Langstroth Cottage - Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth - Beekeeping

Beekeeping

Lorenzo Langstroth, known as the “Father of Beekeeping,” had a unique way of capturing the essence of his bees through writing letters; these letters revealed his devoted connection to bees. Through his interpretations of bees, he studied the behavior and the equipment used to house them. After discovering many unanswered questions with the current equipment, Langstroth knew he could provide a solution. Langstroth originally was trying to improve the Bevan bar hive because he found that the combs could not be removed and this gave him a huge advantage to create a better hive.. Langstroth discovered that the bees kept filling holes necessary to take the hive out with propolis, bee glue, so he came up with a new solution. On his journey to create the perfect frame, Lorenzo found it helpful to write a manual of his findings. His book, Langstroth on the Hive and the Honeybee: A Beekeeper’s Manual, became a fundamental teaching mechanism for students of beekeeping. His book is considered a basic text on the skill of beekeeping because it is more of a “how to” explanation of beekeeping. The book states information related to bees, honey, and beekeeping. Langstroth sees beekeeping “in the present state of public opinion, it requires no little courage to venture upon the introduction of a new hive and system of management; but I feel confident that a new era in bee-keeping has arrived.” Langstroth viewed bees as holy creatures: "Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, Sermons in 'bees,' and 'God' in every thing". With Langstroth’s love of bees inevitably came his invention of the moveable bee-frame. The moveable beehives solved the problem by providing a space between the frames and the hive walls, bottom, and top cover. The moveable-frame beehive was patented in 1852, No 9300. This invention of the beehive marks the new era of the beehive. Three advantages Langstroth states of the moveable frame are: 1. “The scientific beekeeper could examine every comb quickly and easily. The Langstroth hive would be cheap, and the combs could be removed with safety to the bees.” 2. “The practical beekeeper, who wished an income from his bees, could propagate queens, make artificial swarms, supply destitute hives with honey or brood, and produce honey ready for the market in boxes or in glass tumblers, and he could protect his hives against the bee moth. In short, he could do almost anything he wanted to do with his bees.” 3. “The farmer could easily procure honey for his own use”.

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