Tuesday, December 22, 2015

If thou wilt have the favour of thy bees, that they sting thee not, thou must avoid such things as offend them; thou must not be unchaste or uncleanly for impurity and sluttiness (themselves being most chaste and neat) they utterly abhor; thou must not come among them smelling of sweat, or having a stinking breath, caused either by eating of leeks, onions, garlic or the like, or by any other means, the noisomeness whereof is corrected by a cup of beer; thou must not be given to surfeiting or drunkenness; thou must not come puffing or blowing unto them, neither hastily stir among them, nor resolutely defend thyself when they seem to threaten thee; but softly moving thy hand before thy face, gently put them by; and lastly, thou must be no stranger unto them.  In a word, thou must be chaste, cleanly, sober, sweet, quiet, and familiar; so they will love thee and know thee from all others.

--Charles Butler, 17th century beekeeper.

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