Roger Alfred Morse: Scholar, Expert on Bees
- Copyright 2000 Los Angeles Times
Sunday, May 28, 2000
Roger Alfred Morse, 72, who turned a childhood interest in beekeeping
into an encyclopedic knowledge that made him a highly regarded
apiculturist. An entomology professor at Cornell University for more
than 40 years, Morse was also a prolific author. His "The Complete
Guide to Beekeeping" is one of the definitive works on the subject.
He was born in Saugerties, N.Y. Morse's father, a superintendent of
schools, kept bees as a hobby and instilled an interest in his son,
who began keeping hives at age 10. Morse enrolled at Cornell
University after serving in the Army during and after World War II.
He received his bachelor's degree and doctorate from the school
before joining the faculty. He become chairman of the entomology
department in 1986. Morse also traveled extensively, often under the
sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, teaching
beekeepers in Africa, South America and the Philippines how to
improve their craft. In reporting his death, the New York Times noted
that Morse was not impervious to bee stings. His daughter Susan said
that four days before his death, Morse returned home sporting the
evidence of another encounter with a bee. "He died with a little bee
sting on his eye," she said. On May 12 at his home in Ithaca, N.Y.