At the conclusion of the volume he suggested an estimate of the honey resources of the nation, on a basis of one pound of honey per acre. New York, alone, would produce something more than thirty million pounds on this basis, he figured. It is probable that that figure is much below the possibilities, if, as Quinby hoped, enough bees ultimately would be kept to collect all the honey.
In the 1858 edition, Quinby announces his removal to St. Johnsville, Montgomery County, New York, and states that the new edition is given with no important alteration or addition, since added experience has only verified the correctness of its statements.
In later editions he outlines the advantages of movable combs and states that to Rev. L. L. Langstroth belongs the credit of introducing the hive which will accomplish all these desirable results. After the author's death in May, 1875, the task of revision fell to his son-in-law, L. C. Root, who was also a commercial honey producer. Like Quinby, he made beekeeping a business. The book at that time had been before the public for twenty-two years and was recognized as timely and authoritative, and the publishers wished to maintain its popularity.
Moses Quinby wrote Mysteries of Beekeeping Explained.
The publication was then in the hands of the Orange Judd Company, of New York, and these same publishers brought out many editions in the years after the death of Quinby. The title was changed to Quinby's New Bee-Keeping, by L. C. Root. A memorial of Quinby written by Capt. J. E. Hetherington was added, new illustrations were included, and the book rewritten to an extent sufficient to bring it up to the times. The book continued to sell for a number of years, but by the beginning of the new century it was being supplanted by later volumes. Root again revised it, although not as fully as conditions justified, and the last edition appeared in 1912. The sale was no longer active and after another ten years it had practically disappeared from the current demand.
Lacking the fundamental discovery which Langstroth offered, yet Quinby's book had a large sale, a long sustained influence, and a very important effect on the trend of American beekeeping.
There is no more interesting story in all the field of apiculture than that of A. I. Root, his bees, his book, and his magazine. If a trifling obstruction may change the current of a stream, so an apparently unimportant event may change the life of a man. It was in August, 1865, when a passing swarm of bees changed the trend of life for Root, who was then a jeweler in Medina, Ohio, and, through his influence, the lives of countless numbers of his countrymen.
A. I. Root was author of ABC of Bee Culture, editor of Gleanings, and founder of the A. I. Root Company.
He tells something of the story in the introduction to early editions of the book as follows:
My fellow workman in answer to some of my inquiries as to their habits, asked what I would give for them. I, not dreaming that he could by any means call them down, offered him a dollar and he started after them. To my astonishment he, in a short time, returned with them hived in a rough box he had hastily picked up, and, at that moment, I commenced learning my ABC in bee culture.
Then follows an account of his search for information and how on a visit to Cleveland he found Langstroth's book, which proved a mine of information. He soon had constructed an observation hive, had reared young queens from eggs, and had bought an Italian queen from Langstroth for twenty dollars.
A. I. Root was an enthusiast and soon had all kinds of experiments under way. He tried everything that was new, and reported his successes and failures with equal fidelity in the American Bee Journal. Signing himself as "Novice, " he soon attracted attention to himself and it was only to be expected that such a person would launch his own magazine in due time.
The story of that event is told elsewhere, but it paved the way for the book which was not long in following.
In 1877, he offered his book, which was designed to serve the needs of beginners, under title of ABC of Bee Culture. Apparently the idea was bom in answering the numerous letters of inquiry from those who were puzzled as to how to proceed in the management of their bees. The alphabetical arrangement was adopted with the following subjects at the beginning of the book.
Absconding Swarms After Swarms Age of Bees Alighting Boards Alsike Clover Anger of Bees Ants
And so he continued through the field of bee culture to the end of the volume, which closed with "Water for Bees, " "Wax, " "Whitewood, " and "Wintering. " The design was to assist the novice with his problems by discussing each subject which was likely to present itself, in its proper alphabetical order.
The book met with instant success and new editions have followed at frequent intervals from that time even until the present. For long the type was kept standing, so that new matter could be added and additional copies printed as required. The extent of the volume gradually increased as new material was added to each edition, until it assumed the position of a cyclopedia of bee culture.
The title page for the 1895 edition bears the words "62d Thousand, " and each edition following adds to this formidable figure. The author was from the first his own publisher, and the book has been continued from the original plant still carried on by members of his family.