It is only in comparatively recent years that attention has been given to bee-keeping on a scientific basis. Aforetime there were certain traditional methods to be followed to secure the honey harvest, but those who practised them knew neither the why nor wherefore. Today, however, thanks to the observations of our great scientists on the life and habits of the bee, to their patience and diligence in noting the insect’s manner of working, we are in possession of knowledge which has enabled the practical bee-keeper to reduce the old haphazard ways to method, orderliness, and definite purpose.
The budding bee-keeper, as he reads one or other of these great works on the bee and its ways, may begin to wonder if it is not all too wonderful for him to deal with, and if he may ever hope to become proficient in the art and practice of bee-keeping. Let me say, here and now, that, given patience, perseverance, and diligence, a measure of success is open to anyone who brings intelligence into his work.
Although the doubts and difficulties that assail the tyro, and the questions arising therefrom, might raise a smile from the expert—if only as a reminder of his own early aspirations and efforts—yet there is no reason for despair; though disappointments are certain to arise, they should be accepted merely as spurs to further effort, as steps towards the ultimate goal of success.
Some may think—rashly—that there is nothing new to be said or learned about the bee, but the fact is that even scientists are still ignorant as to the definite uses of certain of the insect’s organs, and of the origin and remedies of some of the diseases from which it suffers. Putting aside, therefore, the merely commercial aspect of bee-keeping, there is still a wide field of interest and research open for exploration by the intelligent bee-keeper.