Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bee tree brands

Bees in the wild often nest in trees, and many cultures would make like Winnie the Pooh (but more successfully than the bear of little brain) and raid these hives to get the honey. So if you knew about a good nest, you were likely to want to either keep its location secret, or claim it for yourself. Individual marks on trees, like rancher’s brands, often resulted. These come from the Ukraine and were recorded in 1964. This image, and information, was cribbed from Eva Crane’s encyclopedic World History of Beekeeping and Honey Hunting. Crane, who died in 2007 in her mid-90s, was a world-renown authority on the history of beekeeping. After getting her PhD in nuclear physics in 1941 (!), she became interested in bees after receiving a hive as wedding gift, sugar being rationed in Britain during WWII. She directed the International Bee Research Association for many years. This endlessly fascinating book was given to me by a very sweet co-worker who I only know through the magic of the innernets. So here’s honey to you, R.R.

1 comment:

Laura said...

bee tree marking...fascinating. Like branding free ranging cattle, kinda. Love learning about our forebearers in the bee business. I'm an "upstate" novice beekeeper, enjoying your blog. Thanks.