This essay expands and refines academic knowledge of English beekeeping during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Scientific beekeeping focused on improvement, which, in turn, depended on the dissemination of ideas and practices. This analysis, therefore, encompasses the mentalities and tactics of popularizers. The article also identifies two neglected concepts in the popularization campaign. First, popularizers saw scientific beekeeping as a way to end the tradition of killing the bees in order to safely harvest. Second, they sought to promote a rural industry for the economic welfare of the nation. The case study of Exeter's Western Apiarian Society reveals precisely how popularization functioned in reality. The result is a more thorough history of scientific beekeeping and how the rhetoric of improvement related to the culture of practice.

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