This Treatise on the Hive and the Honey-Bee, is respectfully submitted by the Author, to the candid consideration of those who are interested in the culture of the most useful as well as wonderful Insect, in all the range of Animated Nature.
The information which it contains will be found to be greatly in advance of anything which has yet been presented to the English Reader; and, as far as facilities for practical management are concerned, it is believed to be a very material advance over anything which has hitherto been communicated to the Apiarian Public.
Debarred, by the state of his health, from the more appropriate duties of his Office, and compelled to seek an employment which would call him, as much as possible, into the open air, the Author indulges the hope that the result of his studies and observations, in an important branch of Natural History, will be found of service to the Community as well as to himself.
The satisfaction which he has taken in his researches, has been such that he has felt exceedingly desirous of interesting others, in a pursuit which, (without any reference to its pecuniary profits,) [iv] is capable of exciting the delight and enthusiasm of all intelligent observers. The Creator may be seen in all the works of his hands; but in few more directly than in the wise economy of the Honey-Bee.
"What well appointed commonwealths! where each
Adds to the stock of happiness for all;
Wisdom's own forums! whose professors teach
Eloquent lessons in their vaulted hall!
Galleries of art! and schools of industry!
Stores of rich fragrance! Orchestras of song!
What marvelous seats of hidden alchemy!
How oft, when wandering far and erring long,
Man might learn truth and virtue from the BEE!"
The attention of Clergymen is particularly solicited to the study of this branch of Natural History. An intimate acquaintance with the wonders of the Bee-Hive, while it would benefit them in various ways, might lead them to draw their illustrations, more from natural objects and the world around them, and in this way to adapt them better to the comprehension and sympathies of their hearers. It was, we know, the constant practice of our Lord and Master, to illustrate his teachings from the birds of the air, the lilies of the field, and the common walks of life and pursuits of men. Common Sense, Experience and Religion alike dictate that we should follow his example.
L. L. LANGSTROTH.
Greenfield, Mass., May 25, 1853.