Viewer mail: New beekeeper in Oregon

Hi Kirk,

My name is Bill, I'm a brand-new beekeeper located just outside Portland, Oregon. I've been learning and planning for bees for about a year now and finally got a package this past weekend. (I would have liked to get a swarm, but it isn't swarm season here yet. I'll be looking for one this year and setting out some bait hives though.)

I started out reading the book "Beekeeping for Dummies" and almost got turned off to the idea of keeping bees. The advice in that book makes it seem like antibiotics, miticides, and other chemicals are a beekeeping requirement. But I felt that was too much work and probably harmful to the bees. So I started searching online and that's when I found your site. I've been enjoying your website and YouTube videos. In fact, I consider you to be my "online mentor."

So my first hive is set up and the bees seem happy. I'll be documenting my progress in an online video diary and have a few videos up now.

I've still got a lot to learn, but I'm doing my part up here in the Pacific Northwest to spread the message about backwards beekeeping. Thanks again and keep up the great work!


Thanks for the story, Bill! Please keep us posted on your progress.

As for beekeeping books, we recommend The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping and Michael Bush's The Practical Beekeeper. Both books offer a great look at chemical-free beekeeping.