Girl History Month – Dr. Eva Crane, Tireless Honey Bee Researcher

Photo of Eva Crane

Photo of Eva Crane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eva Crane (12 June 1912 – 6 September 2007) was a researcher and author on the subjects of bees and beekeeping. Trained as a quantum physicist, she changed her field of interest to bees, and spent decades researching bees, traveling to more than 60 countries, often under primitive conditions.

The New York Times reported that “Dr. Crane wrote some of the most important books on bees and apiculture” and noted “Her older sister, Elsie Widdowson, who never retired either, helped revolutionize the field of nutrition, showing similar energy chasing seals on ice floes to study their eating habits.”

Born as Ethel Eva Widdowson in London she earned a Ph.D in 1941 in nuclear physics. She became a lecturer in Physics at Sheffield University. She married James Crane, a stockbroker serving in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, in 1942. Her husband died in 1978.

Her interest in bees began when she and her husband received a beehive as a wedding present; the giver had hoped that it would help supplement their wartime sugar ration.

Crane wrote over 180 papers, articles, and books, many when she was in her 70s and 80s. Honey: A Comprehensive Survey (1975), in which she contributed several important chapters, and edited, came about because she told the publisher (Heinemann Press) that a book on the subject was sorely needed. Although now out of print, it remains the most significant review on the subject ever written.

A Book of Honey (1980) and The Archaeology of Beekeeping (1983) reflected her strong interests in nutrition and the ancient past of beekeeping.

Her writing culminated in two mighty, encyclopaedic tomes, Bees and Beekeeping: science, practice and world resources (1990; at 614 pages) and The World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting (1999; 682 pages). These distilled a lifetime’s knowledge and experience and are regarded as seminal textbooks throughout the beekeeping world.”.

She died at the age of 95 in Slough.

9 thoughts on “Girl History Month – Dr. Eva Crane, Tireless Honey Bee Researcher

  1. I have a signed book of Eva Crane’s ‘A book of honey’. my friend attended a talk of hers. So it was doubly interesting to read this.

  2. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat.Com™ and commented:
    Honey is downright delicious, especially Tupelo Honey, and honey has great medicinal uses. Thank you Ms. Deborah DeLong for the history lessons AND the delicious recipes using honey.

  3. Emily Heath says:

    Sigh – oh to be Eva Crane! I’d rather her life than that of a film star or model. What an inspirational lady.

  4. […] Girl History Month – Dr. Eva Crane, Tireless Honey Bee Researcher ( […]

  5. […] Girl History Month – Dr. Eva Crane, Tireless Honey Bee Researcher ( […]

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