The Honey Bee Hobbyist


Kim Flottum, Editor Bee Culture Magazine

“This is the easiest to use, most fundamental guide for beginning beekeepers I know of.  All the critical first steps are explained.  If you want to get started with bees, this book is the book for you.  Plus, the ‘fun things to Do with Bees’ chapter is one of a kind!”

Dr. James E. Tew,  The Department of Entomology, The Ohio State University

“Few people are more qualified to write a book explaining the fundamentals of bee biology and hive management than Dr. Norman Gary.  This text is readable and practical, but most of all it is enjoyable.  Due to Dr. Gary’s extensive bee-management skills, both new and experienced beekeepers can profit from the information in this colorful text.  This is a solid how-to book that I could recommend to any beekeeper.”

Susan M. Brackney, author of Plan Bee:

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Hardest-Working Creatures on the Planet.
“Dr. Gary’s fascination with the honey bee and his extensive beekeeping experience make this an engaging and indispensable read.  Honey Bee Hobbyist will surely save beginning beekeepers a few stings!”

Randy Oliver,

Now retired from an illustrious career as a bee researcher, educator, and Hollywood ‘bee wrangler’, Norm has condensed his vast knowledge, experience, and fascination with the honey bee into an easy-to-read handbook, appropriate for the total novice but with enough depth for the intermediate beekeeper….I highly recommend this book for the beginning beekeeper!”

Current reviews may be found at


 To Beekeep or Not to Beekeep
 The World of Honey Bees
 The Bees’ Home
 Getting Started
 Honey bee Reproduction
 Activity Inside the Hive
 Activity Outside the Hive
 Colony Defense &Sting Prevention
 How to Manage Colonies
 Honey & Other Hive Products
 Fun Things to do with bees


“There are 109 color pictures in the book. 
Here are some examples”

Hovering bee with beautiful load of yellow pollen on legs.


A honey bee is a beautiful, complex animal when seen up close. 
Notice the multitude of hairs over her body. 
These hairs are functional in many ways.


A cross section of a modern hive reveals multiple honey combs in
removable wooden frames that fit snugly in boxes
that can be taken apart to permit easy inspection and harvest of honey.


Busy worker bees on natural honey comb,
made by them totally by the sense of touch inside the dark hive from beeswax
they secreted and chewed into hexagonal cells.


Notice the tiny yellow pollen grains on her hairs --- even on her antennae. 
She combs these hairs and packs the pollen into a pellet on each back leg for transport to the hive. 
Some pollen is spread from flower to flower, causing pollination that is required for the production of about 1/3 of our nation’s food.


The production of flower seed requires pollination by honey bees.
As evidenced by this colorful aerial view, it’s big business. 


Pollen from each plant species varies in color. 
The multi-colored pellets were collected from bees as they returned to the hive.


Reproductive parts of this flower are very obvious ---
multiple little reddish anthers (male) when pollen is produced
and the single, yellowish, ball-shaped stigma (female)
where pollen is deposited by the bee, causing the production of seeds and fruit.


Hot waffles and fresh honey make breakfast a delicious feast,
especially if you produced the honey in your back yard.


Back Cover