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Link: • Johan Otto Hagström to Carl Linnaeus, 2 November 1766 n.s.
Dated 1766 d. 2 Nov.. Sent from LinkŲping (Sweden) to (). Written in Swedish.


Linnaeus is thanked for his letter of 31 October 1766 [this letter has not come down to us], Johan Otto HagströmHagström, Johan Otto
(1716-1792). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist. Linnaeusís 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.
saying that he can always find in Linnaeusís letters new remarkable information, such as the observation about fungi and vermes.

As suggested by Linnaeus, Hagström will acquire seed of buckwheat from the province of Skåne for his experiments. During the previous summer Carl Jesper BenzeliusBenzelius, Carl Jesper
(1714-1793). Swedish.
from Lund had told him that honey from buckwheat had a bad taste, with the result that Benzelius and others had abandoned the idea of growing buckwheat for their bees; Benzelius having 15-20 beehives annually. Hagstrom then continues to list plants that are of interest to bees and those that are not. Also mentioning the similar preferences of bumblebees. Hagström considers that there can be no greater joy for the bees to celebrate natureís own wedding in a flowering Salix caprea, where he has observed the diligence and work of the bees. Hagström says that he has some distance to the nearest Salix caprea, but that he goes there with pleasure, even walking five kilometres when necessary. As yet he had not seen Empetrum or Asclepias, the closest of the former being 20 km away and the latter 60 km. In the Calendarium florae eller Blomster-almanachLinnaeus, Carl Calendarium
florae eller Blomster-almanach [Ö] under
Carl Linnaei inseende utgifwit på
latin [...] och sedermera
förswänskat af Alexander Mal.
(Stockholm, [1756] 1757).
Soulsby no. 1906.
it says nothing of when Asclepias blossom. He can report that the bees extract both honey and wax from male Salix but is not sure whether the same applies to female Salix and Populus. The bees pump out the honey with their proboscis whereas the wax is obtained by the scraping of their feet. It is quicker to collect wax than honey. He discusses a passage by Nils Daniel AtterbomAtterbom, Nils Daniel
(1745-1825). Swedish. Vicar of
in Om skånska biskötselnTrozelius, Claes Blechert Om
skånska biskötseln, II
diss. Resp. N. D. Atterbom (Lund, 1766).
. Hagström continues to give examples of different bee characteristics when collecting honey or wax and the flowers visited. His home is just across the road from the churchyard in Linköping, which is infested with enormous amounts of wormwood this year. He was able to note that bees rarely visited wormwood, counting only 6 or 7 that only collected wax, whereas about 400 bees were working assiduously in the churchyard to collect both honey and wax from Antirrhinum linaria, that unfortunately had been suppressed by the wormwood this year.

Hagström lists more plant that bees like or do not like, and also discusses bee physiology, quoting PlinyPliny the Elder, Gaius (23-79).
?. Naturalist and natural philosopher.
Author of Historia naturalis (c.
77), the most important Roman text on

In conclusion, Hagström says that Abraham BäckBäck, Abraham (1713-1795).
Swedish. Physician, president of the
Collegium Medicum, Stockholm. Close
friend of Linnaeus. Correspondent of
wants him to translate Celsus, but he has declined as a Magnat scholar could do that for his scholarship. If Linnaeus could convince Bäck that Hagström has other important work to do, he would do him a great favour.

P.S. Echium and Serpillum donít grew where Hagström is living, but he has Verbascum in the autumn, which he has planted at the church-yard.


a. (LS, VI, 128-131). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 275-279   p.275  p.276  p.277  p.278  p.279.