I'm editing this to add that the publisher, Dover Publications rapidly responded to my query in regard to the manufacturing error explained below, and sent me a replacement copy. If I were able, I would increase my rating to 4 stars. It misses getting five because, while it contains much information that is both valuable and valid today, substantial portions of the text are devoted to convincing the skeptics of the 1850's.
To canvass the beekeeping territory, I picked up a few titles on bees, including Langstroth's Hive and the Honeybee, which appealed to both my desire to raise bees and my interest in American History.
I was quite surprised then to find that at page 160, Langstroth's exposition on artificial swarming ends in mid-sentence. The next 30 pages are devoted to the heros of Celtic mythology. Though I am of Scots and Irish descent, I knew next to nothing, of Celtic mythology beyond that cribbed by T.H. white. Thanks to a production error at Dover, I can now sustain 15 to 20 minutes of cocktail party banter about the Welsh name, Caledvwlch, of Arthur's sword, Escalibur, (from, mind you, the Latin Caliburnis) and the parallels with, if not blatant plagairism by, Malory, of the Cuchulainn stories, as the foundation stones of Arthurian legend were set in place.
Aside from this flaw however, Langstroth remains a powerful primer on the beekeeping art. One well worth reading in an age where organic methods hold promise in the effort to combat Chronic Collapse Disorder.
When Reverend Langstroth developed his methods of hive management, organic beekeeping was the only kind that existed. His discussions of the means and methods for combating the parasites and diseases that afflicted bees 150 years ago are as applicable today when it appears that commercial bee operations must radically change or perish, as they were before and after the civil war when chemical means for bee management simply did not exist.
Quaint in language, Langstroth nevertheless delivers, and while I purchase my hive equipment from a modern manufacturer, I am confident that armed with only Langstroth and the tools my great grandfather left me, I could build an equally good, and substantially similar hive.
As modern petroleum based agriculture begins to sway and collapse under the weight of genetically modified organisms, hydrocarbon based fertilizers and pesticides, leached out soil, antibiotic resistant strains of disease, subsurface compaction, and the erosion of topsoil, it is delightful to discover that the knowledge of largely preindustrial agrarians has been preserved. Their methods remain reasonably achievable today and demonstrate a possible pathway back to small scale, sustainable production methods largely free of the industrial accoutrement under which farmers stumble to remain profitable today.