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Honey was an important item for the early settlers of the mountains. It could be a food source, used as sweetener, or bartered in trade. Bees being close by also helped the pollination of the crops and fruit trees. The early Appalachian pioneers apiary consisted from hives mostly made from the black gum tree. Hence the name beegums, instead of hives…… These trees worked great because they were mostly holler when they were older. They would be cut to desired size, and then further hollowed out with a long chisel. Holes would be bored across from each other, usually four. Then sticks placed thru the holes to either side. This gave the honeycombs some stabilization. A hole would be cut near the bottom for the bees to enter. The top was leveled and a flat board placed on top. Then a slanted board for roofing to keep the rain out or a shed built over it. They would be set up on a platform off the ground……. Honeybees are thought to have been imported during the colonial period from England. The Native Americans seeing honeybees knew that more settlers were encroaching to their lands. They were in tuned with nature and noticed a difference immediately….. Besides the honey, the beeswax would also be used for candles and waterproofing……These beegums are located at the Mountain Farm Museum on the Cherokee side of the Great Smoky Mountains The finding and collection of bees is a whole other story

Tags

appalachian, smokies, country, forefathers, mountain, beehive, rural, keeping, fence, apiary, gum, oconaluftee, tree, history, shed, farm, museum, log, historic, homestead, historical, folk, bee, wooden, rustic, bees, primitive, picket, settlers, craftsman, frontier, pioneer, honeybee, hive, smokys, appalachia, suddath

Comments

  • Lisa G. Putman
    Lisa G. Putmanover 5 years ago

    Gorgeous tones! Lovely work with the fence dividing the scene into thirds. Love the composition. I love the wealth of information you’e included with this one. I must admit, I wondered what these were used for when I was there.

  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
    NatureGreeting...over 5 years ago

    How very interesting! Nice work, Gary!!

  • Gary L   Suddath
    Gary L Suddathover 5 years ago

    These could also be used for storage by placing a board on bottom and a hindged board on top

  • Susan Bergstrom
    Susan Bergstromover 5 years ago

    Awesome and informative as usual!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • amarica
    amaricaover 5 years ago

    Very interesting…great shot Gary!

  • WatscapePhoto
    WatscapePhotoover 5 years ago

    Great shot Gary. Great bit of folk history too

  • photosbylefty
    photosbyleftyover 5 years ago

    wonderful series Gary, love the b/, with a hint of sepia

  • Sherri Hamilton
    Sherri Hamiltonover 5 years ago

    Wow beautiful capture of the beegums, honey was a very important staple back in the day.

  • Mar Silva
    Mar Silvaover 5 years ago

    Perfectly captured: The mood, time, and what was “Real”

  • Antanas
    Antanasover 5 years ago

    Beautiful shot

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