Category Archives: History

Remembering Eva Crane: Beekeeper and Physicist

June 12th. I have an excuse to write a bit about the amazing Ethel Eva Widdowson, born in London on June 12th, 1912. By age 30, she had defended her doctorate in nuclear physics, begun to teach at Sheffield University, … Continue reading

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Can we learn old tricks?

I have a small collection of old bee books, and I like searching them for new ideas. (If you can’t get new ideas from old books, what’s the point of history?) My favourite beekeeping books are the ones that tell … Continue reading

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World Bee Day 2019

World Bee Day, May 20 of each year,  is not just about honey bees. Although the idea arose in Slovenia, a little country that’s really big on honey-bee keeping, it’s also a celebration of all the world’s bees. About 20,000 … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, History, Native Bees, Outreach, Save the Bees | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Century-old beekeeping equipment

This picture is from exactly 100 years ago. It was late winter, 1919. An agriculture agent came to this Kentucky Appalachian farm to teach modern beekeeping. He was teaching ‘modern beekeeping’ that we can recognize.  Not much has changed in … Continue reading

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Bee A Valentine

Beekeepers are not sentimental. For most of us, Saint Valentine’s Day is a day of intense panic when male beekeepers rush out to buy something special for some darling or pigsney. (It’s not like we didn’t know February 14 was … Continue reading

Posted in Comb Honey, Culture, or lack thereof, History, Hives and Combs | Tagged | 3 Comments

Nuns of honey

I bumped into this photo a few days ago when I was writing an article for Deutches Bienen Journal, Germany’s beekeeping magazine. I was trying to picture sisters at a convent in Quebec, tending their hives in the 1920s. This … Continue reading

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Turner’s (belated) Birthday

I can’t believe that I missed reminding you yesterday that it was Charles Turner’s birthday. Here’s the story of the man who figured out that honey bees can think. 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 You probably know that Karl von Frisch … Continue reading

Posted in Bee Biology, Books, Culture, or lack thereof, History, People, Science | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Is bee-talk keeping you awake?

So, you’re hauling bees across the country – and you’re drowsy. Or having trouble staying awake while doing the dull, repetitive manual labour we call extracting. What do you do? A lot of people keep their eyes open by listening … Continue reading

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Celebrating the Gifts of Langstroth

I’m repeating a blog which I post each Christmas Day, Langstroth’s birthday. With his movable frames and his brilliant beekeeping book, Langstroth was one of the founders of modern beekeeping. He invented the modern beehive, making it easier, more productive, … Continue reading

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Where poppies grow…

In much of the old British Empire, November 11 is commemorated as Remembrance Day. The warring parties, which had sent their young people into trenches to shoot each other, finally created a cease-fire. It was set to begin at 11 … Continue reading

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