Apiculture and Culture
Books on Bees and Beekeeping, SCUA, UMass Amherst
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Early Works in Apiculture

The rare book collections of the Department of Special Collections and University Archives contain a number of important works on beekeeping from the 17th and early 18th centuries. These early explorations of bee behavior form the foundation of bee knowledge that would be expanded upon by later writers, whether they viewed bees as a subject for scientific, agricultural, economic, social, or moral inquiry.

The first edition of Moses Rusden’s A Further Discovery of Bees (London, 1679) is indicative of the keen interest of early naturalists in the social organization of bee colonies, and each of the authors on this page describes the hive as a model monarchy. In doing so, the authors draw upon the language used by their contemporaries in discussing the ideal form of human government. Their investigations of a "natural" animal hierarchy and behavior mirrored the search for a "natural" and ideal organization for human society.

[ Origins ][ Rusden ][ Warder ][ Reaumur ][ Thorley ]

Rusden title page Warder title page Reaumur title page Rusden title page
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