Someone let me know that Volume 26 of the American Bee Journal was actually a copy of Volume 53.

Not sure how it happened but it’s been corrected.

Note that Number 48 of Volume 26 is missing about 4 pages. They were missing in the original scan and I’ve been unable to locate copies of them so far. If anyone does run across them, please let me know.

The Librarian


I just added the first 60 years of the American Bee Journal from 1861 through 1920. The Bee Journal is still being published today and has been in print continuously since it began in 1861. I haven’t added up the page count of each years collection but I estimate it’s around 30,000 pages total. Even if you discount 25% of it as advertisement that still leaves a pretty massive amount of text information, much of which is relevant to Beekeeping today.

As mentioned in the previous post about the new Beekeeping books added to the Library the practices of Beekeeping aren’t really that different from what they were a hundred years ago though we do have a few more modern devices and materials with which to work. We know quite a bit more about bees themselves but it hasn’t actually changed the methods of Beekeeping dramatically. Science has provided opportunities to develop strains of bees that are more resistant to pests such as the Varroa mite but watching a Beekeeper today in their general duties you could just as easily be watching their grandparents or great grandparents tending their bees.

There is a lot of interesting information in the early Bee Journal editions. Regardless of how much science has advanced and our understanding of bees has advanced the behavior of bees themselves haven’t changed. They still go about their task in the hive just as they did 50 years ago, a hundred years ago and probably a thousand years ago.

Just as we can and do still learn about human nature from the writings of the Greeks and Romans and other earlier civilizations (well prior to the modern school system), there is still much to learn about the behavior of bees from writings and observations as far back as people have been keeping bees.

If you are interested in the history of Beekeeping or just interested in Beekeeping itself you’ll find a lot of good information in this new addition.

The Librarian


I’ve added 38 new books on Beekeeping to a new temporary Category named Beekeeping 2. I call it a temporary Category since after it has been up for a while for our regular Users to grab any books from it they find interesting m I’ll merge them into the existing Beekeeping Category where they belong.

It wouldn’t have been practical to just add them to that category since there would be no easy way to tell which ones were new and which were part of the existing Library. This will make it easier.

The existing Library has Langstroth on the Hive and Honeybee but it is the 1888 edition. The new one is the 1919 edition and for anyone interested in the history of Beekeeping it’s interesting to compare the two editions and note the differences which highlight Langstroth’s changes in thinking and ideas over three decades. Since most American Beekeepers (both professional and amateur) use Langstroth Hives the books will be of interest to those interested in development of the design.

For instance, I just finished building some Langstroth hives for bees I’ll be bringing home this week. My sister-in-law has her bees in modern Langstroth hives using wax foundations as most modern beekeepers do. I’m using a variation on the Langstroth frames, which he writes about in his books, using no foundations to allow the growth of natural comb. We’ll be able to compare and contrast the two different techniques.

I’ve also suffixed the Dadant books with the authors name since Dadant is one of the other very influential writers on Beekeeping from that period.

One of the most interesting things about beekeeping technology is that modern beekeeping is actually not much different from the beekeeping methods described in these books. A few techniques have changed in procedures such as how diseases are treated but even some of that is not radically different. Colony Collapse Disorder which is something of a mystery today was a mystery in 1906 when it occurred in Britain and was called Isle of Wight Disease. No cause was ever found for it either. Foul Brood Disease which is an issue in modern apiaries was being discussed in the 1890s in the American Bee Journal.

Speaking of which… I’ll be adding a new Category for the American Bee Journal later this week. I have all 60 years of the American Bee Journal spanning the period from 1861 through 1920. I haven’t even begun to read them in detail yet though I’ve browsed through them in a very, very cursory inspection. If you’re interested in beekeeping history and practices or are a beekeeper yourself you’ll enjoy the articles in the earlier editions where the pros and cons of the brand new Langstroth hive design is being discussed and debated.

Funny thing is that except for the language being, in modern terms, what would be considered college level grammar you could probably publish many of these articles in a modern beekeeping magazine without anyone noticing anything out of the ordinary. I read some articles recently about queen rearing and watched a few videos of techniques for rearing new queens in an existing hive and splitting hives. While browsing through these new books I found several articles that were virtually identical and the videos could have been scripted directly from some of these books. The techniques were identical from start to finish.


The Librarian


There are several new Categories in progress at the moment.

Baking is one that’s well under way and should be up either late this week or early next week.

The next two will be a large number of new Bee related books. I recently started acquiring the entire 60 year set of American Bee Journal which ran from 1861 through 1929 Each year edition contains the entire years worth of publications and runs runs from around 300 pages each year in the early years growing to close to 1000 pages in the final years. Over all you’re looking at somewhere around 30,000 pages of articles on Bees and Beekeeping spanning a 60 years period. That’s a lot of raw information. Just browsing through them you’ll find articles by and about some classic names in Beekeeping like Warre, Langstroth, Dadant and many others. If you’re interested in the history and practice of Beekeeping these are great resources. I’ll be putting these in their own category just like the British Bee Journal

Only thing slowing down their posting is that some of the years are only available from one University whose name I’ll not mention because I tend to add expletives to their name. Their scanned library can only be access one page at a time. Unfortunately the missing volumes I’m having to acquire from their library are later years which means downloading something like 800+ pages.. one page at a time… then combining them all into a PDF to add to the collection. That University and one in Hong Kong are the bane of my existence sometimes. Fortunately I can set up macros that do the repetitive work but due to the lag they have to be monitored closely and babied through the process.

I also have the ten years of The American Apiculturist which ran from 1883 through 1892. Like the Bee Journal is contains a lot of famous names and a wealth of information.

There are about 2 dozen other books on Beekeeping and related topics that I’ll be posting in the New Additions Category before they get moved to the Beekeeping Category later on.

The Librarian


I’ve just added a new small Category that one of you suggested.

The new Category is… wait for it… Laundry which oddly enough relates to Krupp Steel as you’ll understand

Laundry sounds pretty underwhelming until you stop and think about it a little. Except for a few rare individuals most of us do laundry with an electric washing machine and likely an electric or gas dryer. Some folks still hang their freshly washed clothes on a clothes line to dry but even that is becoming the exception rather than the norm.

Even students who otherwise live in a sort of modern poverty while going to school still have access to laundromats where they can use modern washers and dryers while they read, study, listen to music or, more likely these days, send and receive texts.

I’ve mentioned the BBC series Victorian Farm and while it’s well worth watching for a number of reasons one episode sticks in my mind and that was the one where the female historian living the role of a Victorian farm wife had to do the laundry. It was a pretty massive, all day process that would leave even a large physically fit man exhausted much less a woman of 2/3 of his weight and with less upper body strength.

When you watch the process and understand just how labor intensive and time consuming it is you will develop an appreciation for electricity and washing machines that you did not have before. Believe me it is not a task for wimps and sluggards and the lazy need not apply. That’s why the term Laundry Day exists. In the 1800s until at least manually powered washing machines emerged doing laundry took the entire day and sometimes more.

Obviously some of these books will be less than useful in parts since even they assume an industrial infrastructure that would not exist early in a community rebuilding. A number of them are simply catalogs or a sort of “brochure” for manufacturers of washing machines. Unlike modern machines, which appear on the surface to be a featureless metal cube, the older machines, especially the manual ones, are easy to understand once you see them. One of the catalogs even shows diagrams of the parts that make up some of their machines. With those diagrams and pictures a half way competent mechanic or craftsman could duplicate the designs without a great deal of trouble. While none of them are comparable to a modern washer in capability they are a tremendous advance over doing laundry by hand. Even something as simple as a hand cranked wringer to squeeze excess water out of clothes before hanging them to dry can save an enormous amount of hard physical labor and time.

Some of the books are oriented towards commercial laundry services and that is actually useful information. In a community of more than a couple dozen families it makes sense to centralize something like laundry. It’s not much harder to wash 50 shirts and pants than it is to wash a dozen especially when the alternative could be a dozen families all spending an entire day doing laundry. If two people could do the communities laundry in a 10 hours day as opposed to a dozen people each doing their family’s laundry that’s 100 man hours of labor that could be put to other uses. The labor saving is tremendous for a small community.

Remember too that in early agricultural communities specialization is what led to the development of a manufacturing infrastructure and the advancement of technology which raises another important issue which few people think through to it’s logical conclusion… Self-Sufficiency.

While Self-Sufficiency is all well and good and in many ways an admirable endeavor in a modern age when we have become so detached from the natural world, our food sources and our understanding of the environment, it ultimately is not a desirable goal towards which to strive in the long run. While it can help you survive a collapse or disaster such as an EMP event in the long run it is more of an obstacle to rebuilding a society than it is a help.

After people survive a catastrophic event, a pandemic, a social or economic collapse, a Solar or man-made EMP they will have to start rebuilding their society. That can’t be done with each family or small group maintaining “self-sufficiency”. Rebuilding a society will be the product of Community and Specialization. If every family has to master blacksmithing to the point of being able to forge all of their own tools, collecting ore and smelting iron then producing steel all the while planting and harvesting crops and performing all of the other chores of running a farm… they are never going to get much beyond a subsistence level and will be nothing more than prey to the first stronger group that encounters them.

On the other hand as soon as there is enough surplus that one man can devote himself full time to being a blacksmith his skill will develop and pretty soon he will be the go-to guy for iron and steel implements as was the case in many towns not that long ago. Whichever blacksmith is best at this craft will attract more customers, bring in additional help, will grow wealthier and will in time.. train and employ more workers… expand his operation… relocate his smithy next to a river where he can build a waterwheel to power a trip hammer and later perhaps add a steam engine to replace the water wheel and so on and so on. That is how Krupp Steel grew from a small one room operation into one of the world’s largest and best steel manufacturers. It still is today and it started as a small operation trying to make and forge crucible steel in a single room in the Ruhr Valley of Germany.

So what do books on Laundry have to do with Krupp Steel? Everything in the world since each is part of the process of moving from pounding clothes on a rock by the stream to clean them to modern steel washing machines that do the same job in a fraction of the time and with not much more effort than throwing clothes in the opening and turning a dial.

Moving from a single person doing laundry by hand to a machine that saves some time to a better machine that frees up more time then beginning to do the laundry of other people in exchange for their surplus products and services freeing up more of their time to devote to what they are good at…

That is how you rebuild a technological and industrial infrastructure from scratch. One step, one clean shirt and one clean, ironed pair of pants at a time.


The Librarian.


I got a couple suggestion email over the weekend and did some digging.

One suggested Laundry with a specific book suggestion. The other was Baking which sort of caught me by surprise. When i used to cook, and I used to cook a lot. I raised 4 boys and did most of the family cooking for a couple of decades. I baked not only most of the bread we ate but a lot of cakes and pies and other pastries along the way.

I guess I was thinking of baking as simply an extension of regular cooking and that it was covered well enough by the general Cooking and Cookbooks Category but once I started researching it I found a fair number of books specifically on Baking and started collecting them. I found about 4 dozen books which I’m working on cleaning up and getting cataloged.

The Laundry suggestion made me realize that the subject fell prey to 20th and 21st century thinking. Despite watching and helping my Grandmother a long time ago run her new electric washing machine, cranking the wringer by hand and hanging clothes on the line I guess I had taken the access we have to modern washing machines and dryer for granted.

It’s very easy to do. The normalcy bias is a hard one to even be fully aware of much less to see through. Our modern world provides so much ease and labor saving that we are often totally blind to the amount of sheer manual labor that would be required to replace some of those modern conveniences.

Even worse, which is one of the guiding principles of the Library, is that we simply lack the Technology, the Machines and the Know-How to replace the modern equivalents. I vaguely remember the simply electric washing machine Grandma had with all it’s exposed gears and mechanisms that were fascinating to watch. I’ve repaired a few modern washers replacing belts and motors and pumps and so on. But I have to admit that I probably couldn’t build a washing machine from scratch if I had to. I suspect most of us are in the same boat.

I doubt it would go over well in a survival-rebuilding environment to say to the community “I can build a steam engine but I haven’t a clue how to build a washing machine.” I suspect there would be some members of the community who would be less than accepting of the response.

So Baking and Laundry. I’ll have them added over the next week or so.

The Librarian

p.s. While searching out books on Laundry and Baking I ran across some more general knowledge books that really fall more in the subject area of Home Economics. I’ll add those to the New Additions Category as I get them cleaned up and cataloged.


I was doing a little research related to beekeeping since my sister-in-law just set up her new hive in the back field yesterday and ran across some related beekeeping books I had overlooked originally.

I’ve added them to the New Additions Index dated 05/07.

They are specifically on Queen Rearing, a specific branch of beekeeping related to raising new queens either to replace poorly performing ones or to create new hives.

From my research into it, the process is not Rocket Science thought there are clearly some approaches that work better than others or have specific advantages over other techniques depending on your goal.

As someone one told me about beekeeping “There a hundred different ways to do every single thing in beekeeping and every one of them is correct.”


The Librarian


NORAD is rebuilding the Cheyenne Mountain complex SPECIFICALLY to survive an EMP attack.

A $700 million contract to upgrade the electronics inside the Cheyenne Mountain facility to ensure it will survive an EMP attack. Notice they talk specifically about an ATTACK, not a Solar event.

In other words the Department of Defense feels that there is enough of a threat of someone launching an EMP attack on the United States that it justifies spending $700 Million dollars.

The writer also points out that the various bills passed by the House of Representatives to harden the U.S. power grid which would cost about the same as ONE YEAR’S FOREIGN AID TO PAKISTAN have all been killed by the United States Senate.

Lesson Learned:

1. It’s worth spending $700 million dollars to protect the U.S. Military command system.

2. The United States Senate believes that foreign aid to Pakistan is more important than the lives of 80% to 90% of the citizens of the United States.

Ponder that concept a moment and remember it the next time you speak to a U.S. Senator or go to the voting booth.


In case there is any doubt that I believe in and support the First Amendment to the Constitution… the Freedom of Speech and as a reminder to anyone who believes they can threaten and intimidate us into abandoning that Freedom I present the winner of the Draw Muhammad contest:

Drawn by Bosch Fawstin, a former Muslim. Congratulations Bosch!


The Librarian

p.s. I encourage every website, newspaper, magazine or graphical outlet to reproduce the cartoon in order to reiterate the message that as citizens of the United States we will not abandon our freedom because of threats.