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Baudoux’s Work Misunderstood

The Bee World – December, 1935 – Page 138

PRESS MIRROR.

Writing in L’Apiculture Francaise for October, Dubois de Szczawinski maintains that Baudoux’s work has been misunderstood. It was not the large cell in itself for which he was working, but the selection of a better bee. The writer collaborated with Baudoux for years and speaks with authority on his aims and methods.

We have a great respect for the work of the late M. Baudoux, who was a most careful and painstaking experimentor; but we cannot agree that the judgment of the apicultural world on his work is mistaken. It is easy to understand that anyone reared, as he undoubtedly was in the tradition of Lamarck should believe that it is possible to improve the bee permanently by giving her the chance to grow larger in each succeeding generation. To a Darwinian or a Mendelian, however, this is very uncertain doctrine; and the bees themselves appear to confirm this criticism, since they tend to retrogress in the size of cells they build when let alone. It is possible that, as has so often happened in the history of science and technical progress, as well as in other departments of human activity, the end at which Baudoux was aiming is not the one for which his name will – most deservedly ­ be remembered by future generations of beekeepers. Baudoux’s intention may have been misunderstood by those who lay stress on the phaenotypic enlargement of bees by the use of large-celled foundation-but it is probable that his real contribution to apiculture has not been misunderstood.