By Howland Blackiston

What in the world did anyone do before cyberspace? Not even the most determined library search of years gone by would have turned up the plethora of bee-related resources that are only a click away on the web. Just enter the word “beekeeping” or “honey bees” into any of the search engines, and you’ll come up with hundreds (even thousands) of finds.

Like all things on the Net, many of these sites tend to come and go. A few are outstandingly helpful. Some are duds. Others have ridiculous information that may lead you to trouble. Each of the following sites is worth a visit.

Apiservices — Virtual beekeeping gallery

This European site, Apiservices, is a useful gateway to scores of other beekeeping sites: forums, organizations, journals, vendors, conferences, images, articles, catalogs, apitherapy, beekeeping software, plus much more. It can be accessed in English, French, Spanish, and German and is nicely organized.

The Barefoot Beekeeper

At the Barefoot Beekeeper, Phil Chandler offers lots of information on natural beekeeping and Top Bar hives, including a full set of plans and instructions on how to build your own Kenyan Top Bar hive.

BeeHoo — The beekeeping directory

BeeHoo is a comprehensive international beekeeping directory has many helpful articles, information sheets, instructional guides, resources, photos, and links of interest for the backyard beekeeper. The site is viewable in English or in French and is definitely worthy of a bookmark.

Beemaster Forum

A popular international beekeeping forum designed to entertain and educate anyone with an interest in bees or beekeeping. Here you can share images, send messages, and participate in live forums. This secure site is moderated and is completely family friendly. It was created and is maintained by hobbyist beekeeper John Clayton.

Bee-Source.com

Bee-Source includes a nicely organized collection of bee-related articles, resources, and links, and it features sections on bees in the news, editorials, an online bookstore, a listing of beekeeping suppliers, plans for building your own equipment, discussion groups, bulletin boards, and much more.

Facebook — Top Bar Beekeeping

Top Bar Beekeeping is a closed group on Facebook that has more than 3,200 members with more joining all the time. There are some lively discussions that can provide you with basic information and help you start thinking more about a subject. As with all Facebook pages, the information is mostly anecdotal, so checking things out is a must before you adapt any techniques being promoted.

Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium (MAARAC)

MAARAC is a research and extension consortium is packed with meaningful information for beekeepers worldwide. Download extension publications; find out more about videos, slide shows, software, and courses that are available from the organization; and read about honey-bee research currently underway. You can also discover important local beekeeping events planned in the Mid-Atlantic region and other national and international meetings of importance to beekeepers.

National Honey Board

This nonprofit government agency supports the commercial beekeeping industry. The folks at NHB are enormously helpful and accommodating. The well-designed site is a great source for all kinds of information about honey. You’ll find articles, facts, honey recipes, and plenty of beautiful images.