Viewing L.L. Langstroth’s Papers at the Philadelphia Honey Festival

In early September, Garreson Publishing (that’s Peter, Nancy, and I) attended the Philadelphia Honey Festival. We missed the opening ceremony because we got stuck in traffic on I-76, and accidentally ended up in NJ.

Post-opening ceremonies on Friday night included a viewing of L.L. Langstroth’s papers at the American Philosophical Society on South Fifth Street. The APA was founded by John Bartram and Benjamin Franklin to encourage the study of practical knowledge, such as natural history, geology, etc. Franklin was interested in honey as the area imported much sugar and molasses, and alternative sugar supplies would allow trade independence (e.g. sugar from apples, beets, and bees). Honey did become very popular, and for a time was rationed during WWII as it was used in many foodstuffs, from soda to bread.

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In addition to a wide array of Franklin papers, the APA owns a set of about 300 papers of L.L. Langstroth, the founder of modern beekeeping. These documents were donated by a descendant, and include numerous newspaper clippings, plans for beehives, and legal documents. While Langstroth was successful at developing a method to produce a lot of honey, he fell into legal difficulties over who invented the movable frame hive first, and we saw some newspaper clippings that discussed this in grand detail, as well as engravings of various hive designs.

Some newspaper clippings were also in German, as Langstroth was influenced by German hive design, through a friend who read German and translated for him.

Saturday’s events featured open hive viewings, honey extracting, mead tasting, and speakers including Kim Flottum of Bee Culture Magazine. A review of the event appears in the October issue of Bee Culture Magazine. Anyone in Philadelphia interested in beekeeping is encouraged to check out the Philadelphia Beekeeper’s Guild.

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If you’re familiar with Langstroth’s hives, Garreson Publishing offers three sets of plans using Langstroth style frames- Beehive Construction, The Eight Frame Hive, and Nuc Hive Construction.

This entry was posted in Beekeeping Events, Beekeeping History, Gary Sieling, Philadelphia Beekeeping, Regional Beekeeping. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Viewing L.L. Langstroth’s Papers at the Philadelphia Honey Festival

  1. Pingback: Untitled | Makingbeehives's Blog

  2. Oreng says:

    Oh, exciting! I’m with Kate: srattup costs for beeks are significant and unfortunately, here in the PNW (as elsewhere), mortality rates are steep. Hosting a hive would be a great way to try it out without a big commitment of time or money. Have you perhaps asked around PSBA to see if there are any TBH keepers that might be interested in hosting a hive at your place? They have an online forum that might be a good place to post. You might have more luck as the season progresses and beeks start collecting swarms (and needing places to put them!). this might also allow you to get a hive this year rather than having to wait until the new packages arrive next spring…Good luck!!

  3. Rolandi peter says:

    Hi do you construct langstroth hives with more than Eight frame or? Actually here in Tanzania this the eight frame is not common.

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