&   SEARCH
David A. Cushman logo

A name associated with swarm control

The name "Pagden" is associated with the "Pagden Method" of swarm control, which is used to describe the more modern "Artificial Swarm". The original method was the treatment of a colony after it had swarmed, not before, so somewhat different from what we know today.

J.W. Pagden (James) was a beekeeping equipment manufacturer and supplier, who operated from his home at Alfriston in Sussex, a village near Eastbourne. He was the author of a little booklet "£70 a year - How I make it by my bees", that was around 36 pages, first published in 1868 and ran to 19 editions, latterly edited by his widow Emma Pagden following his death in 1872.

Pagden seems to have started beekeeping around 1830 as a skeppist. He was clearly an authority and well respected, as I have found a number of references to him and his booklet in writings of the time.

There was a "J.W. Pagden" (James William) who was born in Sevington, Surrey, in 1814 and died on 28th December 1872 at Alfriston. He played two games of first class cricket, the first starting on 10th August 1835, the second starting on 14th June 1858. Both matches were between Sussex and Marylebone Cricket Club, some 23 years apart! Strangely, Pagden played the first match for MCC, the second for Sussex! In four innings he scored one run and was out 3 times. It is recorded that Pagden played in a number of matches for several teams between 1830 and 1868, including the "Gentlemen of Sussex", suggesting that he was quite wealthy. In many matches he batted fairly high in the order and he was a bowler too. In at least one match he opened both batting and bowling. To date I have no evidence the two "J. W. Pagden's" were the same person, but they both lived in the same village and died in the same year. More research is needed by someone.

In compiling the above I have consulted an article by Karl Showler that was published in BeeCraft and online information that I believe to be accurate.

Roger Patterson.