Thinking of Birthdays

The more I study beekeeping, the less I know, until, finally, I arrived – I know pretty much nothing. But, even though I know nothing, I still have plenty to unlearn. [Apologies to Charles Martin Simon]

Okay, as one or two of my beekeeping friends might remember (and facebook  reminded you), I share a December 25th birthday with L.L. Langstroth (1810). So, for a chuckle, I decided to answer to, and identify myself as, “Lorenzo” to spam callers, Jersey Mike’s calls- about the only place I eat out – love their Philly cheesesteaks, the rare Poppa Johns pizza delivery and to others who ask for a name. I considered St Ambrose (Dec 7) but I hardly qualify for sainthood so passed that one by.

So thinking outside the bee box I was thinking of extending the practice into 2022. Once Lorenzo Langstroth’s birthday month has come and gone, as well as the December 17th birthday of Pope Francis whose 8 beehives are kept at Castel Gandolfo, it will be time to pick another “famous” beekeeper to honor. I encourage anyone [who has read this far] to participate in this exercise of giving and responding to the name of a famous beekeeper for each month until we can actually get out of the house, meet with and have real conversations with each other, and even celebrate our own birthdays.

And who knows? Maybe a question on the Certified Beekeepers test may become a simple remembrance due to your participation in this venture? So, let me slip ahead to get the ball of beeswax rolling with no further delay. Let’s begin with January.  I nominate  Johann Dzierzon,  born January 16th, 1811. Michelle Obama is a strong second (January 17,1964) and although not a beekeeper she hired Charlie Brandts to install a bee hive in the White House Rose Garden.

February – Anyone got a better nominee than George Washington (Feb 22,1732) who had bees at Mt Vernon? It was said he loved to return to his estate and just sit alongside his hives to reflect on affairs of state. Not a bad idea that some politicians might emulate this year of elections 2022? Another February birthday we might recognize is that of Nikolai Viktorovich Nasonov, the scent gland Nasanov fellow. A Russian scientist, he first described the scent gland and its function (‘come and join us’) in 1883. Or Victor (“Pasechnik“ =beekeeper) Yushchenko, 3rd President of Ukraine, who currently keeps his bees on his farm in Russia.

March – thinking ahead – Dr. Wladyslaw Zbikowski WHO? retired PA physician. Inventor of round (Cobana) honey sections (Ron Miksha’s  jan 5 missive – winner of Apimondia bronze medal (2005 Dublin) for best beekeeping sites.) or perhaps Abbe Éloi François Émile Warré – yep that Warré who developed a Popular hive, based on his experience with 350 hives of different systems existing at the time. Or maybe the rocker Jon Bon Jovi – who keeps bees in New Jersey.