Module 1 Recommended* Reading List

reading-listThe resources that Andrew Cornwall found useful during his preparation for taking Module 1 are presented here as his *personally recommended reading list.

To read Andrew’s helpful and entertaining account of that preparation (click here)   

Free Downloads 

BBKA website:                                 

Assorted Information Leaflets

Module 1 Syllabus               

BeeBase (National Bee Unit) website: 

Assorted top quality information on honeybee management, pests & diseases

Maisemore’s website: 

Catalogue (for hive & frame sizes, equipment details etc.)                     

MBBKA (Mid Bucks Beekeepers Association) website: 

Module 1 Study Notes

Module 1 Sample Answers 2009

Module 1 Sample Answers 2010

Thornes Ltd website:    

Catalogue (for hive & frame sizes, equipment details etc.)

Paid For Downloads

BBKA Website:

Past Exam Papers @ £1 each. Payment can be made on-line and then a code is provided to download the papers ordered. Alternitivley, papers can be obtained by post or from the BBKA stand at shows. You need to create an account & login to the BBKA website to access & purchase past papers

Books in RBK Library    Click here

Dadant (Ed.)      1975       The Hive and the Honey Bee (Revised Edition)

This is a vast tome replete with fascinating information on just about every aspect of beekeeping. Edited by Charles Dadant, each chapter is written by experts in a particular field of beekeeping. This is a great reference for filling in gaps in the info available from other sources, but also a good starting point for areas that are new to you. This is one book that I’ll be returning to for most of the modules. Beware! I found it hard not to read away from the module 1 syllabus, there is so much interesting information.

Hooper               1976       Guide to Bees and Honey

Out of date on pests & diseases, but still gives an overview of the beekeeping year & how to start beekeeping. Later editions have an extra chapter on pests & diseases written by Margaret Thomas. However, this chapter is also now rather dated. I intensely dislike Hooper’s style of writing.

Manley               1946       Honey Farming                                                                

A good overview of the beekeeping year by a great observational beekeeper. He was also clearly very well read about beekeeping around the world. In his will, he donated his large library to IBRA  (International Bee Research Association).

Snelgrove         1946       Queen Rearing

Far more than you need to know for module 1. This is rightly still regarded as the guide to queen rearing.

Snelgrove         1981       Swarming It’s Control & Prevention (13th Edition)

The guide to managing the swarming instinct. A clear, straight forward & well presented guide to some husbandry best practice. The copy I borrowed was falling apart. You won’t find a clearer explanation of artificial swarms. I’ve now bought my own copy, as this is another book that I’ll be returning to many times.

Waring             1976       Teach Yourself Beekeeping

By far the best of the beginner’s books in the RBK library. I have a 2006 edition that is even better.

Wedmore        1932       A Manual of Beekeeping

Arranged like a thesaurus, with numbered paragraphs. Therefore, not a book to read from front to  back. Somewhat dated on the things you’d expect, such as pests & diseases. However, it’s a good     guide to some husbandry practices.

Yates                 1996       Beekeeping Study Notes for the BBKA Cert. Modules 1-4

Somewhat out of date, but still contains very relevant information in handy bite size chunks. Unfortunately, marred by two very opinionated authors with personal axes to grind.

Other Books, Not in RBK Library

de Bruyn        2009       Practical Beekeeping (New Impression)

A fairly comprehensive beginner’s guide. It disappointingly includes the misconception that skepist beekeepers used to always hold their skeps over burning sulphur to kill the colony before harvesting the honey. It’s all the more disappointing since Clive de Bruyn (pronounced ‘de brain’) has taught skep making for many years. See Wedmore’s book for photographic evidence that skepists only used burning sulphur to kill badly diseased colonies. Manley talks about driving bees in his seminal works too. I learnt how to drive bees, make bee-lines & other skepist practices in my childhood in the 1960’s from an elderly beekeeper who’d started learning from his grandfather in the 1880’s. This Grandfather reputedly had no time for “new fangled American hives”. He simply harvested honey by turning the skep upside down & removing some comb.

Gordon        2007       Starting with Bees

Given away free on the RBK Beginner’s Courses for many years. This is a very basic but useful guide to many areas of the module 1 syllabus. You don’t have time in the exam to write very much, so don’t need too much information on any single area. I surprised that there isn’t one in the RBK library, but it’s not on the Library book list on the member’s website.

Tautz           2008       The Buzz About Bees

A very successful book that’s been brilliantly translated from the original German edition into many other languages. It somehow manages to appeal to all levels of beekeeper from absolute novice to the master. It gives a great overview of some honey bee biology & behaviour, plus a lot more besides. As a Science Educator myself, I have great admiration for Professor Tautz’s ability to put the awe & wonder back into a subject that is already so familiar to me.

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