Apiculture and Culture
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G. M. Doolittle
Scientific queen-rearing as practically applied; being a method by which the best of queen-bees are reared in perfect accord with nature's ways..
Chicago, T. G. Newman & Son, 1889.
169 p. incl. front. (port.) 20 cm.

Call no.: SF523 .D68

A practical beekeeper from Onondaga County, N.Y., Gilbert M. Doolittle (1846-1918) introduced one of the key innovations that permitted beekeeping to expand from a cottage industry to an industrial-scale operation. Recognizing that he could transfer larvae to artificial queen cups, Doolittle found that he could raise as many queens as might be needed, and by doing so, he could replace weak and sickly queens, create new hives, or divide old ones. With this discovery, the availability or inadequacy of queens no longer became a limiting factor in honey production. Doolittle's method remains a foundation of modern apiculture.

After paying homage to many of the best known writers on bee culture, including Langstroth, Quinby, King, Cook, and Root, Doolittle apologized for writing a book with so much that was not scientific and in a manner that was far from systematic. But to highlight the bottom line, he asked he readers to consider whether queen rearing might pay. "Would it not pay me better," he asked rhetorically, "to stick to honey-production, and buy the few queens which I need, as often as is required?"

I might answer, does it pay to kiss your wife? to look at anything beautiful? to like a golden Italian Queen? to eat apples or gooseberries? or anything else agreeable to our nature? is the gain in health, strength, and happiness, which this form of recreation secures, to be judged by the dollar-and-cent stand-point of the world?
Can the pleasure which comes to one while looking at a beautiful Queen and her bees, which have been brought up to a high stand-point by their owner, be bought? Is the flavor of the honey that you have produced, or the keen enjoyment that you have had in producing it, to be had in the market?

The answer, as it turns out, is that profit and pleasure went hand in hand. The SCUA copy of Scientific queen-rearing is a presentation copy to Joseph Pond, who donated the book to UMass in 1890.

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