Article posted on January 29, 2020

Science history: Eva Crane, the ultimate beekeeper


From Cosmos Magazine:

When nuclear physicist Ethel Eva Widdowson married James Alfred Crane, a stockbroker then serving in Britain’s Royal Navy, in 1942, their wedding gifts included a hive and bees.

The tale is recounted in a 2016 article, “The secret life of bees: the life and work of Eva Crane”, published by Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The article provides evidence that Eva Crane, as she became known, had already taken up beekeeping, but the gift was nonetheless prophetic, as she went on to become one of the greatest writers on bees and beekeeping in the 20th century.

Born in London on 12 June 1912, she attended Sydenham School then King’s College London, where she was one of only two women studying mathematics. She finished her degree in two years, completed a master’s in quantum mechanics, then in 1938 earned a doctorate in nuclear physics.

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