Petro Prokopovych

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Petro Prokopovych
Petro Prokopovych
Born
Петро Прокопович

1775
Mytchenky (Митченки), Russian Empire
Died1850
NationalityUkrainian
Known forFounder of commercial beekeeping

Petro Prokopovych (1775–1850, Ukrainian: Петро Прокопович) was a Ukrainian[1][2][3][4] beekeeper, the founder of commercial beekeeping and the inventor of the first movable frame hive.[5] He introduced novelties in traditional beekeeping that allowed great progress in the practice. Among his most important inventions was a hive frame in a separate honey chamber of his beehive. He also invented a crude queen excluder between brood and honey chambers.[6][7] Petro Prokopovych was also the first to ever model a 'bee beard' after deliminating and calculating 'bee swarm behaviour", inspiring imitators for generations.[8]

Biography[edit]

Prokopovych was born in Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire), in the village of Mytchenky [uk] near Baturyn on June 29th, 1775 into a clerical family of priests of Ukrainian Cossack descent[9]. Starting at the age of eleven, he studied at the Kiev-Mohyla Academy for eight years. After studies he committed to a military career. He resigned his commission in 1798, bearing officer rank, and enjoyed retirement at his brother's apiary. By 1808 Prokopovych had 580 beehives.[10]

Prokopovych studied the biology of bee colonies and strove to improve existing methods of beekeeping. His main intention was to develop methods that allowed the least disturbance and damage to bees. These efforts resulted in 1814 in the invention of the world's first frame hive, which allowed an easier honey harvest.[11][12]

Another invention was a wooden partition with apertures passable only by worker bees, now called a queen excluder. It made possible the harvest of pure honey from the frames. Prokopovych's inventions represented a landmark in the history of beekeeping and marked the beginning of commercial beekeeping. His scientific work resulted in more than sixty articles in printed media such as newspapers and magazines.

Prokopovych's revelatory discovery in apiculture of the world's first dismountable and portable frame hive allowed keepers to freely inspect the bee colonies and allowed keepers to remove honey without destroying the bees with smoke, which was an ineffective yet ubiquitous practice at the time[13].

Another passion of Prokopovych was teaching. He set up a beekeeping school that prepared more than 700 qualified beekeepers over its 53 years of existence. As a beekeeper, Prokopovych owned 6600 colonies and became wealthy.[14]

Prokopovych was buried in the village of Palchyky in the Bakhmach Raion of Chernihiv Oblast, where his beekeepers' school was located. A monument to Prokopovych stands there, and the Ukrainian Institute of Beekeeping is named after him.

In 2015 a 2 Hyrvni coin was crafted to commemorate his contribution to Ukrainian beekeeping and sustainable commercial agronomy.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graham, Joe. "American Bee Journal". American Bee Journal. 105. The man who was responsible for the introduction of comb honey to the markets of Europe was Petro Prokopovych , a Ukrainian beekeeper , teacher and scientist . He was born June 29 , 1775 , in the village Michenky in Ukraine .
  2. ^ Carroll, Thomas. Starting Beekeeping in Ireland - The No Nonsense Guide. ISBN 9781540128669. A Ukrainian man whom I had never heard of before called Petro Prokopovych (1775-1850) was a Ukrainian beekeeper who invented the movable frame in the early 1800's.
  3. ^ "Ukrainian Petro Prokopovych – founder of rational beekeeping".
  4. ^ "Fursov V.N. Out of the past. Petro Prokopovich remembered. Review of the Scientific Conference "Petro Prokopovich place in the world of beekeeping", January 26, 2013, Kyiv, Ukraine. – The Beekeepers Quarterly (Liverpool, UK). – 2013. – Vol. 111, March. – P.49-53. (in English)".
  5. ^ "2 Hryvni Petro Prokopovych".
  6. ^ Haydak, M.H. (1957) Petro Prokopovich – Ukrainian beekeeper, teacher and scientist. American Bee Journal 97(12): 474-475
  7. ^ Crane, E. (1999) The world history of beekeeping and honey hunting. Duckworth; London, UK.
  8. ^ Mingo, Jack. Bees Make the Best Pets: All the Buzz about Being Resilient, Collaborative, Industrious, Generous, and Sweet-Straight from the Hive. Conari Press.
  9. ^ Graham, Joe. "American Bee Journal". American Bee Journal. 105: 53.
  10. ^ Ясь О.В., Прокопович Петро Іванович , an article in the Encyclopedia of the History of Ukraine [uk]
  11. ^ Petro Prokopovych Beekeeping in Ukraine, accessed May 2011
  12. ^ 20 Facts on Beekeeping in Ukraine Archived 2011-08-11 at the Wayback Machine Apimondia 2013, accessed May 2011
  13. ^ "Ukrainian Petro Prokopovych – founder of rational beekeeping".
  14. ^ Biography of Petro Prokopovych
  15. ^ "2 Hryvni Petro Prokopovych".

Sources[edit]