Rus Articles Journal

Who stood at the origins of beekeeping? Pyotr Prokopovich of

the End of summer - a time of fragrant and fragrant honey. Bees still collect a sweet delicacy for the winter, and in the markets it is possible to take different types of this useful and tasty product. When we look at an apiary, it is possible to remember the person who devoted all the life to “winged toilers“ - Pyotr Ivanovich Prokopovich. Connect a new stage of development of beekeeping with his name as sciences as he invented the first frame beehive.

From time immemorial the bortnichestvo was important and honourable trade. Knowledge it was descended from the father to the son. Honey was important and expensive goods which were taken out for export. But in olden days to extract honey meant to destroy bees. The “wild“ beekeeping was succeeded bortevy and kolodny. But break in this sphere of economy was made only after a wide circulation of a frame beehive.

In youth, after Kiyevo`s termination - Mogilyansky Academy, Prokopovich enlisted. However at the age of 23 years, feeling a physical indisposition, it brought to an angry state the father the fact that resigned. Pyotr lodged in the village of Mitchenka of the Chernihiv province and began to go in for beekeeping. But its first steps in new occupation were followed by failures. In 1802 the fire almost completely destroyed its apiary, there was only one beehive. It was necessary to start all from scratch. Pyotr Ivanovich got down to business again, lived in a dugout, hard worked to provide the existence. And after a while affairs were adjusted.

Watching Prokopovich`s work, contemporaries often called him the wizard, and his work on an apiary - a charodeystvo. He was never interested in profit. Studying of life of bees and creation of new methods of work was a main goal of his life. He thought how to receive honey, without destroying at the same time bees. The beekeeper made many different experiments and said that his chief teacher - the nature.

He daily kept the diary where he wrote down the supervision. He wrote about bees so: “Laziness is not peculiar to them. Idleness for them is unnatural therefore the beekeeper has to give them full-time job“. It was counted that to collect one drop of honey, the bee has to fly about six thousand flowers. He noticed that bees have even special “language“ of communication. Usual as it seems to us, hum, has many sound shades.

Prokopovich directed the efforts to development of a beehive which cardinally would differ from previous in borty. He made the discovery on the night of January 1, 1814. The idea incidentally came to its mind that in a beehive it was necessary to use a frame. It gave the chance to keep life to winged toilers. He for the first time received pure comb honey within without pollen and a rasplod, having kept at the same time life of insects. About the invention he wrote to many editions. Soon about it is mute started talking also in St. Petersburg. The emperor Nikolay ² decided to visit Prokopovich`s manor and very much highly appreciated work of the beekeeper. After that the best honey was delivered to the imperial palace.

But, as they say, there is no prophet in the fatherland. As the invention was not patented, the western beekeepers, for example, Jan Dzherzhon (1838), Augustus von Berlepsch also applied for superiority (1852). The American beekeeper Langstrot patented the folding frame beehive in 1851.

Prokopovich never felt sorry for personal funds for development of beekeeping. Soon its apiary became the biggest in the world and contained about 10 thousand of pchyolosemy. But here threat came again. In several years began to construct the railroad Moscow-Kiev, and railway tracks had to pass through its village. The beekeeper wrote the letter to the emperor with a request to change the project because the railroad could affect an apiary badly. He specified in the letter that he will undertake all expenses connected with processing of the project. The request was granted, and the project is changed.

Usually great masters keep in secret the knowledge and developments, and Prokopovich spoke: “I will not conceal from you any knowledge“. It had an idea to create school of beekeeping, but on its realization there were no means. He wrote the application to the emperor Nikolay ² with a request to allocate money in exchange for honey and wax. The offer was favorable.

The school opened in 1828 became the Europe`s first school of beekeepers. Persons interested was so much that from home school it developed into big educational institution which existed 53 years. During this time several hundreds of qualified specialists left it. Anyone could study. To study there came pupils and from other countries - Georgia, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Germany.

... Now in the village of Mitchenka of the Chernihiv region reminds nothing of a huge former apiary. The schoolhouse was sorted on firewood, in the former house of the beekeeper there live new owners now. Sometimes to them there come Prokopovich`s descendants.

If to go by car on the route Moscow-Kiev, then near Baturina at once behind the village Fingers are the index to a grave of the bee-keeper Pyotr Ivanovich Prokopovich. Passable by, it is possible to remember the person who turned beekeeping from national trade into science. He created not only a frame beehive, but also modern rational system of beekeeping. Its developments became a basis for further development of this sphere of agriculture.