EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY
The only consistent thing about bees is their inconsistency.
—Dr. C. C. Miller
For much of the early twentieth century, America was balanced between a pastoral ideal of sustainable agriculture and an emerging commitment to a new form of agriculture that would characterize twentieth-century America. The two ancient symbols of sustenance—bees and cattle—were in forty-eight states as well as in the territories of Alaska and Hawaii. A third symbol—the train—made migratory beekeeping, a uniquely American twist to the agricultural industry, possible. The nomadic trade route patterns that were established continued to be in place and provided a framework for transforming America into an industrial countryside, to borrow Steven Stoll’s phrase. In Fruits of Natural Advantage: Making the Industrial Countryside in California (1998), Stoll suggests that five factors merged in the twentieth century to create a highly industrialized agricultural landscape: capital, science, innovative farmers and orchard growers, an independent yet inextricable relationship between farmers and government, and a solid hierarchy between owners and laborers