Who Was Eva Crane? Quick Facts
Eva Crane was a prolific author and researcher who dedicated much of her life to studying apiculture. She wrote over 300 papers, books, and articles over her lifetime.
Crane founded the Bee Research Association, now named International Bee Research Association. She was also instrumental in transforming Bee World into a widely-read international publication.
|Name||Eva Crane (née Widdowson)|
|Place of Birth||Dulwich, London|
|Occupation||Beekeeper, entomologist, author|
|Notable Beekeeping Achievements||Founded the Bee Research Association. Authored Bees and Beekeeping: science, practice and world resources (1990) and The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting (1999)|
Early life and education
Eva Crane was born in 1912 in Dulwich, England. She grew up in a household with parents, Harry and Rose, and an older sister Elsie. Her sister gained notoriety as a nutritionist in the 1900s.
Eva attended Sydenham County Grammar School for Girls along with her sister. The two were academic students, winning numerous awards and scholarships.
Crane studied mathematics at the University of London. It was a male-dominated faculty, with only one other woman in her year. She excelled in her field and completed the degree in just two years before attaining a Masters in Quantum Mechanics.
In 1941, Crane earned a Ph.D. in nuclear physics.
Why did Eva Crane begin studying bees?
Eva Crane received a hive as a wedding present in 1942 during World War II. The gift-giver hoped it would provide a helpful sugar substitute during wartime rationing.
The hive sparked an interest that would become a lifelong passion. Her scientific mind became obsessed with understanding how bees worked, a lot like François Huber or Jan Dzierżon.
Eva Crane: Important contributions
Eva Crane dedicated her life to researching bees in over 60 countries. She is considered one of the best writers on the topic of melittology. Some of her work includes:
- Honey: A Comprehensive Survey (1975) – contributed several chapters.
- A Book of Honey (1980)
- The Archaeology of Beekeeping (1983).
- Bees and Beekeeping: science, practice and world resources (1990)
- The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting (1999)
In addition to Crane’s tireless research, she was also the secretary of the British Beekeepers Association.
Eva founded the Bee Research Association in 1949, which became the International Bee Research Association in 1976.
Crane worked within Bee World, a small journal that Ahmad Zaki Abu Shadi started in 1919. With the help of Eva, the publication grew into a large, much-respected science magazine.
Related reading: Another bee researcher working around the same timeframe as Eva was Karl Von Frisch. If you want to go back earlier, read about the life of Petro Prokopovych.
Summary of Eva Crane’s work
Below is a selection of contributions by Eva Crane, which we have summarized for easy reading.
Eva Crane died in Slough, U.K., at the age of 95. The spirit of her research continues through the Evan Crane Trust, formed in 2002.
It was put in place to “advance the understanding of bees and beekeeping by the collection, collation, and dissemination of science and research worldwide as well as to record and propagate a further understanding of beekeeping practices through historical and contemporary discoveries.”
If you enjoyed this article, also learn more about the contributions of Quinby, Brother Adam, or L.L. Langstroth.