Beegums

Gary L   Suddath

Joined August 2007

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Artist's Description

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

Artwork Comments

  • Lisa G. Putman
  • NatureGreeting Cards ©ccwri
  • Gary L   Suddath
  • Susan  Bergstrom
  • amarica
  • WatscapePhoto
  • photosbylefty
  • Sherri Hamilton
  • Mar Silva
  • Antanas
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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