The History of Wicwas Press

The company that eventually evolved into Wicwas Press LLC first sold audio-visual programs in 1976 at the American Beekeeping Federation’s Philadelphia, PA meeting. At the time, the budding company was called the Beekeeping Education Service, and was a continuation of educational programs developed while Dr. Lawrence Connor was on the faculty at The Ohio State University. Meanwhile, in 1978 Roger and Mary Lou Morse created a publishing company called Wicwas Press, based on Lake Wicwas, the lake where Mary Lou grew up in New Hampshire. Wicwas Press published several of Roger’s books he had written himself, as well as books of poetry by his father, Grant D. Morse.

In 1989, Wicwas Press was purchased by Dr. Lawrence J. Connor who later organized it into an LLC in Connecticut. Now published out of Kalamazoo, MI, Wicwas Press’s titles include numerous acclaimed works by contemporary authors and bee experts, as well as reprints of significant historical beekeeping books and fiction. The company is family owned, with the help of Andrew Connor and his wife Darcy helping with book sales and day-to day operations. The business is supported by others, who help with the editing, website management and daily activities.

Andrew and Darcy Connor

Andrew and Darcy Connor are an integral part of Wicwas’s team, often representing the family-owned publishing company at beekeeping meetings across the country. Son of Lawrence J. Connor, Andrew is also a beekeeper who has been known to sell some of his own honey when asked. Check out BeeCabulary Essentials for Andrew’s first published book on both basic and advanced beekeeping terms.

Lawrence John Connor

Larry Connor was born in Kalamzoo and graduated from Richland High School in 1963. He earned three degrees in entomology from Michigan State University and was hired as Extension Entomologist in Apiculture at The Ohio State University in 1972. In 1976 he was hired by Chuck Dadant of Dadant and Sons to run a new bee breeding program located in Labelle, Florida. Called Genetic Systems, Inc. this firm had two missions: to produce breeder queens for the Starline and Midnite hybrid bee programs (established by Dr. G.H. “Bud” Cale, Jr), and to mass produce instrumentally inseminated three-line hybrid bees called the Cale 876 Hybrid.

Connor left Florida in late 1980 to live in Cheshire and New Haven, Connecticut. In 2007, due to pressure of travel, he relocated to Kalamazoo and continues to write books and publish for Wicwas Press as well as serve as a monthly columnist for Bee Culture Magazine and the American Bee Journal.

In huge demand on the beekeeping speaking circuit, Connor travels widely to share his beekeeping knowledge at beekeeper meetings. He also conducts workshops on queen rearing and bee breeding, honey bee microscopy and related topics. Since childhood, Connor has had a strong interest in photography. He continues to expand his collection of images of bees, beekeepers and bee flora.

Dr. Connor receives a Lifetime Achievement Award.