By: Mark Worth
What was within the field? Businessmen regarded curiously on the giant picket container as they took their seats for the Akron Lions Membership assembly.
Quickly they have been buzzing with pleasure.
Greater than 75 members attended the luncheon 100 years in the past on the YWCA at 22 S. Excessive St., a web site occupied right now by the downtown parking deck for Akron-Summit County Public Library. Based a yr earlier below the precept of “unselfish service to others,” the Akron membership welcomed visitor audio system every week.
They might not quickly neglect the lecture of Nov. 15, 1921.
Inventor, creator and chemist Huber H. Root, 38, served as normal supervisor of the A.I. Root Co., which his father, Amos, had based in Medina in 1869. A nationwide knowledgeable on bees, H.H. Root had served as an editor and contributor to such publications as Gleanings in Bee Tradition, Alexander’s Writings on Sensible Bee Tradition and The ABC and XYZ of Bee Tradition.
He introduced lectures throughout the nation and spoke of honey bees with nice fervor.
“Bees weren’t created to make honey,” he advised audiences. “They have been created to cross-pollinate flowers. The honey making is merely a helpful facet business.
Bees don’t get honey from the flowers. What they get from the flower is a cane syrup. Via their our bodies, that is transformed into grape sugar in a mysterious little laboratory that no person understands.
When a bee is hungry it opens up a bit of valve from this laboratory into its abdomen. When its abdomen is full, it shuts off the valve.”
The Akron Lions listened to Root’s presentation with curiosity. They’d all however forgotten in regards to the picket container till Root motioned to it.
“Now, on this field, I’ve a beehive and a full swarm of bees,” Root stated. “They gained’t sting me, in fact. However I can’t say what they may do to you.”
Membership members laughed.
“You’re joking. Can’t be any bees in that field,” stated Dow Harter, founding president, U.S. commissioner and future U.S. congressman.
“We’ll see whether or not I’m joking,” Root stated as he undid the latch and lifted the lid.
An undulating mass of yellow and black teemed inside. As Root identified the combs laden with bugs and honey, about 40,000 bees have been turned free on the small meeting corridor. Pandemonium swept the room because the Lions ducked below tables and lined their heads with tablecloths and napkins.
“Consternation occurred among the many membership members because the hundreds of bees swarmed about them alighting of their hair, on their faces, palms and their clothes,” the Akron Night Instances reported.
“Some, who forgot the admonition of Mr. Root to not slap the bees, and tried to shoo them away, have been heard to cry out lustily. A couple of timid ones, who tried to make for the door when the bugs have been launched, have been deterred by the shouts of their brother members.”
The sound of Root’s muffled laughter reduce by means of the buzzing. When the Lions lastly dared to search for, they have been amazed to see that Root was lined in bees.
He fastidiously shook off the bugs, put them again within the hive and mounted the lid.
“A bee can’t sting until he sits down,” Root stated. “And my bees are all educated to face up.”
The Lions chuckled as they returned to their seats, amazed by the startling demonstration.
Whereas the Beacon Journal reported that no membership members had been stung, the Night Instances talked about a “few casualties,” however famous that there wouldn’t be “many downtown businessmen who will go residence to their wives this night nursing a swollen jaw, eye or one thing else.”
Explaining the interior workings of a hive, Root stated the bee colony “is the one actual social colony on the planet.”
“No one provides orders in a bee group,” Root stated. “There is no such thing as a division of labor. If a bee sees there may be work to be carried out, it goes and does it.”
Opposite to standard perception, he stated, the queen is just not the ruler of the colony however is subservient to the want of the employees who exert whole management.
The employees are usually not neuters however immature females, he stated, and queens are mature females. The queen’s job is to put eggs. If the employees need extra eggs, they feed the queen extra, Root stated. If the employees need fewer eggs, they feed her much less.
A queen will lay two and a half instances her weight in eggs each 24 hours, Root famous. She eats two and a half instances her weight day by day. And there can solely be one. Two queens will combat to the loss of life.
“The drones have been maligned an important deal for being lazy,” he stated. “That’s unjust. Nature has not geared up the drones with tongues and stings in order that they’ll work. When there may be loads of honey, the drones are tolerated. When the meals provide runs low, the drones are thrown out to starve.”
The Lions in all probability realized extra about bees that day than they ever anticipated. The incident made nationwide headlines.
Bee allergic reactions should not have been a typical concern 100 years in the past, as a result of Root pulled the identical stunt at lectures throughout Ohio. A number of months later, he gave a chat at West Excessive College in Akron.
“What kind of establishment do you suppose this may be if each particular person thought solely of bettering the highschool?” Root advised college students. “Suppose no person thought something of self-advancement. Suppose a faculty the place the group spirit was 100%.”
College students shouted and shrieked as Root opened the hive and let 40,000 bees free. He advised the kids to not panic.
“Bees don’t like nervous folks, however it’s exhausting to get them to sting in self-defense,” Root stated. “They reserve their stings for the protection of the hive.”
The bees returned to the field. No stings have been reported.
Root repeated the stunt that week at Central, North and South excessive colleges.
We dwell in a unique world than a century in the past. Attempt to think about college officers permitting such an indication right now.
H.H. Root went on to function president and chairman of the A.I. Root Co. Board. He launched rolled beeswax candles, which have been extra proof against warmth, and invented a glass-encased sanctuary gentle that saved wax from dripping in church buildings.
He additionally wrote the 1951 textbook Beeswax, Its Properties, Testing, Manufacturing and Functions.
Root was 88 years outdated when he died in 1972.
The A.I. Root Co. celebrated its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary in 2019. The fifth-generation, family-owned enterprise, which continues to name Medina residence, produces about 20 million candles a yr and touts its merchandise as “The Greatest Candles in America.”
The corporate has been producing a buzz since 1869.
However don’t fear: It now not releases 40,000 bees at public conferences.
Mark J. Worth could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.