Beekeeping

Uncle Scott and his Beehives

While beekeeping in the United States and abroad dates back thousands of years, it hasn’t always been the organized hobby that it is today. Individuals would go to any lengths necessary, stings and all, to collect honey. Some would cut down trees that held the bees’ nests, hunt around in caves, or later use the smoke from torches to drive the bees’ away from their nests.

Individuals discovered that they could influence bees to create their hives in manmade objects known as skeps. Skeps have a rounded top and are made out of woven straw, twisted sticks, mud, and in some cases dung to help keep moisture out. To harvest skeps, the bees were killed and the honeycomb was crushed to extract the wax and honey. In the spring any surviving bees were placed in the empty containers and the process would begin all over again. 

However, overtime beekeepers worked on developing an improved, nondestructive way to harvest the honey. It took much trial and error, but eventually beekeepers came up with a system of boxes with a removable comb and lid. Each comb is surrounded by a wooden frame, is separate from the sides and bottom of each box, and therefore is easy to lift in and out. This method of beekeeping is still being used today. 

Beekeeping