Moving Bees at the turn of the Century

We’ve been studying C.C. Miller’s book Fifty Years Among the Bees and came across some photos of how people moved bees by hand or with horses. If there ever is some sort of apocalypse and we need to live without electricity and gasoline, beekeeping is still doable! The prepper in me thinks this awesome!
I wonder how fast those horses traveled with bees in the wagon behind them. Maybe there were sudden bursts of speed each time a horse got stung. . .

I love this one! This is a jumbo (or extra deep) box carried by two ladies in their long dresses with a rope. They were taking bees into the cellar for the winter. I kinda want one of those veils.


Now this guy is smart. I wonder how far he carried this box from the field to the kitchen. A mile? Two? A deep box can weigh 80 pounds full of honey. But this one is a jumbo or extra deep box. Maybe 100-120 pounds? That’s like carrying a full grown (short) woman. This rope helps distributes the weight.


If you have a horse and need to carry 40 supers, this may be the wagon for you. I think I’d rather carry supers than full hives of mad bees on the back of a horse.

Here are some Andersen family history photos from A Century of Service, a biography of Arthur Andersen, Stan’s grandpa.

This photo gem is from Stan’s  Grandpa, Arthur Andersen in Emery, Utah. Note the beekeeper near the bee shed and the net-covered cargo truck to the right.


The photo below is also from our family history from around 1935 in Emery, UT. These beekeepers were smart too. They would bring the wagon 50-100 yards from the bee yard, unhitch the horses, pull the wagon by hand closer to the beehives, load it, then pull it by hand back to the horses, and re-hitch the horses to pull it home.

Or else they would drive the horse and wagon to the bee yard before sunrise, unhitch the horses, move them 50-100 yards away, load the cart, etc. (BTW, bees don’t fly when it is dark or dreary.)

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