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Link: • Johan Otto Hagström to Carl Linnaeus, 16 October 1766 n.s.
Dated 1766 d. 16 Octobr.. Sent from Linköping (Sweden) to (). Written in Swedish.


Johan Otto HagströmHagström, Johan Otto
(1716-1792). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist. Linnaeus’s student. Linnaeus
wrote the introduction to his Pan
(1768), on bee-pollinated
flowers. He was one of the tutors of
Carl Linnaeus the Younger. Correspondent
of Linnaeus.
thanks Linnaeus for the letter of 27 September 1766 [this letter has not come down to us]. He has decided to write a little treatise about the bee [Hagström refers to his forthcoming Pan apumHagström, Johan Otto Pan
apum, eller afhandling om de örter,
af hvilka bien hälst draga deras
honung och vax; ingifven til K.
Vetenskaps academien, såsom svar
på dess fråga,
(Stockholm, 1768)
]. Next summer he is planning to visit places where Linnaea borealis and Rubus chamaemorus grow in order to ascertain whether they are of benefit to bees. He is earnestly hoping for the best on account of the distance to the former being 60-70 km, and the closest cloudberry bog is 40 km away. Hagström sends Linnaeus his observations during the past summer for scrutiny, including a 6 dalers note to cover postage. He hopes that Linnaeus at evening might quickly glance through these observations .

Hagström continues with his descriptions of the behaviour of bees and how they are attracted by certain flowers and not by others. He is convinced that when a bee has been deputised to collect wax it will do nothing else until give other orders. He tells Linnaeus that he has conducted several experiments into this and is confident in his conclusions.

From his journal, Hagström can see that he had been fairly correct in finding the correct names for plants despite the fact that young botanist Matthias Jonas Wallberg Wallberg, Matthias Jonas
(1737-1808). Swedish. Surveyor in the
county of Östergötland.
Student of Linnaeus in 1754.
attempts to convince him that Carex nigra verna should now be muricata and not acuta. Hagström confesses that he nowadays is timid by nature and therefore needs yet another summer to continue with his observations before publishing his findings. Hagström asks Linnaeus for the trivial names of Aconitum and Arbutus, which are sought after by bees. p}He also tells Linnaeus that last year he finally could afford to buy Flora Lapponica Linnaeus, Carl Flora
Lapponica exhibens plantas per Lapponiam
crescentes, secundum systema sexuale
collectas in itinere [...] Additis
synonymis, & locis natalibus omnium,
descriptionibus & figuris rariorum,
viribus medicatis & oeconomicis
(Amsterdam, 1737).
Soulsby no. 279.
saying that it was splendid, as well as being pleasant to read. He also says that if any impecunious person should visit the university who is interested in natural history he would be pleased to buy Philosophia botanicaLinnaeus, Carl Philosophia
botanica, in qua explicantur fundamenta
botanica cum definitionibus partium,
(Stockholm 1751). Soulsby no.
for him, as this treatise is the foremost key to terminus artis, etc.

P.S. Bees spend little time, only a few days, on summer flowers, giving several examples of species. Wormwood had driven out Ant. Linarium this year from the churchyard, but Linaria was much better for bees than Absinthium. In closing, Hagström asks for some annual seeds such as Artemisia annua and Monarda punctata to try on his own bees next summer.


a. (LS, VI, 126-127). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 273-275   p.273  p.274  p.275.