Writing in the early 20th century, several of Doolittle’s practical ideas hold some interest for the modern apiarist, in spite of how modern equipment has improved and evolved. Although the book is primarily aimed at the specialist who maintains many bee colonies as a line of work, the author explains that his observations can also serve as useful for the home-based hobbyist who aspires to raise only a single colony.
Detailed drawings of the containers used and their handling are included, as are diagrams indicating how to manage the grasses and grounds around hives. We are shown how the bees are cared for, and several of Doolittle’s methods for increasing the activity and yield. The techniques explained include supplying a colony with a queen through the use of a tubal cage, and protecting the valuable queens from harm during transport with carefully-built housing. We are also given advice on dealing with pests such as mice, and keeping bees happy and productive through changes in weather.
Overall, Doolittle’s experiences as a beekeeper are plainly written and brimming with wisdom.