Friday, May 25, 2012

What's the Buzz about Bees?

Honey Extractor used by "Honey" Johnson in the early Chilliwack Bee Keeping Industry. 

Day of the Honey Bee: May 29, 2012

They buzz about our gardens and fields, working their business, passing from one set of coloured petals to another. Steadily gathering, they harvest the goodness that becomes honey. I like watching them and enjoy their steady drone and attentive focus. They do a grand job and I am grateful to them for their initiative and company. We need those comb creators for pollination and with the recent threats to them I thought I would bring a bit of their local history to your attention. 

It was interesting that, while digging about on the Chilliwack Fruit Industry, I learned that at the same time there was a thriving local bee keeping industry. So far we have complied a list of early bee keepers working specifically in the Sardis area and have become aware that the bee keeping industry is not well represented in our object or archival collections.

For instance, although the Chilliwack Museum is fortunate to have a few pieces of bee related equipment we do not have any early examples of local honey tins. These cans could include custom made tins featuring graphics produced specifically for the firm or a standardized pattern with space for a local name stamp to be applied. We would be most grateful to learn about any Chilliwack honey tins that have survived and we thank you for any help you might be able to provide. As always it does not have to be really old to be of historic interest to us. (I would also mention, at the same time, we only have one early fruit manufacturer’s label from Storey Fruit Farms, Sardis, B.C.)

Turning to today, we have also learned that farmers lease bees from hive operators to ensure the pollination of their crops; cranberries are one example where bees perform their duties with determination. Apart from the production of honey, either creamed or liquid, the wax is also an important commercial part of the industry. In a recent conversation with a commercial bee keeper I believe he told me that the wax is used by the aviation industry. Eager to learn more I would enjoy hearing about other uses for bee related products or about local bee keeping history.

Please let us know what you might have lurking around representative of bees, their keepers and their work and remember that the Day of the Honey Bee is just around the corner.

The Day of the Honey Bee

Name of Day:
Day of the Honey Bee
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

WHEREAS the honey bee has, through its role as a pollinator, been an important part of our agricultural heritage since ancient times and

WHEREAS the honey bee plays an essential role in the success of agricultural enterprise in British Columbia and

WHEREAS the honey bee has been under serious threat due to disease and environmental conditions that ultimately threaten the future of agriculture in our province and

WHEREAS it is in the interest of furthering the goal of improved agricultural production to raise the awareness of the role of the honey bee and the plight it faces NOW KNOW YE THAT We do proclaim and declare May 29, 2012 as “The Day of the Honey Bee”.

From the British Columbia Honey Producers Association website:

1 comment:

  1. I like this page so nice because it gives great information regarding on custom made tins. So keep on posting!