Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation

By Tammy Horn | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

But are there not more than enough bee books?

Karl von Frisch

Von Frisch’s question has haunted me throughout the process of compiling this book. For those interested in how to keep bees, many fine writers already exist. For those who want to read about the joys of beekeeping, better books than this one are already on the market. Even scientists and researchers have found an appreciative general audience. Von Frisch decided to “give the reader the interesting part of the subject, without the ballast of practical instruction.” The result is The Dancing Bees; he won the Nobel Prize for his life’s work in honey bee communication in 1973.

Now, I offer another bee book, better defined by what it is not than what it is. Absent are the latest statistics about honey, beeswax, or imports. Nor will this book prepare anyone to don a veil, grab a smoker, and head for the nearest bee tree. i am not a biologist.

So why keep reading? The answer is my desire to examine the values associated with being an American, as complicated as that definition can be. No two values have been so highly regarded since colonial days than industry and thrift. No better symbol represents these values than the honey bee. Furthermore, although almost no part of our culture re-

-3-

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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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