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My 88 year old father-in-law kept bees for 24 years quitting in 1975 after "weevils" got in his hives. I remember his hives from when I started dating his daughter but wasn't interested in beekeeping at that time.

He never bought a package or any pre-made hive component. He found all his bees by cutting bee trees in the mountains of the Bankhead Forest.

Of his 7 hives only 2 deeps remain. He has been very interested in my entry into beekeeping and how my hives are made. He told me today I could have his old "boxes" if I thought I could use them. Here's the pictures I took after I got them home.

Photo 1 & 3 shows the box in comparison to a deep frame of foundation. Photo 2 shows the entrance. The slotted plywood was used to separate the "place the bees lived" from "where the bees put the honey." He said the bees would "build the comb they lived in between the slots cut in the plywood." Slots shown in photo 4 as well. Photo 5 shows the slot size in comparison with a piece of my plastic foundation. Photo 6 shows the two "boxes" and the way he "kept the bees inside while we moved them back to the house" meaning after cutting a bee tree and "drumming" the bees inside the "box."

The honey supers are long gone but were 1 x 4 inch boards made to fit directly over the box shown. He said the bees would almost fill the "super" up and he would "run a butcher knife under the super all the way around and lift it off and put on another one that was empty."

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real sweet to see the changes like this, gives you a real feel for how they did things back then:thumbsup:
 

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That's an interresting queen excluder/top bars...

I wonder if it meets the legal definition of "movable frames".
 

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Those are sweeet!! Put you a swarm in one of them for your F-I-L, it will warm his heart to no end. Better yet find a bee tree and just put him in charge of the project :wink: you can do all of the dirty work.

Keep them safe and for the grand kids, never know when one of them will take up bee wrangling.
 

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Very nice.

I know my German beek friend uses a guitar wire when opening his hives to cut the supers apart , has a handle both sides like a garrot ( for the military guys who did unarmed)

I would definitely fix one up for display. Imagine in 30 years when one of your grandkids gets your bee stuff and this is amongst it. :smile:
 

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You should talk him into showing you how to drum.I have talked to old guys who have described it ,but I have never actually tried it or seen it done.
 

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Rather than having him show you how to "drum," could you video and sound record him doing it (or get someone to)? Also, you should think about what you would like to ask him and video an oral history interview about his beekeeping experiences (and any other topics you would want to preserve).

As a young teenager interested in history, and older cousin (and history teacher) told me that no one knew what the "rebel yell" from the American Civil War sounded like. Imagine my delight decades later when I saw a sound newsreel of one of the last reunions at Gettysburg. As the elderly Confederate and Union veterans reached across the wall to shake hands at the high water mark, you could hear one of the Confederate veterans whooping, and another turned to the camera and exclaimed, "That's the rebel yell!"

Preserve that history if you can.
 

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fascinating wood ware pictures. thanks for sharing the pictures and the stories.

one might suspect that with buying nothing that any stock of the day got inbreed quite quickly. this then lead to bees with mean personalities and often they also died in mass to one pathogen or pest.
 

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Nice to see behives of yester year and how they had the bees, would think if ours today were even as good.

kebee
 
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