ISAAC, Jacob. The General Apiarian, wherein a simple, humane and advantageous method of obtaining the produce of bees without destroying them is pointed out in a series of letters to a friend. Herefordshire: Bee Books New and Old 2013.
8vo. Publisher's green cloth, gold blocked bees and lettering to front, gilt lettering to spine, in matching slipcase, marbled endpapers; pp. 128, one plate, engraved tailpieces; new.
One of limited edition of 50. Jacob Isaac, a minister of the Unitarian Baptist Church in Moretonhampstead in Devon, founded the Western Apiarian Society, probably the first bee-keeping society in Britain, in 1797. He published the first edition of this book in 1799. He was displeased with it, and published an enlarged second edition in 1803, and it is this version which has here been reprinted from the original. Given the author's background as a minister in the relatively unprosperous West Country - hence his desire to promote bee-keeping as a source of nutrition and money amongst the poor - it is not surprising that much of the book is concerned with cottage hives and small-scale bee-keeping. The original editions are now rare, having had a small circulation mainly amongst members of the Western Apiarian Society which folded on Isaac's death in 1818.