Beekeepers are celebrating the
200 year anniversary of "the Father of American Beekeeping." Lorenzo Lorraine
Langstroth was born Christmas Day, December 25, 1810 in
L. L. Langstroth developed the modern hive after exploring existing hives
including the pre-cursor to the top bar hive. Francis Huber invented the Leaf
Hive in 1789 in Switzerland. The leaf hive had movable solid frames that touched
making the box like top bar hives. The leaf hive was examined like pages in a
In the summer of
1851 Langstroth developed the hive that is still used today and the "bee space."
Langstroth patented the first movable frame hive on October 5, 1852. Henry
Bourquin, a fellow beekeeper and Philadelphia cabinetmaker, made Langstroth's
first hives. Langstroth hives encourage rapid inspection without enraging the
bees. Weak colonies can be strengthened. Strong colonies can increase space.
Queens are quickly replaced. Diseases, pests and parasites can be quickly
determined and remedied. Inspection by removable frames is now required in the
United States. Langstroth also began using queen excluders to confine eggs to
the lower boxes. Removable frames encouraged honey extraction without destroying
the comb. Honey comb requires 7 to 14 pounds of honey for every pound of
beeswax. Besides increased honey production, the beehive no longer had to be
killed to remove the honey.
published "The Hive and the Honey-Bee" in 1853 still in print today after 40
editions. Langstroth died
October 6, 1895 while preaching a sermon on the love of God at the Wayne Avenue
Presbyterian church in Dayton. L. L. Langstroth is buried at Woodland Cemetery,
Dayton, Ohio. Langstroth's epitaph reads --
INSCRIBED TO THE MEMORY OF
REV. L.L. LANGSTROTH, "FATHER OF AMERICAN BEEKEEPING," BY HIS AFFECTIONATE
BENEFICIARIES WHO, IN THE REMEMBRANCE OF THE SERVICES RENDERED BY HIS PERSISTENT
AND PAINSTAKING OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIMENTS WITH THE HONEY BEE, HIS
IMPROVEMENTS IN THE HIVE, AND THE LITERARY ABILITY SHOWN IN THE FIRST SCIENTIFIC
AND POPULAR BOOK ON THE SUBJECT OF BEEKEEPING IN THE UNITED STATES, GRATEFULLY
ERECT THIS MONUMENT.