The Antient [Ancient] Bee-Master’s Farewell by John Keys
Introduced by Darren Bloodworth of C Arden Booksellers, Hay-on-Wye
John Keys was a Welsh Bee-keeper and wrote this work from Bee-Hall near Pembroke. This book came about through observations deduced from thirty years of experiments. Keys called for the establishment of a society to popularize humane beekeeping. Other agricultural societies had given some attention to beekeeping, but no explicitly apicultural society existed in Britain until 1799.
The long title reads:
‘Or, full and plain directions for the management of bees to the greatest advantage; disclosing further improvements of the hives, boxes, and other instruments, to facilitate the operations; especially that of separating double and treble hives or boxes, with certainty and safety, without injuring the bees…..interspersed with new but important observations.’
This is a lovely 1st edition (Robinson, London, 1796) of this scarce work. It features two copper-engraved plates. Contents very clean. More recently, handsomely rebound in a quarter-calf leather binding with marbled boards. Leather spine has raised bands and gilt lettering. Binding in fine condition also.