Southern North Island Beekeeping Group Ltd

Old Beekeepers

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Some history photos taken by Keith Schofield when he, Merv Farrington and Don Gibbons were young beekeepers working for Walworth Palmerston North (the largest beekeeper in NZ - 1940's).

Did you know in the 1940's it took all day to travel by truck from Palmerston North to Hunterville! Often the beekeepers had to clear slips themselves. They slept in shearers huts if they were empty or pitched a tent at the apiary site. Often they were away for a week at a time , travelling between the Hawkes Bay, Palmerston North and Wanganui and sometimes down to just north of Wellington for manuka food honey. All their clover honey was removed from the hives and exported to the UK. Manuka boxes were put back on for winter stores.

Put your smoker in a metal box

Merv related the tale, that while driving along the Wanganui river in a newish truck, they notice smoke coming off the back. When they stopped, they found the smoker open and the supers on the back alight. They tried to put out the fire but couldn't and so to save the truck, drove it into the Wanganui River. They saved most of the truck but buggered the engine.

Southern North Island Beekeeping Group Ltd