page 869 of 1258. This is a fascinating book written by a group of mostly scientist in a scientific format. I have learned a lot from this book but for me at least it is a very hard read and one that if I am reading at night before going to bed, I find I won't get much out of it. It will help me go to sleep though.
"Contemporary Queen Rearing" by Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. - This the first book bought on queen rearing and I have just read it in 2014. It seemed a bit intimidating but I thought it would be good for later on and so I bought it. It actually has a lot of good information on queen rearing but I found it a little hard to follow. It did make me feel that anyone can rear queens as long as they feed them and inspired me to go into queen production at some point.
"The Beekeeper's Lament" - by Hannah Nordhaus - I think this is a must read by everyone not just beekeepers. I have read it twice now. It did not teach me much about beekeeping but it did make me realize how one person can make a huge difference in the world. I also realized how precarious of a situation we are in with the way we do commercial farming and commercial beekeeping. I do not believe it is sustainable as is and will crash at some point if things don't change.
"The Hive and Honey Bee Revisited" by Roger Hoopingarner, Ph. D. - This is actually one of the books written by L. L. Langstroth and has comments added by Doc. Hoopingarner. I was amazed on how much Reverend Langstroth knew and that bee behavior has not really changed in 150 years. It also gave me hope that I could actually increase my own hives without buying other peoples hives or packages.
"Bees in America - How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation" by Tammy Horn - Tammy Horn was a guest speaker for the New Mexico Beekeepers Association (NMBKA). I enjoyed her speaking so much that I wanted to buy one of her books. I was again impressed on how much one person can make a difference in the world and enjoyed reading this book and learned some history in the process.
"The Shamanic Way of the Bee" by Simon Buxton - I don't know if I would recommend this book even though I have read it twice. It did inspire me that there are more to bees possibly than what meets the eye. It caused me to have a paradigm shift from making money with the bees to being a good steward of the bees.
"The Practical Beekeeper - Beekeeping Naturally" by Michael Bush - This is another book that I wanted to get because Michael Bush spoke for the Association. Even though I missed him speaking, I heard great things about him. Actually this is 3 books in 1. This was a great book for learning how to keep bees and helping you think of different ways in doing so. I would highly recommend this book for all that want to keep bees before they get them. It could help you get set up the right way to begin with. I have and will change some of the ways I do things because of this book.
"Honeybee Democracy" by Thomas D. Seeley - I enjoyed all but the last part of this book (it got a little more political than I liked). It is a great book to learn how bees make decisions about a new home, swarming, and their survival. It explains in detail the waggle dance and how amazing this communication is.
"Increase Essentials" by Lawrence John Connor - This book along with the next 2 books I bought again because I was impressed with our guest speaker Dr. Lawrence John Conner at an NMBKA meeting. I whole heartedly agree that if you are going to keep bees you should have 2 and 1/2 hives. This book explains why and, in an easy to understand way, how to do that. I think it should be a must read for those serious about keeping bees. I have read it twice and will read it again as a reference.
"Queen Rearing Essentials" by Lawrence John Connor - This book was easy to read and I got lots of good ideas on how to raise queens. Something that I thought too complicated until I read this and other queen rearing books. This is a book that I will definitely read again as I start rearing my own queens. I have read it twice now.
"Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping" by Dewey M. Caron with Lawrence John Connor - I believe this to be the most valuable beekeeping book that I have. This is current information (published in 2013) and goes beyond the basics that most beekeeping books teach. I believe that anyone serious about beekeeping should own and read this book. I thought it absolutely amazing with all of the information that I learned from it. It was easy to read and hard to put down. I felt like a sponge as I was reading it and will read it again.
"Better Queens" by Jay Smith - This was written in 1949 but I still found this a valuable read. It also inspired me to believe I could and should raise my own queens. It also stressed to me how crucial it is to have the hives set up for success with food and water. I very much appreciated what Jay Smith had to say about having the bees teach you and will work towards that as I continue to learn about these amazing creatures that are more than just bugs.
"Garden Plants for Honey Bees" by Peter Lindtner - This book was a quick read because it is mostly pictures of bee plants. I will absolutely use it as a guide with the web sites listed on About Papa Bear to help determine what plants I hope to establish on the property.
"The Beekeeper's Bible" by Stewart, Tabori, and Chang - The information in here has not been as in depth as "The Honey Bee Biology and Beekeeping" book but it touches on history, bees, beekeeping, and even has cooking recipes and other useful bee product recipes. This has been a well rounded book of information with fairly current information (published in 2011). It is a great book to read before getting started with beekeeping as it looks at various methods.
"Joy with Honey" by Doris Mech. This is a book that I forgot that I had until I finished "The Beekeeper's Bible" and reading the recipes. This is a recipe book and tells you how to substitute honey for sugar as well as a whole slew of recipes from main dishes to deserts. I have used it in the past but since I just now cook with honey I have not used it in a while. I might have to use it some more now that it is not hiding with my wife's cook books.
"Mating Biology of Honey Bees (Apis Mellifera)" by Gudrun Koeniger, Nikolaus Koeniger, Jamie Ellis, Lawrence J. Conner - I have read this book twice and it has the most up to date information on queens as it was just published in 2014. This was a fascinating book and discusses the importance of drones, genetics, the amazing complicated process of queen mating.
"Weeds of the West" by Robert D. Lee, Burrell E. Nelson, David W. Cudney, Larry C. Burrill, Tom D. Whitson, Steven A. Dewey - This is also a great book on plants of the West and as I went through it, I got ideas of what plants the bees could be gathering nectar and especially pollen from. It has helped me in plant identification of the large varieties of plants that grow wild here.