What Huber discovered and wrote about here, laid the ground work for all the practical knowledge we have of bees today. His discoveries were so revolutionary, that beekeeping can be divided in two eras very easily as pre-Huber and post-Huber. This edition of Huber's Observations by far surpasses any other edition ever printed in the English language. First it has both Volume I and II, while every English edition currently in print that I am aware of is only Volume I of the 1809 edition. which is only a third of the final Huber book. The second volume was published in 1814 in French 5 years after that 1809 edition and contains Huber's research on the origin of wax, the construction of comb, the ventilation of the hive and much more. Second, it is the best English translation from the original French and the only one I know of that has both volumes. C.P. Dadant, was uniquely qualified to do the translation. Dadant was born in France and French was his first language, yet he spent most of his life beekeeping; and writing and editing beekeeping articles and books in America in English. Third, all of the English editions currently in print have only 2 plates (if any).
Only the previous Dadant edition (1926) had all 14 of the original plates but unfortunately they were only halftones of some old yellow copies and are not very readable. This edition has new scans from a very good condition edition of the original 1814 French of both Volumes of Nouvelles Observations Sur Les Abeilles so these are clearer than any previous edition other than the original 1814 French edition. An additional engraving of Huber's work from Cheshire's book, plus an engraving of Francis Huber from the Dadant edition have been included. In addition, 7 more photos of a museum quality reproduction of Huber's Leaf hive have also been included. All figures have been split out and enlarged and put in the text where they are referred to. Photos of the original plates are included at the back for historic and artistic purposes. Fourth, to put this book in context I have included a memoir of Huber by Professor De Candolle, a friend of Huber. This gives a bit of background on Huber's life. Fifth, the only other edition to come close to this, the 1926 edition by Dadant, was in very small print. This one is 12 point and a typeface that appears to be larger and is very readable.
"I will not enumerate all that apiarian science owes to Huber; to state what it does not owe were the briefer task. His "New Observation on Bees," of which the first volume was written in 1789, in the form of letters to Charles Bonnet, the second not appearing till twenty years later, have remained the unfailing, abun-dant treasure into which every subsequent writer has dipped. And though a few mistakes may be found therein, a few incomplete truths; though since his time considerable additions have been made to the micrography and practical culture of bees, the han-dling of queens, etc., there is not a single one of his principal statements that has been disproved, or discovered in error; and in our actual experience they stand untouched, and indeed at its very foundation."-- Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee