an important, early work on bee-keeping by 'the most able and the best known of scottish bee-men'
BONNER, James. A New Plan for Speedily Increasing the Number of Bee-Hives in Scotland; and which May be Extended, with Equal Success, to England, Ireland, America, or to any Other Part of The World Capable of Producing Flowers. Edinburgh and London: J. Moir for W. Creech, Bell & Bradfute, P. Hill, Mudie & Son, and the author, and T. Kay, 1795.
8vo Contemporary full calf, spine with red morocco gilt lettering piece; pp. [2 (title, verso blank)], xx, 258, [2 (advertisement and errata)]; front hinge tender, very good. Provenance: front pastedown with bookplate of the last Lord Banff, William Ogilvy of Forglen.
First edition. Bonner was the son of James Bonner the elder, an enthusiastic and successful bee-keeper, who, his son recalled, 'frequently boasted, that, in good seasons, he made as much money by his bees, as nearly purchased oat-meal sufficient to serve his numerous family for the whole year. He purchased a large quarto Bible with the wax produced in one year from his hives, which served as a family book ever after; and his house was always well supplied with honey, and a kind of weak mead, which served for drink at all seasons of the year' (p. iv). James Bonner the younger was Bee-Master at Auchencrow, near Berwick-on-Tweed, and is described by British Bee Books as 'the most able and the best known of Scottish bee-men'. A New Plan was founded upon Bonner's earlier work The Bee-Master's Companion, and Assistant (Berwick: 1789), 'which', as the author states in his preface, 'he was happy to find, attracted the notice, and procured him the patronage, of many respectable and public-spirited gentlemen. Encouraged by these flattering marks of approbation, he had thoughts of publishing a second edition; but as, in the continued prosecution of this his favourite study, he has made a number of very important discoveries relative to these useful insects, he thought it better to present these new ideas, along with the substance of his former work, compressed into as small bounds as possible, in a new form, and under a new title, than merely to reprint the old work with additions' (pp. viii-ix).
British Bee Books 151; Cox III, p. 535; ESTC T131963; cf. Fussell II, p. 134.