Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation

By Tammy Horn | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
BEFORE BEE SPACE
1801–1860

The Indians with surprise found the mouldering trees of their
forests suddenly teeming with ambrosial sweets, and noth-
ing, I am told, can exceed the greedy relish with which they
banquet for the first time upon this unbought luxury of the
wilderness.

—Washington Irving, A Tour on the Prairies

American beekeeping history is generally divided into two periods: before and after Lorenzo Langstroth. Before Langstroth little was known about how the bee colony functioned. American beekeepers were at the mercy of two phenomena: a disease known as foulbrood and the bees’ natural instinct to swarm. Once Langstroth invented a hive that was compatible with how bees built wax combs, however, beekeepers could take better care of and profit from their hives. Because his discovery happened in 1851, a chronological division has been convenient for historians to use as a demarcation point when discussing bee history. The interracial and international social networks that existed between immigrants, pioneers, and Indians before Langstroth’s research has been over

-65-

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Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part One- Hiving off from Europe 1
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter 1- Bees and New World Colonialism 19
  • Part Two- Establishing a New Colony 39
  • Chapter 2- Bees and the Revolution 41
  • Part Three- Swarming West during the Nineteenth Century 63
  • Chapter 3- Before Bee Space 1801–1860 65
  • Chapter 4- After Bee Space 1860–1900 101
  • Part Four- Requeening a Global Hive 143
  • Chapter 5- Early Twentieth Century Industrialization, 1901–1949 145
  • Chapter 6- Late Twentieth Century - Globalization, 1950–2000 199
  • Epilogue 251
  • Notes 263
  • Glossary 293
  • Dramatis Personae 297
  • Bibliography 301
  • Permissions 317
  • Index 319
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