Eva Crane: A Hero We Hadn’t Met Yet

“this curious passion for a small insect can transcend barriers of politics, race and language, and bring strangers together as friends” -Eva Crane

There is something specially tragic or seemingly unjust in learning of a life only in the wake of its ending. For all our forays into the ever expanding and sadly now endangered world of apiologyy we had not yet come across the kind and encompassing intellect of one Eva Crane. Crane was a veritable Laura-Croft-Super-Hero of bees, traveling, sometimes by dog sled, around the world studying, documenting and cultivating bees and their culture. With a background in quantum mechanics and a PhD in nuclear physics it was not until receiving a wedding present in 1941 that she turned her laboriously inquisitive eye toward our honey-baring friends. The present given to her and her husband, a stock-broker enlisted in the Volunteer Royal Navy Reserve, was a beehive meant to provide the wartime couple some extra sweetness to meager sugar rations. A similar path maybe to that of Julia Child, CIA “secretary” turned gourmet chef extraordinaire. Years later Crane would go on to walk the world publishing books, saving bees, literally with her work and establishing trusts and foundations. In the 1960s she started the International Bee Research Association and the Eva Trust Fund, which still today raises money for apiary and honeybee awareness. It feels like sad day to celebrate a life well lived but sometimes it is all we can do. For a proper obituary check The Independent.

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