Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bee Boxes Next to House in Wisconsin 1874

Apiary of Elias Fox, Union Center, Wisconsin.
Photo from the book, "Gleanings in bee culture" (1874)
Publisher: [Medina, Ohio, A. I. Root Co.]
Contributing Library: UMass Amherst Libraries.


The illustration shows a cheap way of packing bees. The colony house is used insummer for chickens, and makes a fine placefor bees in winter. This one house holds12 eight-frame hives, six facing east and six west, with four inches of kiln-dried planer-shavings packed around them. The cover of each hive is taken off, and a tray Avith a burlap bottom over a two-inch bridge across the frames put on instead. The tray is filled with shavings, and then a tar-felt cap put over; so if the weather should prove bad when I take the hives out they will still be well protected against cold spring rains. 

These were all given a good feed of sugar syrup with two parts of sugar and one part of water, and all just brought to a boil on the stove. There has been brood-rearing going on all winter here, and my bees that I have packed away in this colony house are stronger now with bees than last December, when I packed them. I got from two to four supers of comb honey per colony, selling at $4.20 for 24 sections without crates and $40.00 worth of extracted honey. I had ten colonies last spring, and five of them were very weak. 

Under separate cover I am sending a photo of my home here, showing a portion of my apiary. Only little over half the yard shows. I could not get it all in on account of the fence at the lower side. Neither could I show the honey-house, which stands at the right, just out of sight, in front of me. 


  1. it's hard to envision what the text is refering to...doesnt seem like it's pictured...

  2. I wish there was a picture of the interior of the "colony house" described. Sounds fascinating!