April showers (and bees) bring May flowers
“I'm covered in bees! Aah! Covered in bees!”
--Eddie Izzard, Glorious
The History of Honey Bee Culture
Bees and beekeeping have been subjects of vital importance in the world's agricultural literature for centuries. Special Collections holds many resources that trace the history of beekeeping from the earliest published works on honeybee husbandry, such as the 1572 edition of Thomas Hill's A pleasant instruction of the parfit ordering of Bees. Other works mark the advancement of scientific knowledge about bees. An example of this is Charles Butler's The Feminine Monarchie: or The Historie of Bees (originally published in 1609). Butler was among the earliest observers to recognize that worker bees were female instead of male, as was commonly believed when he first published his book in 1609 (Special Collections has the 1623 and 1634 editions).
Among Special Collections' historical resources on bee culture are numerous illustrated works showing the wide variety of hives and equipment that were used in the United States and around the world. In addition to rare books, nursery and seed trade catalogs advertising beekeepers' supplies provide glimpses into the art and craft of beekeeping.
April 2016 calendar page (23mb PDF). 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17.