Here are a couple of oldies but goodies - especially useful for beekeepers just starting out in California. However please be warned that some of the material presented in the publications is dated and you are advised to consult more recent publications regarding current laws, mites and bee disease treatments.
"These publications are copyrighted by the Regents of the University of California and are reproduced with permission." Click on a title to download the PDF.
Why read these books? If published today either of these books might be named "Beekeeping in a Nutshell" or something along those lines as they are short, compact and very complete for their size. Hive construction, the life cycle of bees, common and uncommon problems, queen rearing, packages, almonds, honey and a lot more is what you will find in very few pages. If you are thinking of beekeeping or just want to know more about the subject either of these books is a good place to start as current books are much longer and cost. If you have bees, and live in California, you will find items of interest that is not mentioned in books written "back east". Get both of them as, even though one is listed as a 'revision', the treatment and details do differ.
Fundamentals of California Beekeeping (Manual 42) was published in 1971 and was available through the California Cooperative Extension Service offices located through out the state of California with a list price of $1.00. When it became dated it was revised and republished as Beekeeping in California in 1987. However, considering that many aspects of beekeeping have not changed in over a century, all current publications are written for places where it is much colder than most of California in the winter, and books like these are of historical interest to beekeepers permission was granted for these electronic versions to be freely distributed through the web site of the Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild. You are free to distribute this electronic form and/or printed versions of this electronic form as long as you do not do so for a profit and do not modify the contents.
Permission for electronic reproduction of the publications was granted by ANR Communication Services which is a service branch of the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) of the University of California. While these beekeeping books are no longer available from them, they do have many publications that might be of interest to anyone interested in any kind of bees. You are invited to visit their web site at either http://anrcs.ucdavis.edu/ or http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/ and review their current publication lists.