29 August 2011

Johann Dzierzon – Father of modern apiculture



Date of Issue : 2 September 2011

Polish Post will issue a stamp on September 2, 2011 on ‘ father of modern bee culture John Dzierzon ’ to commemorate his 200th Birth Centenary. He is known for his pioneering work in the study bees and beehives which was later used in bee culture.The FDC design depicts Stacks of Dzierzon hives.


 John Dzierzon (16 January 1811 – 26 October 1906), was a pioneering apiarist who discovered the phenomenon of parthenogenesis in bees, and designed the first successful movable-frame beehive.

Dzierzon came from a Polish family in Silesia. Trained in theology, he combined his theoretical and practical work in apiculture with his duties as a Roman Catholic priest.His discoveries and innovations made him world-famous in scientific and bee-keeping circles, and he has been described as the "father of modern apiculture".

In his apiary, Dzierzon studied the social life of honeybees and constructed several experimental beehives. In 1838 he devised the first practical movable-comb beehive, which allowed manipulation of individual honeycombs without destroying the structure of the hive. The correct distance between combs had been described as 1½ inches from the center of one top bar to the center of the next one. In 1848 Dzierzon introduced grooves into the hive’s side walls, replacing the strips of wood for moving top bars. The grooves were 8 × 8 mm—the exact average between ¼ and ⅜ inch, which is the range called the "bee space." His design quickly gained popularity in Europe and North America. On the basis of the aforementioned measurements, August von Berlepsch (May 1852) in Thuringia and L.L. Langstroth (October 1852) in the United States designed their frame-movable hives.

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