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Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee

L. L. Langstroth

Book Overview: 

Langstroth revolutionized the beekeeping industry by using bee space in his top opened hive. He found that, by leaving an even, approximately bee-sized space between the top of the frames holding the honeycomb and the flat coverboard lying above, he was able to quite easily remove the latter, which was normally well cemented to the frames with propolis making separation hard to achieve. Later he had the idea to use this discovery to make the frames themselves easily removable. He found that, if he left a small space (less than 1/4 inch or 6.4 mm) between the combs, or between the combs and the sides of his hives, the bees would fill it with propolis thus cementing the combs into the hive. On the other hand, when he left a larger space (more than 3/8 inch or 9.5 mm) the bees would fill it with comb which had a similar effect. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .l commenced at once, for the bees do not intend that the young queens shall all arrive at maturity, at the same time. I do not consider it as fully settled, how the eggs are deposited in these cells. In some few instances, I have known the bees to transfer the eggs from common to queen cells, and this may be their general method of procedure. I shall hazard the conjecture that the queen deposits her eggs in cells on the edges of the comb, in a crowded state [68] of the hive, and that some of these are afterwards enlarged and changed into royal cells by the workers. Such is the instinctive hatred of the queen to her own kind, that it does not seem to me probable, that she is intrusted with even the initiatory steps for securing a race of successors. That the eggs from which the young queens are produced, are of the same kind with those producing workers, has been repeatedly demonstrated. On examining the queen cells while they are in progress, one of the first things which. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The "Great Book" of beekeeping wherein Langstroth introduces the reasoning behind the modern form of hive (basically a three dimensional Cartesian space that allows bees to be their oblong-hive-building selves while allowing the beekeeping to access rectangular frames of honey). If you ever find you

How to keep bees...even in the city. Bee bible.

I like reading old texts and this was no exception. I'm doing a bit of research into starting up bee-keeping and the history nerd in me couldn't help but add this one to my work.

This man modernized beekeeping. Readable and so intresting

An indispensable reference and compendium of bee knowledge. A lot of it will feel anachronistic because we KNOW many of these things already--we know his hive is the best because we still use it--but nevertheless his descriptions and insights on bee behavior still hold to this day, and his passion f

The good Reverend sure knew his bees. However, for somebody who did a sermon every week he wasn't as smooth at slipping in the biblical references as I would have thought. The preachy parts weren't at all overly preachy, but the didn't flow particularly well. For that matter, flow was an issue in ge

A bee-keeper at the farmer's market in Raleigh told me that this was the last word in bee-keeping. That seems doubtful. I didn't read every word, and it was certainly a neat read in many respects, but not in the practical way I was hoping.
Langstroth, himself, was a rural Ohio Episcople priest who

This is -the- book on the standard hive design used by modern beekeepers, by the person who invented it. There are numerous modern improvements, but this describes the reasons for the overall design. So... if you want to know the whys and wherefores of the standard hive, you have to read this book!

History of bee keeping

I liked reading what earlier beekeepers did to obtain honey. It is fun to read how these folks worked with their hives. I appreciate the tools and procedures we use today that make the job easier .

A bit dated, a classic by the man who made keeping modern. And a fellow Philadelphia.