I was sent pictures of two box hives which were discovered in a barn in the Catskill Mountains New York.
The person wanted to know what they were and how they were used.
This was a fascinating find because the design was unlike what I have seen in typical box hives.
I have copyright on these photos because I will be using them in an upcoming article.
All aspects in its construction were cleverly designed with purpose.
Whoever built these hives had a knowledge of beekeeping and was quite an engineer.
After detailed analysis I have determined how the hives were used, and all aspects of its function.
I will post questions to you here as a sort of challenging research project, so you can
reverse engineer to figure out for yourself how it functioned.
Although box hives have been used in the United States since the introduction of honeybees in the 17th century.
They have been used in the Catskill Mountains and Appalachia as recent as the 1930's
Due to the condition and materials used, I date them between 1900 and mid 1930's
The top part of these hives is open, it originally had hinged doors on them.
On the Photo you see the 3 V notched entrances typical of Box hive and Gum construction,
with two not so typical small upper entrances a few inches up from the 3 V entrance.
From the slant of the roof, this appears to be the side of the box,,,,
Why do you believe the entrances were placed on the side of the box and not what would be expected to be the front?
How do you believe the honey was harvested from these boxes?
Box Hive 1.jpg
Here you see the open space that originally had a door on it.
What do you believe the 6 holes which are plugged with dowels leading to the space above were used for?
To add to confusion, the other hive only had 2 of these holes.
Box Hive 2.jpg
Here is a view looking up from the bottom.
Box hives typically do not have bottoms, being sat directly on a flat rock or wood, Why is that?
What were the cross sticks used for?
Box Hive 3.jpg