Beekeeping is no new craft, for up to a comparatively short time ago sugar was unknown, honey was the only sweetening agent that was used. Even in the very early ages honey was recognized as being one of the most wholesome foods of mankind, and many years before, Christ we read of “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
There are very few people to-day who say that they do not like honey, yet there are tons of nectar wasted in this country every year just from lack of bees to gather it and make it into honey, and what is even more surprising, we import tons of honey from all parts of the world, Which compares most unfavourably in flavour and quality with our own.
There is no country on the face of the globe that can produce better honey than the British Isles.
Up to a short time ago bees were kept only in straw skeps, and picturesque as these may be in an old-world garden, as beekeepers we have to glad to see them fast disappearing. Of course they have there uses in swarm collection.
Their use meant that every year a number of bee colonies were suffocated with sulphur fumes, so that the honeycombs could be removed. This was not only a brutal practice but was far from hygienic, for the consumer ate combs, honey, eggs, pollen, propolis and grubs, which were all pulped together.
Now we have the movable comb hive, which not only simplifies beekeeping considerably, but enables the honey to be removed without destroying any bees at all, and by their use the beekeeper is able to ascertain the exact condition of the colony as regards stores, health, etc.
We also have extractors and many other useful appliances which assist us In getting the most out of our bees