Charles Butler

Charles Butler (1560-1647) was a British minister and influential beekeeper. After leaving Oxford with a Master of Arts in 1587, he eventually moved to a rural pasturage where he wrote The Feminine Monarchie, the first English-language book about beekeeping. Butler was the first to popularize the idea that the hive was governed by a queen-bee, not a king-bee, as Aristotle believed. The book also includes information about bee gardens, hive-making materials, swarm catching, the feeding of bees, and pollination. He also determined how to predict when bees might swarm, based on the pitch of their buzzing. In addition to his book, Butler was the first to record observations about the creation of beeswax. Due to his contributions to beekeeping, he is often known as “the Father of English Beekeeping.” Butler’s other books include a school textbook, a book on music theory, and a book that defends marriage between first cousins.