Gleanings In Bee Culture

A letter arrives from Miss Kimika Ying, with important bee information:

Dear Mr. Key : I have been reading a biography of one of the early pioneers of flight  (Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight by Paul Hoffman) and today I came upon a delightful passage which made me feel as though I had wandered into Hooting Yard. From page 226:

“The Wrights’ historic first flights, and subsequent ones in Ohio over the next two years, received little publicity. Indeed, the first journalist to watch them pilot the Flyer biplane in Ohio wrote up what he saw in a magazine for apiarists, Gleanings in Bee Culture, and the account did not appear until more than two years after Kitty Hawk. No other invention of monumental importance was ushered into the world so quietly.”

Miss Ying adds that in pursuing her researches, she found a link to a volume of Gleanings in Bee Culture, from which she has extracted a couple of quotations readers will no doubt find instructive:

“W. F. Clark says in Annals, ‘Happy is the bee keeper, who can get possession of an old fashioned, black lace veil.’ I think I understand him. With a veil made as follows, no gloves, and a pair of fine tweezers to draw out the little beard that sometimes breaks off in the flesh, as you take away the sting, you may work with very little fear. [some details of veil-making omitted ]¬† N. B. – If you have any very prominent features, don’t draw the veil too closely.”

And, in response to a gentleman’s question in which he mentioned his wife’s health:

“If more of our American women were bee-keepers they would know better what health and happiness is possible for them in this world of ours.”

This is surely nothing but the truth, unalloyed. Many thanks to Kimika Ying for drawing it to our attention.

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