Noting the competition of other bee books which were appearing, he was anxious to secure the assistance of some competent person in the revision. He was attracted to Charles Dadant, who was a frequent contributor to the American Bee Journal, and who had come to his rescue when his claim to originality in his hive was in question. However, he had never met Dadant and so inquired of his friend, Charles F. Muth, whether such a selection would be a wise one. Muth, who had had dealings with Dadant and his son, was enthusiastic, and when he met the younger man at a bee convention, took him to Langstroth's home. As a result of this meeting, it was arranged that Langstroth should go to Illinois to visit the Dadants and to make some provision for revision of his book.
It was in October, 1885, when Langstroth visited the Dadant home, that the two men met for the first time. They were opposites in many respects, but both were capable and enthusiastic students of bees. Charles Dadant, the free-thinking liberal, and Rev. L. L. Langstroth, the devout churchman, joined forces in a mutual cause and worked together until the death of the minister.
For the second time Langstroth found another who was willing to lay aside his own plans to work with him. Dadant had been considering a book of his own for years and had a wealth of material ready at hand. All this he now brought to the task of revision of the Langstroth book.
It soon became apparent that Langstroth was too ill to assist with the revision, and the matter was left entirely in the hands of the Dadants. When the task was done, a contract was made whereby they took over the publication of the book and paid an annuity to Langstroth during his lifetime. So imperative were his needs that he usually had payments forwarded by telegraph, rather than wait a day or two longer for them to reach him by mail.
The first revision by Charles Dadant was published in 1888, and was at once received with enthusiasm except by the small hive advocates, who felt that they had not received sufficient recognition. Time has vindicated the position, however. Dadant then at once began on a French translation, the publication of which was arranged by Edward Bertrand. This was followed by a Russian translation by Kandratieff in 1892. Thus, through
Dadant's influence Langstroth was permitted to extend his work into far places and to become known throughout the western world. Not only was there to come a revolution in American beekeeping as a result of its influence, but a similar result followed in several other countries as well. Later editions appeared in Italian, Spanish, and other languages, and the influence of the quiet country pastor still continues in ever-widening areas.
Charles Dadant died in 1902, and the next revision was undertaken by his son and successor, Camille Dadant, who had been his partner and close associate from boyhood. Thus, later editions bear the name of C. P. Dadant along with those of Langstroth and Charles Dadant on the title page. All count of the total number of copies sold has been lost and there is even uncertainty as to the number of editions. Something like twenty-six editions are represented in the library of the American Bee Journal, which now holds copyright on the book, but other editions which have been lost sight of continue to come to light. It seems probable that the book has run through thirty or more editions in the eighty years that it has been on the market.
Not only has the book represented the life work of its author, Langstroth, but the influence of Samuel Wagner and the best of the contributions of Charles and C. P. Dadant. Coming as it did to herald a fundamental discovery at the beginning of the commercial development of an industry, and continuing with frequent revisions through the entire developmental period, it appears that The Hive and Honey Bee has had a greater influence than any other book ever written on bees.
It appears to have been a source of satisfaction to both Quinby and Langstroth that their books were written and published at the same time, so that there never was any suspicion that one borrowed from the other.
Starting with bees in 1828, without knowledge of beekeeping and with no books to guide him, Moses Quinby learned his lessons by long and careful observation and experiment. It was not until 1851 that he started to write his book, Mysteries of Bee-Keeping Explained, which was first published in 1853. In the meantime, books by Townley, Miner, Weeks, and others had appeared, but they had contained nothing new and of sufficient importance to impress them upon the consciousness of succeeding generations, as Quinby and Langstroth succeeded in doing.
In his preface, Quinby stated that profit must attend success and that "This interest in bees should be encouraged 'till enough are kept to collect all the honey now wasted; which compared with the present collections would be more than a thousand pounds to one. " He was the man to stimulate interest in beekeeping as a means of profit, for did not he, himself, harvest a crop of ten tons in one year? He often has been spoken of as the father of commercial honey production, as Langstroth has been called the father of American beekeeping.
Quinby called attention to the fact that good crops are not the result of luck, as was the current idea of the time, but of good care and skillful management. He stated that his book would contain several chapters entirely new to the public, the result of his own experience. Coxsackie, New York, was the address signed at the end of the preface, and June, 1853, the date.