Well, not off to a good start already with my post regularity. Holidays got in the way. I did, however, receive two excellent books on beekeeping: the second edition of Beekeeping for Dummies by Howland Blackiston and the fourth edition of The Beekeeper’s Handbook by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile. These both come highly recommended, based on my research, and I think I’ll be agreeing.
I haven’t read through them in their entirety, yet, but they seem like good companions. The first is easy to read, lots of tips, step-by-steps, that sort of thing. It has a nice “beekeeping calendar” showing what you should expect to do each month, depending on where you live. The second goes into much more technical detail (but still easily understood). More in-depth discussion of different methods to use for particular things, and the pros and cons of each.
One thing I noticed that they don’t necessarily agree on is how many hives a beginner should start with. This is something I’ve been struggling a bit with; I had been thinking two, but then was wondering if that would be diving in too quickly. Dummies suggests one, until you get the hang of doing things. The Handbook suggests two, though, taking the stance that if you only have one hive and something happens to it, you’ll lose an entire year of potential beekeeping experience. So while I’m still not sure which way I’ll go, I can at least be comfortable knowing that either way will be fine for a newbie.