Author Topic: First Lessons In Beekeeping by C. P. Dadant  (Read 3705 times)

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First Lessons In Beekeeping by C. P. Dadant
« on: March 24, 2018, 06:34:26 pm »
From the Cornell University Library (thanks wm for the link)

this book can be read online or downloaded in various formats.


Among those who were instrumental in introducing advanced
methods in bee-culture among the beekeepers of Europe in the last
century, especially in overcoming opposition to the movable-frame
hive, Charles Dadant stands forth conspicuous. In France, "Dadant"
and "Dadant hive" are household words among beekeepers. His
great influence was used by means of his facile pen, for most of his
life was spent in this country, where he was less known because not
so familiar with the English language as with his native tongue, the

Yet his greatest legacy was not to Prance but to America. That
legacy was his only son, Camille P. Dadant. Intimately associated
with his father from his birth until the close of the long life of the
father, the younger Dadant had a schooling as a 'beekeeper that can
fall to the lot of few.

Mr. Dadant collaborated with his ' father In revising the great
work of Langstroth. He has written much and well not only for the
bee journals of this country, but of Prance as well. His very practi-
cal writings as editor of The American Bee Journal are well known.

All this, together with his long and successful career as a bee-
keeper gives warrant that the present work shall be a safe and sane
guide to those entering upon the fascinating pursuit of beekeeping.
Marengo, Illinois, March 3, 1916. C. C. MILLER.


This short treatise for beginners is an entirely rewritten edition
of the now exhausted hoohi (hive and the honey bee) published in 1911 by George W. York and Co.

Less extensive than our revision of the "Hive and Honey Bee," it
yet contains the most practical of modern methods available in our
day. But as simplicity is important we have kept it in mind and dif-
ficult methods will not be found here. However a still more elemen-
tary work is given in our "Bee Primer," which, at the low price of
fifteen cents, has found a great welcome among prospective bee-

This book is especially intended for colleges and schools giving
short courses in bee culture. A few years ago such courses were not
thought of. But they are annually becoming more numerous. Blind
beekeeping is still less profitable than blind farming. The hive has
long been a sealed book. It should be opened to the prospective
apiarist before he attempts to keep bees. The bee owner who de-
pends upon luck is an obstruction to the success of others, for disease
and degenerescence of his bees are sure to folloTV from his lack of
knowledge and method.

The different subjects treated in this work are marked, for re-
ference, at the head of the paragraphs, with serial numbers. AVhen
reference is made to another part of the book, the serial number is
inserted in parenthesis, so that the student will easily find all re-
ferences to the subject which he studies. Likewise, the index refers
to the paragraphs and not to the pages of the book.

The different species of living animals number over a quarter of
a million. Among this vast concourse of life, for Instructive lessons
ncne can rival the marvelous transformations that insect life under-
goes in its development! The repulsive maggot of today may tomor-
row be the active little fly, visiting leaf and flower. The repugnant
caterpillar may to-morrow be decked with green and gold, through
its speedy transformation to the butterfly, of brilliant tints and
gorgeous beauty.

This is not more wonderful than are the transformations from
the egg to the tiny larva, from the larva to the pupa, and from the
pupa to the fully developed honeybee, with its wondrous instincts and
marvelous habits. There is a fascination about the apiary that Is in-
describable. Every scientific beekeeper is an enthusiast. The econ-
omy of the beehive presents to the thougthful student both admiration
and delight.

A single bee, with all its energy, collects but a tiny drop of honey
at each trip to the field, in the best season, yet the colony to which it
belongs may harvest hundreds of pounds of surplus for its owner, in
a single year.

In fructifying the flowers, too, bees present us with a field of
study. Many plants absolutely require the visits of bees or other in-
sects to disturb their pollen, and thus fertilize them. Hence, Darwin
wisely remarks, when speaking* of clover and heartsease: "No bees, no
seed, no increase of the flower; the more visits from the bees, the
more seeds from the flower; the more seeds from the flowers, the
more flowers from the seeds." Darwin mentions the following ex-
periment: "Twenty heads of white clover, visited by bees, produced
an average of twenty-seven seeds per head; while twenty heads, so
protected that bees could not visit them, produced not one seed."

Since the Darwin experiment, hundreds of scientists have made
tests of this same subject. Bulletin No. 289 of the United States De-
partment of Agriculture, published September 21, 1915, details at
length the experiments made at the Indiana Experiment Station by
Messrs Wiancko and Robbins and at the Iowa Experiment Station of
Ames, by Messrs Hughes, Pammel and Martin. They confirm Dar-
win's' statements and show that clover can produce only "an occasion-
al seed from self pollination, that the pollen must come from a separ-
ate plant in order to effect fertilization". They also show that the
honeybee is as efficient a pollinator of red clover as the bumblebee,
whenever it is able, by the shortness of the corolla, to work upon it.

Ancient sages, among whom were Homer, Herodotus, Cato, Aris-
totle, Varro, Virgil, Pliny and Columella, composed poems extolling
the activity, skill and economy of bees, and in modern times among
such authors have been Swammerdam, a Dutch naturalist; Marald'.
an Italian mathematician and astronomer; Schirach, a Saxon agricul-
turist; Reaumur, inventor of a thermometer; Butler, who first assert-
ed the existence of a queenbee; Wildman; Delia Rocca; Duchet; Bon-
net, a Swiss entomologist; Dr. John Hunter; and Francis Huber, who.
though totally blind, was noted for his many minute observations, by
aid of his assistant, Burnens, which caused quite a revolution in
ancient theories concerning honeybees. Nearer to our day, we may
mention as the leaders of modern practical apiculture: Dzierzon, Von
Slebold, John Lubbock, L. L. Langstroth, Samuel Wagner, M. Quinby,
Adam Grimm, J. S. Harbison, Capt. J. E. Hetherington, Prof. A. J.
Cook, G. M. Doolittle, Dr. C. C. Miller, A. I. Root and his sons, Chas.
Dadant, E. W. Alexander.Thos. Wm. Cowan, Frank R. Cheshire, Ed-
ward Bertrand, and a host of others.

It is out of the question to make mention of the students and
teachers of 20th Century beekeeping. They are so numerous that a
complete list would be irksome.

Hamilton, Illinois, January 15, 1917. C. P. DADANT.
i keep wild things in a box..........™
if you obey the rules, you miss all the fun.....katherine hepburn
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