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Thread: Stewarton Hive

  1. #11


    Hi Eric - I think there are no opinions because so few people are interested in the Stewarton which is sad because I believe it was very influential in the development of beekeeping and hives in the UK - it is unfortunate that I can find nothing written about the Stewarton until around the 1870s, 50 years after Kerr had perfected his hive and manipulations in 1819. From the recent working of a Stewarton it has been shown that the bees in Stewartons do swarm. Could something in the manipulations been carried out that would have prevented this swarming in this recent work? Remember McNally of Glenluce in the 1870s had over 140 hives and less than 1% of his hives swarmed each year .(As an aside he was a Scottish beefarmer who made his living from honey and bees alone, well before Willie Smith did). Did the bees in the 19th Century in Stewarton swarm less than skep kept bees and thus be considered to be less swarmy? Perhaps we will never get a definitive answer. I can now see why the Stewarton progressed to moveable frames - making it easier to do hive inspections and find the queen- so we progress to the Renfrew Stewarton and the Stewarton hive that the Walkers of Kilmaurs worked with slides that stopped the queen entering the honey box - another family who made a living from beekeeping in the 19th Century. It would have been good if Johnnie Walker who died around 1940 had written about the hive and its manipulations or passed it on to his family. Perhaps there is something in the Moir Library - It is recorded somewhere that Dr Tennent a past SBA president and who was in charge of the Moir library was interested in the Stewarton and had made notes on the Stewarton.

  2. #12


    Hi Hugh
    Comprehensive response! However: "Perhaps we will never get a definitive answer". is a tad ingenuous, considering that your hive did indeed swarm!



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