If you’re into beekeeping you likely know the name Amos Ives
Root- the Ohio-born author and pioneering apiculturist who wrote “The ABC of
Bee Culture” in 1879. The book in still in circulation today (although now
titled “The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture: An Encyclopedia of Beekeeping”) in its
41st edition and is affectionately nicknamed “The Beekeeper’s Bible”
among bee-enthusiasts. “ABC” covers everything in regard to honey-bee rearing:
from building hives to honey-harvesting, beekeeping implements, pollinator-friendly
plants, biographies of noted beekeepers, and how to deal with pesky bears. A
true A to Z of beekeeping!
As the story goes, Amos Root’s journey into beekeeping began
on a warm August day in 1865 as a swarm of bees passed over Root’s worksite. An
employee of his, recalling that Root had previously mentioned a desire to keep bees,
offered to catch the swarm for him. Root was soon to discover that beekeeping
is not an easy task, as his first swarm of bees was to fly off and abandon him.
But he was not quick to give up! After much trial and error Root had his first
successful hive, and four years later, in 1869, he decided to spread his
passion for bees and founded the A.I. Root Company, producers of quality beehive
and beekeeping equipment. He later went on to establish the publication
“Gleanings in Bee Culture” and wrote his renowned book “The ABC of Bee Culture”.
Impressively, all of Root’s accomplishments are still alive in some form. His
beekeeping company would later switch to candle manufacturing, but Root Candles
is still in business today and is run by Root’s great-great grandson (and
produces some fine beeswax candles of course!). “Gleanings in Bee Culture” is today produced in magazine and online format and now known as “Bee Culture:
The Magazine of American Beekeeping”. Last, but not least, of course the
beekeeper’s bible “The ABC of Bee Culture”, while updated, is still a go-to for
the modern beekeeper.
It was the efforts of early pioneers and inventors like Amos
Root that laid the foundation for the modern beekeeping industry. Much has changed
since Amos Roth’s time, but while the pollinators we rely on to produce over
75% of our food crop are in crisis and declining rapidly, we will need to
summon that same gusto and tenacity as the early apiculture pioneers to help
ensure their recovery and future health. Apiculturists like Amos Ives Root seemed
to truly recognize the beauty of our pollinators and their supreme importance
to all life. That isn’t a lesson we should be quick to forget!
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of STEP (Stevens Technical Enrichment Program) at Stevens Institute of Technology. The STEP program was implemented by former Stevens President, Jess Davis, to address the underrepresentation of minorities and lower-income students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). An article announcing the STEP program in the Summer 1968 issue of the Stevens Indicator describes the two main purposes of this new program: “First, to stimulate interest in various areas of study with the hope of creating a desire for higher education, especially in the field of science and engineering. Second, to improve the students’ skills in English and Mathematics to enable them to take advantage of the higher education opportunities available to them.”
The STEP program recruits students from high schools in the Hoboken, Jersey City, and NYC area. It’s a pre-college program with students taking summer courses in STEM fields to increase their opportunities and interest in science fields that are not always considered an option by students from underrepresented minority groups.
The first summer of STEP was in June 1968 which was written about in the New York Times on June 30, 1968. That first summer had recruited 32 students from nearby high schools who were recommended for their strong aptitude in math and science. One student named Trevor from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx was quoted as saying “It seems like a lot of fun so far.” He then added that he always got good grades in math, “but I know it’s going to be a lot more work than fun.”
Many students like Trevor were given more exposure to science and engineering fields during high school through the STEP program at Stevens. Not all STEP students ended up in STEM fields, but the students that did go on to study at Stevens boasted of one of the highest graduation rates. Back in the spring of 2008 when the program was celebrating their 40th anniversary the Stevens Indicator stated that “STEP students, in fact, have a slightly higher graduation rate, at 76 percent, than the Stevens’ overall 75 percent graduation rate.”
The STEP program has been a great success at Stevens and continues to reach a wider population of underrepresented student populations in the nearby area. The STEP program has helped play a big part in our increased diversity which plays an essential role in the campus culture and has also helped students build confidence and motivation in demanding STEM fields.
Best of Both Worlds: The Artistic Side of New Orleans on Paper
Founded in 1968, The New Orleans Review is a contemporary culture and literature
journal by the Department of English at Loyola University New Orleans that publishes the work of established and emerging artists.