The Quest for the Perfect Hive

A History of Innovation in Bee Culture

In The Quest for the Perfect Hive, entomologist Gene Kritsky offers a concise, beautifully illustrated history of beekeeping, tracing the evolution of hive design from ancient Egypt to the present.

Kritsky guides us through the progression from early mud-based horizontal hives to the ascent of the simple straw skep (the inverted basket which has been in use for over 1,500 years), from hive design’s Golden Age in Victorian England up through the present. He discusses what worked, what did not, and what we have forgotten about past hives that might help counter the menace to beekeeping today.

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