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Link: • Johan Otto Hagström to Carl Linnaeus, 26 May 1767 n.s.
Dated 1767 d. 26 Maji.. 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 seeds that had recently arrived.

Hagström had planted the seeds immediately. They had now been moistened by rain for three days, which should suffice if the sun were to return. Hagström has been observing Empetrum in bloom, where he saw that the bees were carrying “ponso”-red balls that they had collected from this shrub. This caused Hagström some concern as when the bees returned home they were carrying blood-red balls and Hagström had never seen them at any flower on the ground because the weather had been cold and windy and no wild or domesticated Swedish flower had red pollen in early May. As far as Hagström knows, Empetrum nigrum has pollen that is purple in colour. Geranium cicutarium is the only Swedish flower from which bees have previously collected dark-red wax balls, also of the same colour as these wax balls were. Hagström admits that he might have been mistaken in believing that the purple-red balls were collected from Empetrum. All spring flowers were 14 days later this year on account of the cold.

An elderly beekeeper, aged about 70, tried to persuade Hagström that bees collected their whitish wax balls from fresh resin on pines and spruces. Hagström doubted this, but nonetheless visited the man’s spruce forest from which the bees came loaded with globulis albidis. In fact, writes Hagström, the bees collected these globulos albidos from Anemone nemorosa that flowered profusely beneath the trees.

Hagström has learnt the lesson that he should never make a note of anything that he has not himself observed. In concluding, he begs Linnaeus to prepare a dissertation dealing with mould and its causes in order to improve the management of beehives. He wishes that Johan Gustaf WahlbomWahlbom, Johan Gustaf
(1724-1808). Swedish. Physician and
naturalist. Studied at Uppsala under
Linnaeus, anatomy, surgery and
obstretics at Wittenberg. Provincial
physician at Kalmar. Correspondent of
becomes the professorship.

P.S. If Wahlbom and Torbern BergmanBergman, Torbern (1735-1784).
Swedish. Professor of chemistry,
metallurgy and pharmacy at Uppsala.
Linnaeus’s student. Correspondent of
will be professors, science will prosper. Sofar, Hagström has not yet received vol. II of the Systema naturae, 12th edition Linnaeus, Carl Systema
, 12th edition (Stockholm
1766-1768). Soulsby no. 62.


a. (LS, VI, 132-133). [1] [2] [3]


1. Bref och skrifvelser (1912), vol. I:6, p. 279-280   p.279  p.280.