©Wellcome Library, London

Francesco Stelluti's views of the honey-bee, published in his book, Descrizzione dell'Ape (Description of the bee) are the earliest known published studies made with the aid of a microscope. It was 1661 before the first published work in England appeared, written by the physician Henry Powell (1623-1668). He also wrote a poem, 'In Comendation of ye Microscope', in which he marvelled at the hitherto unseen elements of the natural world:

‘For what a better, fitter, gift Could bee in this world's Aged Luciosity. To Helpe our Blindnesse so as to devize a paire of new & Artificiall eyes. By whose augmenting power wee now see more than all the world has ever donn Before.

Source: Francesco Stelluti. Pensio Tradotto in verso Sciolto e Dichiarato. G Mascardi, Rome 1630.