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Books on Bees (S252: 1875)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: An untitled review of two books on bee-keeping printed on page 395 of the 9 September 1875 issue of Nature. To link directly to this page connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S252.htm

The Handy-Book of Bees, being a Practical Treatise on their Profitable Management. By A. Pettigrew. Second Edition, revised and improved. (Edinburgh and London: Blackwood and Sons, 1875.)

A Manual of Bee-Keeping. By John Hunter, Honorary Secretary of the British Bee-keepers' Association. (London: Hardwicke, 1875.)

     These two volumes have different objects and will serve different purposes. The first edition of Mr. Pettigrew's book was favourably noticed in our columns five years ago (Nature, vol. ii. p. 82), and we are glad to see that a second edition has been called for. Still more pleased are we to find that the author is open to conviction, and that he has acknowledged and corrected a few theoretical errors in the first edition. For the economical management of bees with a view to profit, there is no better guide than Mr. Pettigrew.

     Mr. Hunter's volume, on the other hand, is essentially a book for the amateur, to whom profit is of less importance than the amusement and interest of bee-keeping. He gives an account of all the appliances of the modern apiarian, and of the most recent improvements in the treatment and study of bees. The various kinds of honey-extractors, feeders, guide-combs, and queen-cages; the methods of artificial swarming, queen-breeding, and ligurianising; the diseases and enemies of bees; and the various methods of preparing and preserving the honey and wax, are all briefly discussed. Some of the most recent observations on the habits and instincts of bees are given, including Sir John Lubbock's interesting proof that they distinguish colours. The book is illustrated with a number of useful woodcuts, chiefly of hives and apparatus; and it will be indispensable to amateurs who wish to acquaint themselves with the most recent improvements in the art of bee-keeping, and the latest discoveries as to the habits, instincts, and general natural history of the honey-bee.

A. R. W.

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