Addressing the problems of beekeeping in Scotland
James Bonner, an 18th-century beekeeper living in Edinburgh, was one of the first to address the specific problem of keeping bees in Scotland:
'It is not the want of proper pasture, that prevents bees from thriving well every year in this country. The only preventative is the inconstancy of the weather; for if it be windy, or cloudy, they will not go out of the hive; and, on the other hand, though the day should be quite dry, yet if the weather be cold, the bees will collect very little honey.'
In stating that the purpose of his book was 'to excite men of property, who are the only proper persons to be addressed on the business, to exert themselves with spirit and perseverance to promote the increase of bee-hives in this country', he shows he is writing for landed gentry.
Image: James Bonner. 'A new plan for speedily increasing the number of bee-hives in Scotland'. Edinburgh, 1795. [NLS shelfmark: MRB.137]