Bee Keeping for Profit. A New System of Bee Management.
West Gorham, Maine: Lizzie E. Cotton, 1883. Second edition. First published in 1880. All editions are uncommon in institutions and rare in commerce. With four plates (including frontisportrait) and eight vignettes illustrating bees and beehives. Illustrations include a beehive design developed by the author. Spine faded, some dampstaining to cloth. Early ink ownership signature to front pastedown (Marcus J. James, agricultural and mining engineer in Colorado). A good, clean copy. Contemporary purple cloth. Octavo. 150 pp. Item #17442
Lizzie E. Cotton wrote the present work to accompany her “Controllable Hive” invention, which is illustrated in the plates. In the words of Wyatt A. Mangum in the American Bee Journal, Cotton’s hive consisted of “glass honey boxes on top, over the brood frames…the location of a honey super on a modern hive. Cotton also situated glass honey boxes on the sides of the hive, knowing that bees stored honey on the periphery of the brood nest.” Surviving examples of Cotton’s Controllable Hive are rare today, and the specifications included in the present work seem to be the only published designs. Mangum continues, “Cotton’s spring management [of her hives] sought to grow the colony so the bees covered all the brood frames by feeding the colony with her special syrup feeder situated on top of the frames. Cotton described early spring feeding to produce early swarming to increase hive numbers…Increasing hive numbers by swarming was an old method before Langstroth’s frame in America, which dated back to European skep beekeeping. Increasing by swarming would have been familiar and acceptable to beekeeper customers buying her book and hives.”.
Mangum, Wyatt A. “Mrs. Lizzie E. Cotton: Beehive Designer from the 1880s.” American Bee Journal, June 1, 2022.