Adam Gottlob Schirach’s Experiments on Bees
In the 1760s Adam Gottlob Schirach, pastor in Kleinbautzen in Upper Lausatia, undertook a number of experiments, now mostly forgotten, to discover a new method of producing “artificial hives” to increase honey and wax production. These experiments led Schirach to the conclusion that young worker honeybees’ larvae could develop into queen’s larvae and finally into queens if they were suitably housed and fed. At the time this was a new and daring interpretation; and, as is often the case in the history of science, various ad hoc theories were produced to account for a newly discovered phenomenon. Before exploring the significance of Schirach’s experiments, it seems appropriate to outline the general state of the literature on bees in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
KeywordsEighteenth Century Royal Jelly Work Honeybee Latin Translation Vesicula Seminalis
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