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Last month I prepared some readings regarding to bee acoustic communication. In that context I found a book written by the Charles Butler The Feminine Monarchie (originally published by Joseph Barnes, Oxford, in 1609). It remained a valid and practical guide for beekeepers for two hundred fifty years, until Langstroth and others developed and promoted moveable comb hives. I was surprised by the book three times:

  1. Book published in 1609, but surprisingly modern concept and structure. Honestly to say – usual structure of nowadays beekeeping books is not so differ. Off course in the book from 1609 are small misinterpretation etc. But frankly – do you imagine book issued 2016 under optics of 2416 year. Uuuups :-)
  2. For me as not natural English speaker – beautiful language. Btw If I am informed correctly this is the first comprehensive full-length English-language book about beekeeping.
  3. INVENTIVE form how to author describes acoustic behavior of the bee colony is original!  Mr. Butler described particular formulas of behavior as music part with note sheet. Something like aria of the bee opera.

You can read it here. If you are interested by the chapter related to acoustic behavior, see chapter 5  - “The fifth, of their Swarming, and the Hiving of them”.

Physical body of Mr. Butler is dust, but results of his crystal clear ideas are here still. Each time I hear my bee-friends in the hive I ask myself whether I am able to conserved these sounds as aria of the bee music in notes. My answer is always NOT. Unfortunately, I am not the man of Renaissance like Charles Butler was.

Finally, thanks to Google for excellent service of conservation and sharing a books like that.

Stay tuned.


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