This time of year, our bees are hiding out in the hive, having sealed most of the entrance up to deter skunks and other predators that like to eat them in the winter, and are most likely clustered together keeping warm (especially with the recent snow and cold nights). But, that doesn't mean you can't read about bees. There are plenty of books on both beekeeping and beekeepers out there and some of those are making their way to the Kindle. One that is now available at a bargain price ($4.60) is The Secret Life of Bees, which is now in theaters and will soon be out on DVD. Set on a honeybee "farm", the book is really more about family and relationships, but is a very good read.
For those looking for a winter's read about bees (honeybees or otherwise), there are kid's books with bee themes (The Missing Honey Bees, The Adventures of Maya the Bee and The Bee-Man of Orn and Other Fanciful Tales), books by and about people who keep bees (Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey--The Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World, Letters from the Hive: An Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind, A Keeper of Bees: Notes on Hive and Home), books dedicated to just the products of the hive (The Honey Book: The Many Uses of Honey), philosophical books about bees (The Life of the Bee), a few classics (Langstroth On The Hive And The Honey Bee and A Manual: Or an Easy Method of Managing Bees) and even books that are of a more scientific bent (The Little Book of bees, CHEATING MONKEYS AND CITIZEN BEES and a couple that are definitely not bargain books: Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems and Honey Bees: Estimating the Environmental Impact of Chemicals).
But when it comes to books you'll reference while actually working your bees or use in the honey room, I recommend old fashioned paper books (even if any of these come out as ebooks - there are not currently any real beekeeping texts out for the Kindle, although there are a couple of very short self-published pamphlets masquerading as such). Not only are the color pictures more useful, you don't want to get any honey or propolis on your Kindle. The honey will come off with water (but you don't want that much water on any electronic device), but propolis will be there to stay, making a sticky mess (much more so than honey) until the bulk is removed and leaving a stain anywhere it has been (keep this in mind when selecting clothes and shoes to wear both in the apiary and in your honey room or when working your empty boxes; they will get stained and the stains will not come out). Tomorrow I'll look at a few recommendations for those just starting out.